Protests, violence and divergent solutions in Ferguson


SAN JOSE, August 20, 2014 —  The recent protests and violence occurring in the St. Louis area in the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown seem to be a hollow attempt at voicing genuine sentiment over what has the appearance of a ‘racially-motivated’ tragedy.

At this point, the number of outside agitators that have thrust themselves into the area has only exacerbated the efforts to find the truth within the tragedy rather than what actually happened, and to genuinely heal the pain that has ripped the area.

There is a real tragedy in that a young man was killed, but a desire to obtain the facts of  this sad incident, or a willingness to solve a disturbing situation is not what is driving the protests. Hard evidence is only slowly coming to the public’s attention. Much ‘eyewitness testimony’ has not led to a clear understanding of what actually happened. Actual accounts conflict in certain details that are important in determining motivation or intent that brought about the police officer shooting the young man.

In fact, the unfolding scenario seems to replicate the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin – George Zimmerman tragedy. The events are providing a stage and spotlight for those who will use it for self-gain.

The self-proclaimed protectors of society who cry out when they spot what they proclaim to be the ‘race crimes’ have descended upon the area like vultures looking for fresh meat.  Al Sharpton has ventured to ground zero in Ferguson to add his voice to the mix – on the surface to show how he will illuminate all such ‘race crimes’ for the sake of humanity. Even Jesse Jackson has flown in – to console Brown’s family, but also to do voter registration for his favorite party. As Obama’s former Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, said, “you don’t want to waste a crisis.” The mentality is obviously a shared concept. It entails using a crisis and not solving the problems leading to the crisis.

In reality, solving such inner city turmoil would rob said self-professed defenders of these real life opportunities to educate the less perceptive members of populace about such ‘race crimes,’ or to provide those of us who are ignorant of the politically correct  definition of racism. Unfortunately, they don’t offer means for healing problems – only how to call the public’s attention to what used to be referred to as hatred. With the same mentality, there are those politicians and public figures who want to weigh in on the issue, some obviously involved in their public defender roles attempting to cash in on the publicity of such a ‘race crime.’

The events unfolding in Missouri are providing a stage for America to see the very real differences between two quite opposite ways of dealing with such violence, as well as a clear view of the anger and hatred that breeds the violence.

The irony is that this specific incident did not just become a high profile case by accident.

There may be an overt correlation between the Trayvon Martin tragedy and this one, but it boils down to a black youth being killed and the cries of “racism” shooting through the streets like bullets in the night. Over the same weekend others were gunned down in Chicago, New York, and other cities across the country. Where were Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson?

The simple message this sends to the general public is that the shooting death of a young black man is only significant if a white person commits such an action. Tell that to the victims of the murders in the inner cities from whence Sharpton and Jackson come.

It also sends a message that criminals of one race or another can undermine police authority when committing crimes simply by crying ‘racism!’ And, providing the spotlight for the self-proclaimed saviors of society are the major media corporations, in business to sell ‘news,’ and the celebrity news personalities sharing the spotlight in their crusade to ‘reveal genuine injustice.’

The media-entertainment industry exhibits a very real competitive environment of big business and it bleeds through to the reporting of events, which may generate a problem of accurately reporting facts and the actual events. More recently, the mainstream media has been caught misrepresenting the facts of tragic incidents, in overtly manipulating images or public perceptions, and in pontificating on their ‘only we know the truth’ agenda. This also can be viewed as a more significant tragedy in light of the long term effects of self-promoting media coverage of real life events.

Unfortunately, more than the self-promotion angle, slanted or tainted types of media coverage would seem less hypocritical if the major media corporations had handled the atrocities that go on in the inner cities of other troubled metropolitan areas where black-on-black murders on a regular basis far outweigh feigned outrage over a tragic interracial incident.

If the major media elites were truly concerned about tragedies of young people dying in America’s inner cities, that would be something that would alarm Americans on a nightly basis. But, the lens is strategically placed often based upon a premeditated set of beliefs or politically-motivated attitudes.

How else could an intelligent observer explain why Trayvon Martin became a name familiar to a majority of American households while the name of Brian Terry, the U.S. Border Patrol agent killed before Martin, is not easily recognized.

The American public is being conditioned and told what is important and what is not important. And, those who promote intolerance and violence as the methods of dealing with extremely emotionally charged issues often are the ones Americans are told to listen to for their politically correct advice. Events like those unfolding in Ferguson are being handled by those that have their own personal or political agendas and seem to share a similar intent behind their actions.

Unfortunately, the drama in Ferguson is complicated by other self-proclaimed saviors like the New Black Panther Party and the Revolutionary Communist Party. Both mobilized their members to the scene to ‘help.’ The New Black Panther Party marched in the streets and chanted to demand the name of the police officer who shot Brown, and to demand he be killed. A similar methodology was utilized in the efforts to use the Trayvon Martin tragedy for growth of their Party. Reports also indicate that the Revolutionary Communist Party decided to venture to Ferguson and “make hay while the sun shines” or take advantage of the ‘opportunity’ to incite distrust, division, and revolution.

