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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ferguson, Missouri.

I don't actually have any thoughts--yet--about the underlying incident between Michael Brown and Darren Wilson. I need to see more evidence before I can say one way or another. I have a sneaking suspicion there may be no innocents here at all. The leak wars are not increasing my confidence.

But I do know the following:

1. I hate looters. If you try to destroy a shopkeeper's livelihood, you are near-enough to literally tearing the food out of his (or, yes, her) family's mouths. If he sends you to the particular judgment during your extralegal shopping spree, the prosecutor best not ask me to be on the shopkeeper's jury.

2. I hate militarized police forces. Sure, this is true:

But it's also true that that big dog is an indiscriminate biter, and will eventually get around to sinking its teeth into you, too, Suburbia. "The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy." 

A/k/a "mission creep."

This isn't law and order. This is just force masquerading as law.

3. I hate narratives. A 6'4", 292 pound 18 year old is a man. He can serve in the military, bind himself under a contract, vote, get married, drive a commercial vehicle--everything but grab a beer (which makes the current drinking age a bit stupid on that account). With those measurements, he'd be a prime candidate for a college offensive line. He is not a "teenager." 

4. Fellow ofays, we do need something of a reality check--perfectly law-abiding black men take shit that no comparable honky would experience [read the whole article: McWhorter spares no one.] Related: police/minority community interactions are extremely complicated, even when there's no ill will. Note the author of that last piece, but turn off your irony meter first.

5. Speaking of narratives: it would be nice if people gave a shit about someone dying without first checking the color of the perpetrator and the victim to see if it serves some news agenda.

Yes, I know--while I'm dreaming, ask for a new car.


  1. Pitch perfect. Thank you. Life, in many ways, was nicer when I lived abroad and was not bombarded quite as much by drama like this.

  2. A little background: Ferguson is one of St. Louis' older suburbs, about as old as Webster Groves, where I live, is. Its public library is in the same county-wide consortium as my former employer.

    Was the response disproportionate? Maybe but justified since nobody saw looting and widespread destruction of private property coming. We're not used to this sort of thing around here.

    Like the Proprietor of this fine establishment, I'm withholding judgment on what happened until all the facts are in.