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The Ferguson Grand Jury

Two quick things to start this off… First, the End Racism Blog is supposed to be in a brief 2-3 months hiatus while I launch The Walk a Mile Project (focused on truth in media, how appropriate during this time of unprecedented mass media manipulation), but that is quite obviously an impossibility with all the batshit craziness taking hold of America right now in regards to race, police, and our justice system. So yes, I’m making time where there absolutely is none to help work through this insanity.

And second, I’ve unfortunately been sick as a dog through most of this – almost hit 3 weeks of dealing with the cold/illness from hell, whatever it was – and I lost way too many days of my work life because of it. That is the ONLY reason I haven’t chimed in here sooner. Meanwhile, Simon the Change The World Films Wonderdog (who is 14 by the way), has remained un-phased. Must be all the wheatgrass he drinks, but I digress…

Sup?

Alright, so the past two weeks have been absolutely ridiculous, brought to us courtesy of race relations in America and the unfortunate chaos raining down from the Ferguson Grand Jury and Eric Garner Grand Jury situations.  I’ve been the rare white guy shoving his boot in the ass of racism for multiple decades now, and I can’t recall being this much pained from watching something unfold in real time. If you think you know what’s up, then comment and/or ask questions below – but understand, while I am nearly always the voice of reason, and rarely if ever mean, you will find pointed responses on this here. I’ve always preached that we, as American citizens, need to change the racial situation in this country ourselves, and that only works when we ALL stand up. So when I tell you how you could’ve made a difference, please take that and run with it for the future – translate that to how you can make a difference going forward. Don’t sit there and whine about how things are, because there are little difference makers that everyone and anyone can do – and I’ll help make those things clear.

First of all, to the white folks on Facebook, Twitter, etc. putting up racist crap about blacks rioting, please, stop with the selective memory. If you haven’t paid witness to all the white people behaving badly (and over stupid crap like baseball games for those of you who missed the debacle after the SF Giants won the World Series a month or so ago), and if you somehow think rioting has a color, then pick up a history book and look in the index for the word RIOT. See how many times it appears, both on American soil and otherwise, over the past however many hundreds of years you care to look at. Rioting is pretty much wrong 999 times out of a 1000, so you won’t hear me condoning the action, but please, stop with the racist “look at the black people rioting.” I’ve seen more people I call friends acting stupidly and sharing drivel on Facebook in two weeks to last me a lifetime. A big part of this is the media, which I’ll address later in reference to my own personal and extremely passionate THE WALK A MILE PROJECT, which is essentially creating a new media concept that focuses on facts and truth and PROVES those things to you with 100% trust every step of the way. Yeah, now that’s the freakin’ revolution we need so badly right now, and it starts with hardcore research and investigations, with cameras and microphones, with an unflappable quest for truth. But more on that later…

So for all the white folks who think they have a right to judge – because you somehow know what it’s like to have dealt with the police and/or the justice system in situations negatively affected by your skin color – understand this, I have a lot of black friends, and that’s not a line of B.S. — and what I’ve seen in social media over the past few days is the same refrain:

“What do I tell my son when he sees all of this unfold on TV? How do I make my son feel safe around the police? What do I tell my son about his future place in this country when on TV it all looks so ugly right now?”

And these kind of questions, which we all should have worked to eliminate decades ago, are still being asked – just like they were back when Rosa Parks stayed on that bus back in the 1950s. They’re the same questions asked when black civil rights leaders were gunned down in their prime while fighting the good fight, when a changed Malcolm X preached LOVE, not hate, and was killed for it. When Martin Luther King told the world, the night before he died, that he somehow knew his fate was sealed. And when, as people tried to absorb all that PAIN, they mistakenly rioted. They somehow took worst to worse than worst. Like King said, “a riot is the language of the unheard”.

It’s absolutely painful to me that I edited the MLK Trailer for PYRITE and released it almost exactly a year ago to the Ferguson Grand Jury verdict, a trailer focused on the loss of MLK to black neighborhoods and the sad aftermath… and here we’re seeing a repeat (thankfully on a much smaller scale) of what we saw nearly 50 years ago.  The character Joseph speaks directly to rioting and looting in PYRITE, and it’s right here.

As a white person in America, that feeling of being shunned for skin color has most likely never been your overwhelming dialog (minor, perhaps, major, unlikely).  I went to a nearly all black high school for 4 years, and at no point walking those hallways, playing after hours on those ball fields, working in the theater, or walking across the street to the Asian-owned hamburger joint where hot damn there weren’t a whole lotta white people to be found in much of it, at no point was that EVER my overwhelming dialog. It wasn’t even on the radar. When I went home late afternoon, the world flipped back on its white axis for me. I recognized that a brief experience, although certainly enough to change my perspective, could not be the same as not being the white guy.

So just know that if you’re white, you have NOT walked a mile in those shoes. And if you’re a white person trying to throw blame and spew racism outta your mouth or your keyboard like you have some kind of right to do so because of what you see on TV hundreds of miles away – while you’re safe and secure at home – recognize the perspective and speak and type softly. Because if you don’t, trust me, you aren’t helping.

Instead, stop and think of all the black parents asking themselves those questions that you can thank god everyday you don’t need to ask. Stop and give your son or daughter a hug, look them in the eyes and tell them that their generation can make a bigger difference than anyone before them. And make sure you tell them the all-important truth here – that TV so very, very often distorts reality. Make sure they know that the people rioting and ripping up neighborhoods are the EXCEPTIONS, not the rule. That those are real neighborhoods being torn apart, filled with good people like most American neighborhoods, and the people you’re seeing on TV committing crimes, they aren’t the heart and soul. They’re simply the anger. And anger by itself almost always takes you down the wrong path.

Speaking of anger, if you’re NOT angry that a cop with some rug burns on his face popped shot after shot into an unarmed teenager (notice that you can leave skin color out of that statement and it still sounds epically f’d up), killing him, then you are also not understanding the problem here. It’s been made about skin color, which is something only the two people involved may ever know if it truly was (and one for mere seconds), but what it’s truly about is abuse of power. And, to put it more accurately, a lack of training on how to properly protect and serve the community that pays for your services and gives you that power. At no point during the firing of that weapon did the officer need to KILL Mike Brown. At no point did he need to shoot the unarmed boy IN THE HEAD. TWICE. A properly trained officer, adrenaline or not, knows instinctively where to shoot a man to incapacitate him. If you don’t believe me, go ask someone who’s been properly trained and they will tell you exactly the same thing. I know a few of those people myself if you need a reference.

So did Mike Brown deserve to get shot? From all of the evidence gathered, yeah I don’t think many people even disagree on that one at this point. Did he deserve to be KILLED? Not even close. His life would’ve changed over the irresponsible actions he took, no doubt about that, but whatever was troubling the teen that day, he shouldn’t be six feet under for it. And if you don’t recognize that we have at least two serious problems with law enforcement protocols, then you’re not registering all of the abuses of power taking place of late. And, if you’re a GOOD cop, you are really, really angry right now, because all of this insanity is just making your job that much more difficult.

So what needs to change with the police? The justice system?  I’ll be back tomorrow to discuss…