The Murder of Michael Brown And The Subsequent Police Brutality Were Driven By Racism


Ambiguity is an attribute of a claim whose meaning, intention or interpretation cannot be definitively resolved according to a rule or process consisting of a finite number of steps. Over the past five-and-a-half years, the idea that racism is alive and thriving in America was considered ambiguous because there was no definitive resolution that the election of an African American man as President drove Republicans to obstruct governance, eliminate voting rights of people of color, or contributed to the rise of white supremacist groups. Now, after the events in Ferguson Missouri, there is no ambiguity; the murder of Michael Brown and police brutalizing peaceful protestors is driven by abject racism. They say a picture is worth a thousand words.


Only a blind fool, Republican, or racist, could look at the image of Ferguson law enforcement officers training their assault rifles on unarmed African Americans with their hands held high in the air and claim racism is not at play. Even if the militant police assault on peaceful protestors, working journalists, and peaceful family neighborhoods was an isolated incident, it would still be driven by racism when compared to the way law enforcement officials treat white Americans as patriots exercising their constitutional rights. That was the reason law enforcement, and Republicans, gave for treating gangs of heavily-armed white men roaming the streets terrorizing citizens or aiming assault weapons at federal law enforcement officials during the execution of their duty differently than African Americans. The white guys were either hailed as patriotic heroes for confronting federal officials or exercising their constitutional Second Amendment rights with impunity, but unarmed African Americans with their hands held over their heads exercising their First Amendment rights are accosted with dogs, rubber bullets, and tear gas. Racism is alive and well in America and law enforcement is as much an expression of it as white supremacist hate groups.

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When the Bundy ranch standoff was underway, this column and many others posited that the law enforcement response would have been completely different if the seditionists Bundy, Oathkeepers, and armed militias had been African Americans. Although protestors in Ferguson have not been heavily-armed, or did not point loaded firearms at law enforcement officials, the response by local law enforcement verified the assertion many Americans knew was the truth; if the Bundy seditionists had been people of color, they would have been gunned down with extreme prejudice. There would not have been Republicans praising the seditionists as patriots or heroes exercising their constitutional rights, they would have been labeled malcontents, thugs, and criminals for threatening law enforcement officials with loaded firearms.

It is a similar situation in Texas where heavily-armed gangs of white men roamed the streets, terrorized shoppers, stopped traffic, and frightened women and children at fast food restaurants that law enforcement officers ignored because the gun fanatics were exercising their 2nd Amendment rights. If there were heavily-armed gangs of African Americans roaming the streets terrorizing citizens, there would have been an immediate law enforcement response that would have resulted in a Gaza-style bloodbath. The images of militarized law enforcement officers riding on assault vehicles coming out of Ferguson in response to peaceful protestors with their hands in the air is all the proof needed to comprehend there is a different standard when unarmed African Americans exercise their First Amendment rights than when heavily armed white people exercise their 2nd Amendment rights.

If there is not a blatant racial double-standard among law enforcement, then where was the heavily-armed and violent law enforcement presence when white men confronted federal officials and aimed their loaded assault rifles at them for executing a federal court order? Why did the local Nevada sheriff not order his officers to fire rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the Bundy seditionists? Where were the heavily-militarized law enforcement squads when groups of heavily-armed white men intimidated terrified citizens as a form of protest to defend their constitutional right to bear firearms in public? And why did law enforcement refrain from bringing in military personnel carriers, dogs, tear gas, and rubber bullets to force gangs of white guys with assault rifles in tow to get off the street, disperse, or face arrest for going into to eating establishments like combat police did to two journalists in Ferguson Missouri?

Ferguson police “insist they are committed to self-improvement and racial justice,” but local African American residents have testified that they are fed up by the harassment and racial profiling plaguing the majority-Black town with a majority-white police force. How often do white Ferguson police stop young white men and tell them to “get off the street” before grabbing them and attempting to drag them into a police car? Likely never. It is noteworthy that the officer who gunned down Michael Brown’s story is nothing short of bizarre. In what universe does a young African American male just told to get off the street by a white police officer in a city where racial profiling is rampant decide to reach into a police car and attempt to wrestle away the officer’s weapon? None. Period. In fact, it is beyond comprehension that any American would try to get into a police car and disarm a police officer for any reason, much less because they told them to get off the street.

The events in Ferguson have shined a light on many problems with America’s law enforcement whether it is the overwhelming armed response to peaceful protestors, militarized police departments, and blatant violations of citizens’ constitutional rights. But more than anything, it shined a spotlight on racial animus toward African Americans that is going on all across America. Regardless if it is New York’s open racial profiling using a “stop and frisk” rule, Arizona’s racial profiling “papers please law,” or the preponderance of young African American males being gunned down in cold blood by law enforcement officers. In Ohio last week, police shot and killed a young African American man shopping for a pellet gun, in Oakland a BART police officer shot a face-down African American teen in the back killing him, and on Sunday Los Angeles police shot a Black man in the back three times while he was laying face down from “excessive police force” witnesses said there was no purpose for. Michael Brown was just another instance of out-of-control law enforcement attacks on African Americans. Racism is alive and well in America’s law enforcement and they have avid supporters in the white supremacist movement.

A South Carolina Ku Klux Klan chapter sent out an email saying, “We are setting up a reward/fund for the police officer who shot this thug. He is a hero! We need more white cops who are anti-Zog and willing to put Jewish controlled black thugs in their place.” An Arizona Klan chapter posted on its blog that, “We know that Michael Brown was nothing more than a punk.” The racists claim Michael Brown was a thug and punk not because they knew anything about him, but because like Ferguson police, they know he was Black, and the violent police response to Ferguson citizens exercising their constitutional rights was only because they were Black, unarmed, and had their hands in the air.

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