Today is Tuesday, November 25, 2014. Last night as I traveled home from work I learned from one of my brothers the sad news that the grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri did not indict Darren Wilson for the assassination of Michael Brown. Like many others, I was heartbroken but not surprised. I had hoped the jurors would demonstrate courage and justice by simply confirming the absolute wrongfulness of Darren Wilson’s actions on that fateful day when he took the life of an unarmed person, whom many witnesses say was trying to surrender but was instead assassinated. Unfortunately, my hope was not realized.
This morning as I scanned the cable news networks for reactions to the grand jury’s decision, I was instead bombarded with news anchors and reporters editorializing about the destruction of small businesses and property in the Ferguson community. While I agree the looting and fire setting should not have happened. It seems to me that most of the media focus was on the wrong thing. The coverage should have centered on the fact that a young man was assassinated and his murderer was exonerated.
Burning and looting is wrong. The people involved in destroying structures in Ferguson, Missouri committed crimes. Unlike Darren Wilson, most of those involved will be arrested, charged, tried, and convicted for their part in destroying property. On the other hand, Darren Wilson is free even though his actions destroyed a life, a family, and tore a community apart. After all, it was his killing of Michael Brown and the subsequent decision by the grand jury not to indict Wilson that sparked the peaceful protests that were regrettably hijacked by petty criminals and resulted in the widespread destruction of property.
The irony of the situation is, a good deal of the morning after news coverage focused on the loss of property and not on the loss of Michael Brown’s life, nor the missed opportunity by the grand jury to hold Darren Wilson accountable for the taking of Brown’s life. .