Storm is coming. It’s swept through Ferguson this week and will be gathering strength if things do not change, and soon.
Storm is coming. A young man was gunned down by the police and left to lie in the street for hours. The town exploded in a tornado of rage over injustice and cruelty, both the immediate and the long-suffering.
Storm is coming. We white folk are shocked at the strength and destruction of the storm, and from the safety of our color say, “We understand…violence is not the answer…we must work through the system…”
But that is the problem, is it not. We really don’t understand, and violence is their only option because the system operates to oppress them, not help them.
I can’t help but think that what we are witnessing in Ferguson is not hooliganism, but a micro-revolution. It’s a micro-revolution against a micro-police state, as well as rage over a winner-take-all economy that continues to grow the under-class and a government that neglects its own citizens, with all the inherent racism therein.
We need to stop saying, “I understand”, and start saying, “I’m sorry”. We need to apologize for what we have created, and help clean up the mess we have made of our society. I have some suggestions on how we can do that, both the immediate problems and the long-term problems.
- Suspend the Ferguson P.D. immediately, and place Ferguson police duties under the control of the County P.D.
- Keep the Brown murder in the hands of the FBI and the Justice Dept.; also, place any investigations of police brutality and police crimes in the hands of the FBI and the Justice Dept.
- End the practice of local management and local funding of the school districts. Make them totally state-funded and state-controlled so there will no longer be any “poor people schools” like Normandy or St. Louis City.
- End minimum wage laws and replaces them with “livable wage laws”, so people can work a 40 hour week and support themselves.
The first two will restore some confidence in the people of Ferguson that a police department is acting justly and with professionalism, and that justice will be served in the Brown murder and all the police brutality cases. The second two will address the long-simmering injustices of telling people they need an education when there is none to be had, or to tell them to go get a job when there are none that you can live on. Few things earn peace and dignity quicker than a decent job and a solid education.
If we don’t do these things, the storm will continue to come. “They that sow the wind, shall reap the whirlwind”