Such salvation for the good people of Ferguson seems to have originated from Chicago and New York City. The members of these two militant organizations were infiltrating groups of local protestors. According to a recent story out of The Blaze, a St. Louis Alderman, Antonio French, took pictures of individuals lighting Molotov cocktails. One of the instigators was Gregory Lee Johnson, veteran member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, and was captured on camera with the Molotov cocktails. Members of the Revolutionary Communist Party like Johnson still believe the possibility of the Communist revolution bringing justice and the end of racial oppression to the United States.

This would seem an understandable motive for the agitators gathering in Ferguson. Where else could one just go and incite a revolution but to an area that can become easy prey for the politically devious?

Apparently reports identify Mr. Gregory Johnson at protests during the Trayvon Martin demonstrations, which was also where the New Black Panther Party gathered and called for the killing of George Zimmerman. Mr. Johnson is the same Johnson in the famous court case Johnson vs. Texas, in which the U.S. Supreme Court determined that burning the U.S. flag was protected under the First Amendment. A fundamental question: Did these groups travel so far to heal wounds or unleash anger and rage, and gain fame?

A stage and spotlight is such saviors seem to crave when they will cry out as they sniff out obvious ‘race crimes,’ and by barking loudly, will decry what they have uncovered, and who earnestly do their part in ensuring ‘justice for all.’ However, all three elements tend to exacerbate the problems, despite their self-righteous attitudes. Despite Al Sharpton’s calls for calm, who in their right mind could remain calm amidst such chaos? Despite Jesse Jackson’s attempt to appear concerned, he went to use the situation to his advantage and to the advantage of his political party. The New Black Panthers and the Communist Party are obviously at ground zero to fan the flames of bitterness, hatred, and resentment for gain.

Another obvious question: Is it just plain coincidence that all three variations of the self-proclaimed saviors seem to originate from the same places and descend upon the same social events? Maybe it is just plain coincidence that all three elements seem to show up in the same tragic events, but there is an ancient saying that may shed light on this: “Birds of a feather flock together.” However, an educated person could also wonder whether the reverends Jackson and Sharpton have been able to solve the problems in their own backyards, within their own cities of residence. If they had solutions to offer the residents of Ferguson, what are those tried and true solutions they are importing?

Those protests organized by the Rev. Al Sharpton in Florida and now in Missouri were ostensibly to warn folks of the evils of racism. Sadly, such activities do not help solve any underlying problems that led to the tragedies; they primarily seek to capitalize on the moment for what can be gained from it by pursuing the crisis for personal or political gain. And for the actions of the more radical elements, such actions tend to rub salt in wounds and grind the issue for all trouble that can be derived from the incident.

The town of Ferguson, in north St. Louis County, has had its share of problems and seems to have been suffering for some time under racial tensions, but is the solution to excite and to  encourage rioting? – to incite civil discord? – to increase the toll of those who are injured or dead? The real tragedy now seems to involve the longer lasting harm that can be done by those endeavors aimed at cashing in on such a showthose who take advantage of the initial tragedy for self-gain. Prior to the ‘rush to judgment’ mentality exhibited by those who have their own personal or political agendas, there was respect for the rule of law.

Prior to the ‘rush to judgment’ mentality that even is exhibited by those media moguls who have their own political agendas, there was respect for the rule of law that allowed a person to be viewed as innocent until ‘proven’ guilty, and the law allowed for a  weighing of the facts, listening to the eyewitness testimony, and the trial of those accused of potential criminal activity in a court of law – not to have a kangaroo court mentality and a chaotic effort to try people for potential wrongdoing in the eyes of public perception or on the eyes of a potential lynch mob. The issues that persist here involve an attempt to bypass or breakdown the very foundations of the judicial system in the U.S. to root out ‘racism.’

The hypocrisy of those who are the self-proclaimed public defenders of what in their view is right or wrong shows up as an attempt to undermine that foundation of law in the U.S. Such efforts from all perpetrators of discord, at whatever level – from Al Sharpton to Gregory Johnson – shows up as an effort not as a cry for justice, or for elimination of racism or oppression; it shows up as efforts toward manifesting chaos and lawlessness. This country was created with the intent to establish justice and not encouraging the effort of taking the law into one’s own hands. When that has happened, such actions have been condemned and curtailed. It’s time for a reality check in America.

What has been happening in Ferguson recently is not primarily about issues of race or black vs. white; it is about wrong vs. right. So what do those coming into Ferguson from the outside seek to gain from their own level of intervention? Dr. Ben Carson, the black American the Left dislike, an award-winning neurosurgeon who grew up in the inner city environment in the U.S., was recently interviewed a number of times about the turmoil in Ferguson, and expressed that there is a hypersensitivity to the issue of race relations in recent years. He was interviewed on Sean Hannity recently and explained that Americans should refrain from “picking and choosing who the villains are, and who the good guys are.”

