Greetings and salutations from the sand, sun and surf of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and the grey, cold, festive island of Nantucket! Great to be with you once again on this Tuesday morning, the 2nd day of December, 2014, a day much cooler than yesterday, with temperatures more in line with the season they are normally attributed to, namely, this upcoming season of Christmas and Hanukkah for many in the U.S.. A Season of Lights, this season of giving, giving hopefully less in the way of anger and more in the way of LOVE.
President Barack Obama, OUR very fine 44th President of the United States of America (history books will prove, well, those written by real historians will…), announced yesterday at the White House–after concluding a mini-summit with people intimately involved in what some are calling ‘the Civil Rights case of our times’, i.e. “Ferguson” (or what many call the lack of Justice in the shooting death of unarmed teenager, Michael Brown, on August 9th of this year, a horrible act carried out by Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson Police Department, resigned, now a racial flash point sparking protests from sea to shining sea, gaining world wide attention…)–that he is putting together a special task force made up of law enforcement, community activists, clergy and other officials to deal with the problems facing everyday communities when it comes to the people and the police they, the police, are sworn to ‘protect and serve’ or is it the other way around? Many claiming that they have become the victims of quite the opposite of that sentiment, thus, braving the status quo and calling out for JUSTICE of some kind to triumph over what other might consider Gestapo like tactics–excessive force and police brutality being one of them.
The President is asking for 263 million dollars for a number of items to help in this crisis. For starters, lets get transparent, let’s get responsible, let’s get accountable! Let’s implement 50,000 body cameras that police departments nation wide will be required to wear, preventing abuse on either side as statistics in cities who already use this technology prove beyond a shadow of a doubt works like a charm. Second, there will an extensive review of all the new toys these police departments have receive–thanks to the blank check former President George W. Bush gave “Homeland Security”, via the “Patriot Act”–i.e. tanks, sub-machine guns, spare hand grenades with crowd dispersing chemicals, rubber bullets, who knows what else–yeah, taking a good look at that overreach that has militarized our police forces to the point that they look like invading armies. At least it did to people with REAL EYES watching it all go down in Ferguson.
Three, Attorney General Eric Holder will address this issue of the very real threat of violence that exists between young black males in this country and the police, somehow finding solutions and how that sad, aforementioned fact can be overcome. Holder will be tasked with personally going to communities nationwide, for this is clearly not just a Ferguson, Missouri story, hence the overwhelming popular outcry from Seattle to New York, San Francisco to Boston, as young and old, black and white, stand up and say ‘hands up, don’t shoot’!
For that is what is has come down to for many young, black men today–simple survival. “…Please don’t kill me officer because I am a black man,” is not ‘going too far Joe’, because since July we have had case after case of black males being gunned down, ‘by accident?’, in at least six high profile national cases, and it does not seem like the problem is being addressed let alone solved by anyone who has any real authority, save President Barack Obama, God Bless you sir! And Bravo to the St. Louis Rams! They have a right to claim their own lives and a right to be safe in said lives Roger!
Couple those three points with better training of young officers nationwide, i.e. less gun violence, and perhaps we might get a better handle on what our society needs more than anything right now– TRUST. The simple fact that Ferguson is mostly African-American and 94 percent of the Ferguson Police Department is white, gaining most of their revenue from ‘traffic stops’ must tell you that that there is something wrong with this picture. For real policing, in and of itself, should not be a problem for anyone, especially and including the police! For it seems that policing in this 21st Century should not be ‘all about the money’, rather, should focus on what makes us all the same, being a peace loving people. Always focusing on those similarities--like that famous hug of a little boy and a police officer of Ferguson–as opposed to what makes us different, i.e. the color of our skin, a subtle difference as deep as the skin itself and just as meaningless.
Have a nice day everybody and may we find that elusive sense of peace in Ferguson, for if we can find it there, we can find it anywhere, isn’t that the song, no?
PRESERVE THE WILDERNESS! Peace~M