I don’t like the simple answers to complex questions that the nightly news would feed us all.
I do not like the parts they would have us play, the lines they would have us draw, the sides they would have us choose.
“Black Lives Matter” what an inane slogan to march under.
It is the thought process of aging decrepit hippies, and misguided youths who have not died enough to live. Black Lives Matter? To who? Why? For what reason?
This is not about Black lives, it is about all lives.
That is the only sane slogan.
It is about the quality of the republic.
It is about justice.
There are vile human beings of the Black persuasion I would not cross the street to spit on. There are vile human beings of the White and Brown and Yellow persuasion who are likewise cancers and abominations on the healthy body of society.
The job is to protect society from those vile humans, and a huge part of that is insuring these vile people aren’t issued badges. And most of them aren’t, unfortunately a few of them are. And it only takes a few, to bring us here.
Not everyone is cut out for the responsibility of making life and death decisions, and when the recruiting methods are questionable, and there are no checks and balances, no culpability, no reprisals for bad behavior, you are just priming a powder-keg… to explode.
Civilization, the orderly world you take for granted and hope to wake and sleep to, depends on those tasked with holding the line between anarchy and order. And bad cops and the bad administration that supports them, make that already heavy responsibility an untenable one.
Bad cops ruin the only thing a good cop has of value, the line, and the holding of it.
The law either binds us all, Black and Brown and Yellow and White, or it binds none of us. Preserves none of us, and we can all fall afoul of monsters with badges masquerading as men. Criminals posing as cops.
These bad cops, and bad DAs, and bad judges, make the line untenable to hold, make even the good cops smeared with the offal of the bad, until we are no longer protecting and serving, but suddenly we’re nothing more than an unruly mob, with enemies everywhere we look.
It is a bad road that we have seen before, and god defend us from seeing it again.
The answer is not with marches, at least not just with marching. That’s a 20th century response, that organizations like the NAACP in their stupidity do not realize is inadequate for a 21st century world. You want change that protects civilians from monsters with badges, you have to make it cost. That means NAACP you may have to actually get off your fat assess and boycott some of those rich sponsors that line your pockets to look the other way.
It means you may have to sacrifice.
That we may all have to sacrifice.
And the one thing more powerful than the vote, is financial reprisals. Putting someone’s money… at risk.
Do you think Black people in Jim Crow America, got to ride in the front of the bus because of Rosa Parks? No. Black people got to ride in the front of the bus because, for over 365 days, people outraged and enraged and fed-up; decided to be inspired by Rosa Parks, and decided they would not spend money with the mass transit system.
They would sacrifice.
And suddenly, that loss of revenue, that sacrifice, these people walking for miles for over a year, rather than sit in the back of a bus… that willingness to speak in volumes in the only language that America truly understands… dollars… that sacrifice made bigots willing to concede that their bigotry (in that situation) was of less value than your dollars.
It made them realize a lesson that you have to (from time to time) teach bullies… that the cost of disrespect can be far more expensive than the cost of respect. That respect is more affordable.
And the same must occur in any region where police brutality is an unpunished pattern such as in New york City and Ferguson, Missouri; you must make in those regions the cost of disrespect more expensive than the cost of respect.
You get businesses to sign petitions calling for the removal of this bad cop, and this bad police captain, and this bad DA, and this bad judge, and if necessary the Mayor, the Governor, the Senator. You find the businesses in that region who respect your dollars, and the ones who do not.
In the case of Ferguson they are starting by calling for the Boycott of BURGER KING, a company headquartered in the state where Trayvon Martin was killed. A humble start to be sure, but from such beginnings (this nation itself is proof)… great things do rise.
A regional and nationwide boycott, in Ferguson, in New York, in Baltimore, in Cincinnati, in your homes, in your hearts, a boycott of businesses that do not side with the populations that enrich them, over the abusive thugs posing as cops and lawyers, who jointly undo everything that can make our nation better.
It is a battle that not only can you win, with education and commitment and sacrifice, it is a battle others before you have paid dearly to win great portions of. Today is just your turn.
Your day in the sun.
To either meanly lose or nobly win… your freedom.
You don’t like bad cops.
Neither do good cops.
You want to do something of value, stand the eff up like men and help us.
Help us all.
What are you prepared to do?
I would say start here:
I practice an unpopular habit these days, I try not to speak till I know.
So to get a grasp on what this sleepy little town is in today’s media, I wanted to get a picture of what it was before it made national headlines.
I feel perspective give us an idea of how we got here, and where we can go from here.
According to City-Data.com The 2012 census tells us Ferguson is a town of approximately 21,135 people (no doubt a few less since the hostilities), the median age is 33.1 years, the mean of salaries was $36121, housing prices were right around $91808, and Blacks made up 64.9% of the population. As opposed to Whites being 30.6% of the population.
