On Saturday, a police officer shot and killed a black man after two men attacked him. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Michael Brown, the deceased, was involved in the assault. A witness reported that Brown had his hands up when the police shot him.
Purportedly angry about the incident, certain blacks in the suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri, decided to use the shooting as an opportunity to attack the police, and steal and destroy other people’s property. They set fire to a convenience store and broke into stores and stole items.
Whether or not the shooting was justified, what’s the purpose of attacking other people and stealing? How does it advance the cause? What it does advance are negative stereotypes. It’s encouraging to know that other blacks spoke out against the destruction and “retaliation.”
A woman who used to shop at the convenience store left a note:
“Corporate neighbor: I am sorry this act of robbery and violence has happened. Please return soon.”
She said the looting and burning “just doesn’t represent who we are as a community and I wanted just to say something to do something that was productive…It sends the wrong kind of message. Don’t destroy other people’s property that they worked hard for because something else has happened. One doesn’t outweigh the other, you know. No connection between the two.”
Montel Williams asked the looters and destroyers to stop.
— Montel Williams (@Montel_Williams) August 11, 2014
The dead man’s own mother spoke out.
— Betsey Bruce (@betseybruce) August 11, 2014
Words can not express the pain that I'm feeling tonight. Self-destructive behavior is a major setback for progress .
— Jamilah Nasheed (@SenatorNasheed) August 11, 2014
— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) August 11, 2014
Are you guilty of noticing that, unlike black-on-white or black-on-black violence that happens often, this incident has gotten blanketed coverage and generated heated outrage? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see the masses rallying against the more common violence? I dare say they’d find it too exhausting (sarcasm alert), and a dog biting a man isn’t very interesting.