Aug. 24, 2014

What is the Lesson of Ferguson?

What a strange coincidence that this is the 50th Anniversary of LBJ signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Only HE could have ever gotten that done, if you know anything about his style of politics.

The Civil Rights Movement got a kick start a few weeks back when Michael Brown was gunned down on the street by a cop and left in the streets for more than four hours like a dead animal hit by a car. The only difference is this 18-year-old African American was unarmed and brutally shot six times by a man who was supposed to protect him.

Obviously we don't have all the facts. We don't know what happened when Brown approached that police car. What we do know (from 4 different eye-witness accounts) that Brown had his hands up in the air and was yelling "Don't Shoot!"

The city, state and country (in some ways) went ballistic in the days and weeks following and in the age of social media has come to life. Civil disobedience and social media seem to work a lot better than in 1964 when the cops used water hoses and dogs.

It was disconcerting to watch tear gas used and armored vehicles and military-looking police with military weapons. Is this America?

The difference in THIS Civil Rights Movement is the immediacy information is distributed by both sides. 

Attorney General Eric Holder went to Ferguson and the racial turmoil seemed to slow down, but the citizens of Ferguson and the rest of the country want action.

We have a black President and he has to walk a fine line in his racial rhetoric. This inflames the liberal base who went all out in two elections to get him elected and re-elected. It is a very difficult assignment for a President who KNOWS that a great segment of his country hates him and his black family who reside in "The White House."

What we are learning is having a black President is divisive politically and that it is really up to the citizens to demand the change they want.

Does our country want to regress to pre-1964 America when shop owners could segregate? Are we really willing to undo all the gains?

Technology is great, but why do police departments need to look like our armed forces? Why are THEY armed with assualt rifles?

I constantly go back to the 2nd Amendment. "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the  
right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall notbe infringed."

It has debated, torn apart and then dissected time and time again. The 2nd Amendment does not mean the "POLICE." It was intended for "US" to be able to stop the tyranny of the government.

Our country has gone crazy with the ammassing of a lot of guns by a very few people. These guns get sold and re-sold and end up in the wrong hands. Crazy guys and gals get hold of them and shoot innocent people. The not-so-innocent folks on the streets of Ferguson could have really inflamed that situation if they had started shooting cops and innocent people during the demonstrations after the Michael Brown shooting.

The main lesson we are learning from Ferguson is that the citizens are armed with cellphones and they are filming every little thing. Some are tring to profit, others are trying to help.

2014 Civil Rights are more a product of technology and the use of that technology on many levels. The one disconcerting thing I noticed was the media and how the people played to the cameras. The media apparently had a bad attitude pushing the citizens around and on the other hand, used the media to make their point.

It is all about who and how to use social media.