The Real Lessons from Michael Brown’s Death

People are drawing the wrong lessons from Michael Brown’s tragic death. Racism didn’t kill him. Bad decision making killed him. The pop culture that celebrates him based upon the myth by his hoodlum accomplice is also at the heart of the problem by celebrating criminals, gangstas, no snitch, and slackers. It was tragic that Brown made bad decisions. It is these bad decisions that in microcosm go to the heart of a disease starting to infect our country. People feel that they need to respect no one. He decided that he would get high. bad decision one. Then steal from a store, bad decision 2. Decision 3, when confronted knock the store personnel down another bad decision. Decision 4, instead of keeping a low profile walk in the middle of a street. Decision 5, when an officer yells at him and his friend to get out of the road (professionally asking them move to the sidewalk would have been a much better option), he name calls the officer, bad decision. APB comes out with description from decisions 2 an 3. Officer Wilson decides to turn around and confront them. Bad decision 6, he attacks an armed officer in his cruiser and tries to grab at his weapon. Bad decision 7, after he is fleeing and has a significant lead of 30 seconds on the stunned and now pursuing on foot officer, unlike his accomplice, he turns around and says that you are too much of a pussy to shoot me and comes back toward the officer. Some witnesses say charge him, others saw it differently. Bad decision 8 when shot, he didn’t just stop and dive. One witness told the Grand jury that he/she wondered is this guy crazy? Why doesn’t he just stop and fall? How many times have we attended funerals of people who died too young and asked why? At the heart is a consistent lack of quality decision making? What’s the real lesson? Cops are racist or the real danger to my community is an internal cancer that thinks success is white instead of equal opportunity? Could it be that we need to teach quality decision making to our youth, respect for authority, respect for yourself– don’t get high– don’t risk your dreams with stupid stuff like shoplifting, and don’t choose the prison path over the college path? We should remember Brown because he was a tragic figure. On one hand he had a bright future two weeks away, instead he threw his life away for nothing. That is heart breaking. It is not only heartbreaking because of the individual case, but that decision is being repeated too often. I wish the Urban League, NAACP (of which I am a member), and other fine organizations would give as much public attention to that aspect the Brown tragedy. I know they care about the deeper problems. On a local level, I have been a part of internal discussions so I know the hearts of people are engaged in grappling with these problems. I just think when we let a myth grow up that actually harms our ability to solve the real problems by dividing the community from the police, diverting the conversation from the real problems the situation uncovered, and allows the professional agitators, anarchists, and others to actually hurt a community by destroying minority owned businesses and jobs, we do a disservice to the wider community. We have to say to our young people that choosing success, faith, honor, hope, and a future is an equal opportunity thing. One author wrote a book, Think and Grow Rich: It’s a Black Thing. Maybe we need to put pamphlets of that in every high school. Maybe elementary schools should be included. Stop the enable the hoodlum to hurt you mentality called don’t snitch. Why not? So you can keep being victimized? That’s stupid! Don’t get too good of grades or your not cool? So working 3 jobs at minimum wage until you die of an heart attack at 60 is? Maybe dying in a street fight at 30 is better. No, that’s foolish talk. Let’s call it out. We have to shame not people but bad attitudes that destroy people and build up the people. We need to go to war and uproot them root and branch. We need to embrace the values of Faith, freedom, and family that allowed us to survive 350 years of oppression and emerge prosperous, strong, and dignified with inventors, Doctors, CEO’s, Generals, and even a President of These United States. Let’s start inspiring more young men to go to college not prison. Are there things the larger society can do? Sure, let’s evaluate some of the silly victim-less crimes that only some people really get arrested for. We need to have a working reentry system so people who made a bad decision at 17 or 22 aren’t still stuck behind vindictive barriers at 30, 40 or 50. Stop the attack on the charter schools that are giving hope and skills to kids that were already failing district public schools. Aid them, don’t be afraid to look at progress not just standards, reward success. Do things which strengthen marriage and family not undermine them. Invest in law enforcement to provide security, but also invest in community building and economic inclusion that will make security less necessary in the long run. Things like leaving Brown’s body uncovered like road kill for 4 hours was inflammatory and disrespectful. If officials want respect, give respect.

