This bloke who writes in The Guardian (natch) is taking America to task for not changing. He is dead upset because, three years after Michael Brown’s death (unarmed; but shot down by a racist white cop) there hasn’t been the sea-change in American attitudes to black people, ‘racist’ white policemen not being charged with murder (as a minimum), and lots more besides. You should read the piece yourself; but I will just pick out the highlights.
Three years ago, Michael Brown was shot by officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. He was left in the street for hours to bleed. This not only allowed him to die in public without medical aid, but also traumatized his neighbours and sparked outrage across the world.
No, Steven, Brown was shot seven times in the head, and died almost instantaneously. His blood pooled underneath him. The best medical aid in the world would not have helped him; he was probably dead before he hit the ground. The traumatizing was, at best, self-inflicted; the outrage was, simply, manufactured for political purposes. He lay for four hours where he died because the cops who had to process the corpse were busy elsewhere doing their jobs.
Disturbingly, things feel like they are getting worse. Donald Trump was pushed into office on a wave of what historian Carol Anderson has called “the politics of white resentment” (which post-election survey data also confirms) and a promise of “law and order”.
With the best will in the world, Trump’s election wasn’t achieved by ‘white resentment’, it was more likely to be a wave of resentment against the ‘established order’, where so-called senior politicians, used to getting their own way, were used to massaging the voters into seeing things their way, and their way alone.
In the battle of ideas, many of those protesters’ efforts worked. The Black Lives Matter movement exploded, paving the way for anti-racist thinking and demonstrations around the world, and laying the intellectual and activist groundwork for much of the anti-Trump resistance and the Women’s March.
The BLM movement’s ideas certainly exploded, what with the murder of five police officers in Dallas, the deaths of two cops and a sheriff’s deputy in Baton Rouge, as well as the two injured cops in Chicago, along with many more.
We, as an American society, owe a lot to Michael Brown. The protesters in Ferguson stood up to those behind his needless killing. The rest of us must now honor his short life more fully. We do that not only by keeping more young black people from being killed by police, but by challenging the kind of unequal, unjust society that leads to such lethal police violence in the first place.
Yep, America owes a great deal to chubby, loveable, good-hearted Michael Brown. We owe the deaths of many policemen, a series of riots, burnings, lootings and mindless vandalism disguised as protests, along with Ferguson’s black population exploding into riot, the Washington big-wigs swarm the city, the civil-rights talking heads gear up for the long haul, and a cop resigns despite being cleared of any crime.
As I ended my own view of the needless death of this huge bully; needless because all he had to do to stay alive was obey the legitimate warnings of a uniformed police officer: “Oh, and as a simple explanation, it is oft asked why I place quotation marks such as those adjacent to the word ‘family’? I do this because I disbelieve the statements entirely, believing them to be purely self-serving embellishments, generated by groups who detest the very idea of black people being in the wrong at all; with absolutely no evidence of their being truthful at all!”