Stop the Insanity
Last night justice was served. The Grand Jury in Missouri demonstrated once again that a jury of randomly selected private citizens could to look objectively at the facts and reach an unbiased decision. Over the past few years we have had several high profile cases where the verdict was not what the public expected or even wanted. These cases do not show a broken justice system. They demonstrate that the system is working as intended. Juries should not be swayed by raw emotions and threats of violence. They should only judge a case by the facts presented. This is exactly what happened here. It is a comfort to know that an overarching media that now seeks to shape the truth, rather than it’s intended purpose of simply reporting the truth, does not have the power to influence a verdict after all. Darren Wilson’s no bill verdict does not only exonerate him, but his profession as well. So ingrained in the black community is the perception that young black men are gunned down with impunity by the police, that nothing short of a public lynching of a police officer will convince them that our justice system works. Factual evidence is ignored, replaced by conclusions only proven by emotion. The attorneys for Michael Brown’s parents felt that the verdict was not in their favor because of the way the evidence was presented, that the tone of voice and verbal inflections were what persuaded the jury rather than the preponderance of the evidence. Because Grand Jury proceedings are held in secret we cannot know what verbal nuances were used. But we can know how carefully placed emphasis and verbal inflections in the way the mainstream media reported this story, influenced public opinion against Darren Wilson. Black parents worry about what will happen to their children when they have an encounter with the police. The solution is to teach them not to engage in behaviors were they will have such encounters. We hear so much about making the system fair and holding officers accountable. But who is holding young black men accountable? Where are the black leaders who are working to strengthen black families, and encourage young black men to take responsibility for the children they father? Where the politicians who are working to bring jobs and educational opportunities to black neighborhoods? Where are the rap artists, athletes and celebrities that condemn, theft, rape, drug addiction, and assault instead of glorifying it? Who is teaching black children the self reliance, self respect and respect for authority necessary to succeed in civil society? It is a tragic truth that young black men are in danger. But that danger is more from other black men than by the police. No parent should have to live with that kind of worry, but the solution must begin at home.