7 thoughts on “The Real Lessons from Michael Brown’s Death”

  1. Well, the same American left has deified a common murderer, Che Guevarra. Instead of trying to fight his way out of being captured by CIA-led Bolivian Special Forces, the armed and supposedly intrepid Che tried to bribe his way to freedom. What a “hero.” A perfect subject for a left-wing t-shirt, to be worn by idiot-dupe college students.

    As we all know, Che’s pleas went unanswered- the Bolivians blew his brains out.

  2. Shows why conservatives need to reinterpret the facts just to make your case. What really happened was that no cigarillos were stolen. Full Video shows them paid for. The APD was called in error by a white racist. The owner who knew nothing had been stolen, did not call. Two kids were crossing the residential street like happens in Dover everyday. The KKK bigoted cop just chewed out for being too soft “on the Negro” sees someone he can bully and orders them to the car… When Mike gets there the cop already has his gun pulled… The cop (a kid of 28 himself) pretends to execute the kid using racist inflammatory language, Kid freaks and backhands the gun and it goes off in the car. Kid runs, Cop, says “you little $hit, If you live to tell the truth, I’m fried. I gotta kill you now”, and chases the now -fleeing- for- his -life Michael Brown firing as he goes. One bullet hits Michael who decides life is preferable over death. Slows down, puts his hand up to surrender. Relieved officer who now knows no one will ever know what he did in that car, empties his gun into the collapsing kid, who despite all odds of growing up in his neighborhood, was supposed to start college the next week. Allow me to ask: How many people starting college the next week, after living in a neighborhood none of us could ever imagine, are going to randomly pick a fight with a punk a$$ racist police officer? Anyone who thinks that, doesn’t know black people…. There are good people; there are bad people.: the bad people never get to enter college. On the other hand, here in Sussex County alone this past two years, how many police officers have been suspended for investigation over excessive and inappropriate use of force? The jury of America, (smarter than those hand picked in Ferguson), can see a whitewash when it is in front of them…

  3. If you are going to do fiction writing, you can make it more believable. Your scenario could happen, in fact it is more likely than the idea that an unarmed Brown twice attacked an armed police officer, punching in the face an officer that had only spoken with him, was in his Tahoe so certainly had no weapon drawn. It didn’t. He was moving toward Wilson not away when shot. He attacked Wilson while he was seated in the cruiser. He tried to take Wilson’s weapon. For whatever reason the unlikely did happen, reason forever unknown because the only one in Brown’s mind was him.

    Maybe he grew hearing crap like you wrote on your blog and irrationally believed that his life was endangered then proceeded to do everything it took to make the self fulfilling prophecy happen. When a man is convinced he is going to die, he usually can make it happen, the old proverb says.

  4. Krapics also overlooked the fact that Brown’s accomplice in the convienence store robbery (Dorian Johnson) testified before the grand jury that Brown did steal the Swisher Sweets, and that he initially felt that the fact that Brown was holding them in his hand was the reason Wilson stopped them in the first place.

    And the video certainly does show the “gentle giant” shoving a store clerk.

  5. Kavips. What is he even talking about? “Rich white people…” Seems a little vague, like most forms of tribalism these days.

    Who? Which families? I’m curious, how do the Bidens fit in? He writes:

    As parents we tell our little children they should never use violence to find their solution. Always seek another way we tell them… Violence is bad, disruptive, and creates additional problems.
    However, if we do, and we channel those children into non violent opposition which is completely ineffective, and they get slaughtered, imprisoned, or enslaved; did we correctly fulfill our parental duty in preserving our genetic line?

    What is he talking about? Who is he talking about?

    Meanwhile, there’s little reason why people cannot just build up their own civilizations. For all the crap that goes on with the federal government and the reach and impact of its “too big to fail” oligarchy and global forms of War Inc., it is still possible. And there is no draft for War Inc., so if you sign up that is your own fault. There may come a day when it is no longer possible to avoid the Big Picture stuff or systematic oppression and deception. To some extent, everyone using federal reserve notes or anyone that had to help someone out in the “housing market” to the tune of $40,000.00 “notes” (cough) already feels it. Etc.etc. I write about the Big Picture type stuff and the various criminals involved every day, often with specifics and with specific individuals involved in creating the Big Picture in mind.

    So “rich white people”…. what does that mean? Who?

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