Is This What We Really Want?

A simple question to those who protest the grand juries in the police related deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, “What do you really want?”
I have been watching–at first from afar–as the protestors in Ferguson, Missouri burned their town to the ground–and I have a hard time determining the message of the protests.
Here in New York we handle protests so routinely, the turnout pretty much muted any national interest because the marches went off without any major property damage or fatalities related to the protests. Yes 200 people have been arrested, but to be candid, that’s a smidgeon compared to political conventions, Yankee championships, or hosting the Super Bowl.
It has been some of the satellite protests in places wholly unconnected to Ferguson or Staten Island that caused me to think this week, “Are they/we getting what society truly needs from the protests?”
If Denver, Colorado was any measure my answer would be definitively, “No!”
A large gathering of high school students rebelliously walked out of classes this past Thursday, and unlawfully gathered outside the school to stage a protest that we believe was in support of the protestors from Ferguson. As they marched the city marshaled police to the site so as to not lose control of the crowd–seeing as how it was mostly peopled by underaged kids.
When four of the first police roll up on their bicycles, a car lost control and struck the four officers. All went to the hospital, but one was so badly injured he required six hours of surgery and as of the writing of this piece is still not out of critical condition. After the car struck the officers, a chant rose up from within the protesting kids, “hit him, hit him again!” (Focused on what witnesses believed to be the worst injured officer.)
The problem with many of the protests is the degree to which much of what they protest for is based on false information.
Examples: Officer Wilson never shot Michael Brown in the back. Officer Pantaleo did not execute a chokehold. Michael Brown never raised his hands and said to the officer, “Don’t shoot.” Eric Garner did resist arrest and say, “This ends today!” Eric Garner posed no real threat to the five officers who jumped him to bring him to the ground. Michael Brown literally attempted to take the life of Officer Wilson. Michael Brown was seen by African American eye-witnesses to be in a crouched position ready to bum rush Officer Wilson. And the supervising officer in the Eric Garner take down was an African American woman.
Though many have tried to turn these two cases into a pattern. They are so radically different in fact that there is really very little similar between the two.


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Is This What We Really Want?

time to read: 2 min