Let’s face it; it is tough to be an LEO these days. I’m not sure when this happened, but the media and most of the uninformed public has decided that any cop accused of anything must be guilty. A segment of the public, the grievance industry, and the media have decided that in any encounter with someone of color (regardless of their previous behavior, juvenile or adult criminal history or level of aggression); the cops must be liars or racists or looking to kill someone that day, or all three.
What is the grievance industry? These are folks like the Reverend Al Sharpton or the Reverend Jesse Jackson or Attorney General Eric Holder. Instead of finding healing and commonality, their livelihood and reputation with their constituencies demand that they constantly have to find something to protest and agitate about.
I have no idea where the Reverend Al holds his ministerial credentials. My understanding of a spiritual leader is someone who is a peacemaker, someone who tells the truth, someone who speaks kindly to others, and someone who is a good steward of the funds with which he is entrusted. From the time I started in policing in New York, he was there agitating and being grieved and discriminated against. That’s his profession. It is all he knows how to do.
Al Sharpton first came to national attention in the Tawana Brawley case or should I say non-case. His constituency ignores the fact that in the Tawana Brawley case (Ms. Brawley accused NYPD’s finest of gang raping her, writing racist slurs on her body, and throwing her into a dumpster), Reverend Al supported a cause that was later proven to be a complete fabrication. Unabashed, he agitated on.
He gins up his constituency, who are generally completely ignorant about actual facts. You see, if the Reverend Sharpton actually worked toward peaceful and harmonious race relations, he wouldn’t have anything to do because things would get better. Apparently, it is okay for Al Sharpton to take an enormous salary, live in luxury, and fail to pay his taxes. If you mention any of this, you are racist for bringing it up. That’s just how Al rolls.
The Gospel according to Al holds that if you show authenticated videotape of Michael Brown roughing up a clerk half his size in a strong arm robbery of a convenience store minutes before he was killed, you are engaging in “character assassination.” Hey Al, the release of that video simply recorded what Michael Brown did. That is called, “reporting the facts.”
However, I think Al IS an authority in character assassination. Character assassination is when a young woman who breaks curfew and is afraid of what her strict parents will do accuses totally innocent white officers of gang rape. When the truth comes out, Mr. Sharpton is unapologetic. That, my friend, is character assassination.
Let’s talk about some more facts. You know Michael Brown’s grieving mother and stepfather, that loudmouth who was videotaped inciting a crowd to riot and loot? Michael Brown never lived with them. Like many kids of his color and socioeconomic group, he was raised by his grandmother.
Maybe if Michael’s mother, father, and stepfather had been as engaged with him in life as they have been since his death, he would have known that stealing and roughing a clerk up is unacceptable behavior among human beings. Perhaps he wouldn’t have had such a sense of entitlement. Perhaps he wouldn’t have hit an officer in the face twice and tried to take his gun. Perhaps he would be alive.
If Michael had been raised to respect authority, perhaps he wouldn’t have taken the steps which led to his death. Maybe Michael would have had a job and have learned that you need to earn the things that you want in life, not steal them.
What about Michael’s mother, who famously slandered Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson by stating that his entire goal during his tour, was to find someone to kill? Actually, Wilson’s text messages from that day prove the total opposite. He was thrilled to have learned that day that his fiancé and fellow officer was pregnant. Michael’s mother is currently under investigation for felonious assault resulting from some scheme to sell t-shirts with her dead son’s image on them.
I think the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – a personal hero – must be turning over in his grave. His dream of people being judged by the content their character has not been realized. If Michael Brown had been judged on the content of his character, no one would be marching, looting, and burning. Judging by his character, he would be found lacking.
Michael Brown and Officer Darren Wilson have both been judged SOLELY by the color of their skin by his community and the mainstream media. Speaking of character, what do people who steal, loot, commit arson, and destroy businesses when they don’t like a judicial decision show about their character to the nation?
You know all that nonsense about, “Why don’t the police shoot to wound black males?” Here’s another fact that no one is discussing. Officer Wilson DID wound Michael Brown in the hand the first time. Rather than deterring him, it simply made Michael angrier.
Any LEO knows that we are trained to shoot to eliminate the threat. When you have wounded a suspect, when that suspect has punched you in the face twice, when he weighs over 100 pounds more than you do, when the fact that he has tried to take your gun is proven by his DNA on your holster and weapon, and he is charging you, the only thing left to terminate the threat is to kill him. No fair investigation by the DOJ will prove anything otherwise.
If all the deaths of young black males at the hands of police involved solid, upstanding citizens with no criminal history, employed people, high-school and college graduates with wives, children born in wedlock who are loved, cherished, and supported – suddenly gunned down for no reason at all, I would be the first person out there demonstrating.
I raised three inner-city black males who have about as much of a chance to be killed by law enforcement as they have of being elected Pope by the Congress of Cardinals.
My three were taught to respect authority, to work for what they wanted, to finish school, and never to use the N-word in referring to yourself or anyone else. They learned to eat at a table as a family, converse like young adults, and to be polite to each other and others. They learned the Bible as the final authority of right and wrong and of a God who cared about them – personally.
So Reverend Sharpton, here is the best thing you can do for your community. Tell them this:
- Stay in school and finish well.
- Train the children to respect authority.
- Teach them that if you want something, you have to earn it.
- Not every kid will benefit from college. For those who won’t, encourage them to go to vocational school because plumbers are always needed – even in a recession.
- Teach them not to have children without being married. Studies demonstrate that one of the biggest predictors of childhood poverty is having unmarried parents. Currently, 80 percent of all African American births are to unmarried parents. No one else is responsible for the choices involved in this but the parents who have the kids.
- Rally, advocate, ring the bell, demonstrate, and agitate towards accountability and excellence in inner-city schools.
- Teach them to remain respectful, still, and calm during a police encounter. Obey police commands. If they feel that they have been discriminated against, file a grievance later. Nothing will ever be gained by mouthing off and acting out in police encounters, whatever you think your rights might be.
- God loves them and has a plan for their lives which does not include poverty, prison-time, absentee parents, aimlessness, hopelessness, and a life of despair.
Why doesn’t Mr. Sharpton point people towards church and God? The Bible says, “Ye shall know them (false prophets) by their fruit. Reverend Sharpton’s fruit has proven rotten.