Dr. Carson responded to the fact that people were chanting “Death to the police,” as he challenged: “try living for 24 hours with no police. I think you’ll really find out what a difficult situation is.” He went on to call for what seems to be a much more logical and common sense approach to the tragedy than that which has been put forth by the self-annointed saviors. Carson just said that: “I think it would be possible to get a lot of information out very quickly with a concerted effort. I think that would have a very ameliorating effect on the atmosphere.” This from someone who emerged from a similar cultural environment is completely opposite from the ‘rush to judgment’ mentality.

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Dennis Jamison reinvented his life after working for a multi-billion dollar division of Johnson & Johnson for several years. Now semi-retired, he is an adjunct faculty member at West Valley College in California. He currently writes a column on US history and one on American freedom for the Communities Digital News, as well as writing for other online publications. During the 2016 presidential primaries, he worked as the leader of a network of writers, bloggers, and editors who promoted the candidacy of Dr. Ben Carson. He founded the “We the People” Network of writers and the Citizen Sentinels Project to pro-actively promote the values and principles established at the founding of the United States, and to discover and support more morally centered citizen-candidates who sincerely seek election as public servants, not politicians.
  • Quacker

    Well said, Dennis. Those who cry “racism” the loudest are those who make a living from its presence. They depend upon it. FBI reports show there are far more black-on-black homicides in Detroit and Chicago on a single ‘active’ weekend than there are white police on black shootings in all of America in an entire year – far more. Yet ‘racism hustlers’ always focus on the latter.
    Black Americans are better served by heeding the words of positive role models like Bill Cosby, Sen. Tim Scott, Jason Reilly, and of course, Dr. Ben Carson, than they are listening to the likes of Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, most of the NAACP, and sad to say, Attorney General Eric Holder.

  • Carla F

    Dear Dennis: Thank you for an excellent article. For me, it not only evoked a wide spectrum of emotions, but also, cognitive dissonance. Members of my family were crime victims during the race riots in the 1960’s. More than 50 years and several generations later, it is my belief we are in a much better place as citizens in this nation. However, as you so definitively point out in this article, it is the media-entertainment industry, the media elites, the Al Sharpton’s and other factions who perpetuate, as you said, “their own personal or political agendas.” It is these persons and groups who are forcing the race narrative of the Ferguson tragedy. I agree with you as I also do not believe that all “three elements” you describe coincidentally “descend on the same social events.” As the facts emerge, we find out of the 78 persons arrested in Ferguson this past Monday night, only 4 — repeat only 4 — actually were from Ferguson. Dr. Benjamin Carson, a voice of stunning logic, reason, and insight, has criticized these outside agitators for perpetuating the current situation. He has called the looters “opportunists.” Dr. Carson, is uniquely the true national voice of reason, as he has also said he believes, although the Ferguson is a tragedy for all involved, he believes “it is an opportunity for dialog.” Dr. Carson stands as a leader, unique among the current elected/appointed leaders in our Nation. Not one other has approached, defined and offered a true solution to the tragedy and travesty in Ferguson. Thank you, Dennis, for sharing your excellent insights.

  • Jan Jones

    Thank you for an insightful article, and I’d add a few comments about why those outside agitators are even tolerated, let alone of influence. Government statistics show that in the 1940’s to 1960’s our black Americans were gaining ground constantly, with home ownership on the rise as well as growing prosperity in all areas. Then Johnson radically expanded the welfare state and at that point the progress stopped. Marriage was dis-incentivized, and kids lost their dad’s, their role models and their disciplinarians. Boyfriends came and went, often abusive.Never enough money. Some turned to prostitution or dealing drugs. Fewer and fewer kids staying in school and graduation standards lowering drastically. Thirteen year old girls having babies, perpetuating the poverty and hopelessness. (Presently, 73% of babies among blacks are born out of wedlock.) Can we expect anything but anger and desperation?
    The dream I have is to see a country where an equitable way out of the welfare state comes to all, where school voucher systems are required in all low income areas, so parents can get their kids a real education, where vocational training or college is a given for all, and where marriage is re-incentivized. We would find a very different situation, one where outside agitators were scorned.

  • Dennis,
    Startlingly insightful, you have revealed the hidden mechanisms behind the lies that have taken root in modern America. You have uncovered their desperate attempts by some to gain traction by exploiting every tragedy in order to promote their political agenda. Thousands of us from many colors and backgrounds agree Dr. Carson’s calming voice, appealing to reason and logic is the salve that this country needs.
    Suzanne Cruz

  • Steven Meeks

    Did our ancestors shed their blood at Guadalcanal, Normandy, and Khe Sanh so that their sons would surrender the Bill of Rights in return for Michael Bloomberg’s thirty pieces of silver? I think not.