Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Regrettable Fb Postings

In the wake of last night's Ferguson announcement I posted some ill-conceived comments on Facebook that I regret. Some folks for whom I have a great deal of respect have, appropriately, called me to task. I apologize for the tone as well as the content of some of my comments.

To the question about whether I condone the violence in Ferguson and elsewhere, I regrettably responded that I did. I do not condone the violence. I understand it. I expected it. But I do not condone it.

I understood it when it happened in places like Detroit and Watts. That was half a century ago and conditions still exist that make it understandable, predictable, and inevitable in 2014. 

I do wish those who were so quick to condemn the violence last night would spend some time condemning the violence that white people have perpetrated on people of color for centuries. Their violence is not so much an action as it is a reaction. 

I continue to believe that the justice system has not moved far enough beyond Jim Crow. There was never a doubt in my mind that an indictment would not be returned. The prosecutor chose to convene a Grand Jury quickly. He then did something I have never seen a prosecutor do. He put on the defense case. That is unheard of a sure signal of the outcome. 

It is my hope that Americans can find some way to restore the trust that people of color have lost in the criminal justice system. Part of that will require a genuine response to the numbers and circumstances involved in police shootings. Not all of them can possibly be as justified as the gatekeepers would have us believe.

Nonetheless, my postings were thoughtless, literally. Now that I have had a day to consider them, I admit that. Social media allows us all to share all too quickly those thoughts that should be allowed to percolate. 

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