Add in other ethnic groups, of Hispanic, Asian, Indian, mixed (an odd designation, since few in America that would not apply to) and the total Colored population of Ferguson, is nearly 70% of that total population of 21,135 souls.
And yet a cursory glance of the news feeds coming out of Ferguson, shows a law enforcement that does not at all represent that population, does not represent that 70% of Blacks and Asians and Hispanic. Rather you see a heavily armored, virtually all White, armed response unit, prepped with the latest in federal government provided killing weaponry making a show of being ready to kill (ironically enough kill a colored population, with weapons paid for by the taxes of that same Colored population. Something wrong in that).
The news feeds and any calm examination of the facts show us Ferguson’s local Law enforcement as ,rather than an outgrowth and a part of the community… happily protecting and serving, instead an occupying army, a hostile, invasive minority trying to maintain an untenable power-base of master and slave, majority and minority. Watch the news and you see an American Palestine, an American Apartheid regime, local law enforcement as occupying armies, rather than integral peace-keepers.
And like Palestine and like South Africa, there is no way to reconcile that disparity of rule by the few. Therefore the roads open to America, the idea, and to us, the people, become few… but clear.
We can, all of us, nobly win, or meanly lose… our freedom. Lose it or win it in an embroiled conflict that will keep the mass of the population divided and wasted, fighting wars that were worthless and stupid when our grand fathers were young, while a few, laughing at these crabs in a barrel (Black, and White, and Yellow, and Red), shake their heads with mirth and win the only true war that matters… the class war. The war to define your life and to put their hands in your pocket while doing so.
So how do we win this 21st century war? First we have to learn how to fight it in a 21st century way. And that’s not by tossing rocks at tanks and helicopters and killer drones, and it is not by just marching, it’s by making a fiscal choice, have a fiscal cost.
Ferguson Government has staffed an all-White militarized police to in essence run rough shod over a mostly Black population that does most of the living and working and buying and selling and dying in Ferguson. Here’s the thing every one gets mastered, for better or worse, a society depends on codes of conduct, it depends on limitations of personal freedoms, it depends on sacrifice and responsibility, and it depends on heroes, and an understanding of right and wrong and holding that line. All of us either master and police ourselves, or we are mastered and policed.
The Black/colored population of Ferguson needs to use this incident as a wakeup call, to now put a new name up for mayor, a new name for chief of police (a step that I see, has been done by the Governor) a new name for city council. But it can’t stop there, if young people are going to be more than targets for the police, it is incumbent upon those with a sense of responsibility, to become the police for their neighborhoods; to be not an occupying army, but an integral part of maintaining the peace.
Until the person Ferguson residents call when they dial 911, is someone who respects and reflects them, bigoted and murdering police will continue to be the norm, rather than the exception.
And political and appointed offices do not live and run in a vacuum. Fiscal imperatives must drive people to do the right thing, must drive local police forces to demilitarize and be staffed by those from and representative of the neighborhoods.
The major banks in Ferguson are the UMB and U.S. Bancorp, so if you want to make people take notice of this outrage, you start there.
Get residents to close and pull all their accounts from the bank or bank that will not sign on for a petition requesting more diversity from Ferguson Law Enforcement. Same with the major schools or churches or department stores, any place where Black Dollars are consumed gladly, (which is most places), you petition them “show us you respect this population you make your money off of, sign this petition for more diversity, help us censor and change the Local Ferguson police and courts, or do without our dollars.”
Outrageous you say?
I would argue not.
We’re so removed from the age of strikes and civil disobedience, in our digital age, we forget, that the liberties most of us take for granted today, child labor laws, desegregation, 8 hour work day, were all won, not just by marching up and down meaninglessly, but were won by making bigotry and ignorance and evil… have a fiscal cost. It was won by making the cost of doing wrong, more trouble than the cost of doing right.
Ferguson, Missouri. Boycott any business that doesn’t employ people that look like you in significant positions. Create a petition, ask business to support it. Boycott the one’s that won’t. Boycott the targets, the kfcs, the mcdonalds, the walmarts, the libraries, the schools, the autoshops, the restaurants, the banks… and this doesn’t mean walk around carrying signs, you can do that if that’s your thing, but more importantly it means deny them your dollars, your patronage, YOUR RESPECT, and spread the word. The Montgomery Boycott was one of the most pivotal acts of fiscal reprisal, and we generations later are all benefiting from it.
Ferguson, it is now your turn to create your own fiscal reprisal. And by so doing, show the rest of America… the way.
Here endeth the lesson.
Where what I review isn't new
“Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend.” - E. Gilbert
A film fan who loves to write, talk and promote filmmakers
Cult, classic and crazy movies you must see, might see and maybe miss