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Lord, make me an instrument of your peace . . .

25 November 2014

Fergson, Missouri (Misery)

Well, the grand jury heard all of the testimony, examined all of the evidence, talked, discussed, and decided that there wasn't enough evidence to send  Mr. Wilson to trial.  Today, I am getting all sort of e-mails encouraging me to reject that verdict and jump on the band wagon to have the FEDS move in.  I am probably naive, but I think that if the FEDS think that Mr. Brown's civil rights were violated, they will move in anyway.  

What bothers me is the tone of the e-mails, i.e., that grand jury was wrong, wrong, wrong.  These writers seems to have some other information that no one else is privy to so that they can reach the foregone conclusion that Mr. Wilson should have been sent to trial, NO MATTER WHAT!  Now I readily admit that the number of bullets he shot is probably "overkill" (in reality) and indicates that he has a serious problem that needs to be addressed.  According to some information I saw, Mr. Wilson had issues at a previous employment that may relate to this case.  So, he probably needs to have intensive counseling and a different line of work.  However, where was Mr. Brown coming from when the encounter happened?  What had HE been doing?  How many of us are privy to all (no ALL) of the testimony and evidence?

A few things are clear to me:  

1) For those who think electing a black president cured our race problems, you are plain wrong.  WE still have serious issues between the races and there is enough emnity on both sides to cause friction.  Until we get past that, we will never have ultimate social peace and justice.

2)  Someone was looking for an excuse to burn down Ferguson.  The extreme reaction only supports the radical factions that would keep us apart.  ML King still had the best approach and it remains the best approach to resolving these issues.

3) The police in this country need to re-examine how they approach young black men.  Not all of them are vicious criminals.  Why is the first instinct to draw a gun and "shoot first and ask questions later" which usually ends in death.  Why not ask those questions with a little less hostility in their tone?  Young black men need to re-evaluate their "gangsta" image; is there another way to express their difference? Is there some way to demonstrate their independence without appearing threatening?  Mutual respect is an interesting concept for both police and young folks both with big chips on their shoulders.  I don't know - these interactions are very serious, between police and the public, and I know that it's not all one sides' fault.  There is enough blame to go around.  Perhaps, if folks stepped back and reconsidered how ML King would have approached these issues and did more talking and less confronting we would have less of these incidents.

4) Everyone needs to have a moment of quiet to re-evaluate their beliefs regarding other folks.  We so quickly move to our prejuidices about others.  We need to look at them as Jesus did - as gifted creations of a merciful God, FIRST.  Assume the best first, rather than the worst.  Sometimes those first impressions become self-fulfiling prophecies because of how we react to our inital "gut" instinct.  

5) Finally, we need to change from our self-absorbed life to one in which to other persons becomes more important to each one of us.  When I taught Boy Scouts, many years ago, I always stressed the motto, "Do a Good Turn Daily".  That may be old fashioned, but I do know that its approach to life certainly is preferential to the "me-first and only" attitude of today's world.  Caring for others first is a really radical way to live ones life.  Maybe, just maybe, more of us need to try living this way.

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