The news is Ferguson, Ferguson, Ferguson. I don’t want to minimize or trivialize the seriousness of what is happening in Ferguson, Missouri. But I must ask: Is not every person who is shot, stabbed, or killed as important and as worthy as Michael Brown? Is not every Christian who is murdered in Syria, Iraq, Iran, and all the other places as worthy? What is there that makes this terrible death the trigger for so much anger, violence, and demonstration? What needs are met through the name-calling, the tear gas, the looting, the demand to convict, even kill the policeman?
The demands for justice often seem to be weighted down with one-sided arguments. The scale seems to be loaded in one direction or the other before all the facts are known. Few seem to care if there is a heavy finger on one side of the scale, a scale laden with biases and assumptions, true and false. Disregard for important information is rampant. For instance, there is anger over the release of the tape of the robbery that happened just prior to the shooting. Why? Why would any thinking person believe that the robbery and the shooting are unrelated when the same person is involved in both? I don’t know whether or not the policeman knew of the robbery, but I do know that the robber did. I do know that prior happenings in any circumstance, particularly illegal ones, will affect subsequent actions and results. Psychologically very few people can put things in such neat boxes in their mind that one does not affect the other.
Facts seem to be unimportant, even when they appear as images in a video, images that are the same for all eyes. It is not the eyes of different people reporting what they think they saw. This is a scene that can be played over and over to check on the details.
The political smell of the event is so overpowering that it blocks the fragrance of truth. Justice is the cry. Justice seems to be in the political need of the holders of the signs or the; screaming voice of Sharpton and others. When the governor of the state demands justice for some in the incident and for prosecution before investigation, it is very sad. Votes seem to trump many things including the desire for pursuit of justice for all involved, no matter the color, race, gender, ethnicity or any factor. Mr. Attorney General: What is your definition of justice? Looters and burglars and violent agitators: What is your definition of justice? Or do you care?
I care about the people in Ferguson–all the people in Ferguson. Justice lies in jobs, equal opportunity, better schools, improved family services, fewer entitlements, and more self-respect and individual responsibility. Justice lies in the local institutions that give more hand-ups than hand-outs. And justice lies in the Christian principles on which this country was founded. I know it is in Ferguson. I see it in the streets in the people who are holding back those who would do harm to harmony they seek, love they know for each other, and in the hearts of those who lave pride enough in their community to clean up the streets every morning; after the nights of protests.
Go Ferguson, Go. Show the rest of us that we have come a long way, and the way lies in the teachings of Martin Later King, Jr. and those who really understood justice and worked for it. It does not lie in the minds of those who would use your tragedy to quell the hate in their hearts, the disdain they have for their neighbors and their country to promote violence, or those who try to get your votes with their smooth rhetoric. Justice lies in our hearts and in our courts and tenets of the great documents that our Founders wrote and gave to us.
Go Ferguson, Go. Go Ferguson, Go. And may God bless your efforts to take back your lives as you seek the real justice that you all deserve. That’s what will bring justice to the grieving Brown family, too.