My opinion on the lack of indictment of Darren Wilson in Ferguson doesn’t matter here. Your opinion doesn’t matter here either. That doesn’t mean that we aren’t entitled to our opinions. It doesn’t mean that “we”, meaning people, don’t have the right discuss, to question, even to protest. What “we” as people don’t have a right to do it is trespass, steal, and destroy. I may be naive. I may be idealistic, but in my ever-too-hopeful-that-most-people-are-good heart, I don’t believe that anyone outside of those who are behaving badly believe that their behavior is right. Speaking of “rights”….
People do have the right protest. It’s a valuable right. We have the right to gather together so that the whispered voices of individuals can be heard as the roar of group. It’s a right we should treasure. It’s a right we should hold dear, and it’s a right that should not be taken advantage of. What I don’t appreciate about watching videos of the disaster unfurling in a MO city over the past 18 hours or so is that angry people there are destroying one my rights and don’t be fooled…. it can be stifled or taken away. Does that make me angry? Sure. A little, but mostly…. the whole thing just makes me sad.
Having the right to do something doesn’t that mean that any old thing you do while exercising that right IS right. There is a WRONG way to be heard, a very wrong way, and do you know what’s really wrong with what is happening in Ferguson right now… it’s teaching children the WRONG way to be heard.
Of all the things that shocked me the most while watching people stealing and things being destroyed is that were CHILDREN on TV. There are children watching this on TV. I’m not one to say that children should be sheltered. I believe the opposite, but those young minds are impressionable and we, all of us, are tasked with shaping those minds. There is no bigger responsibility of any generation than making sure that we raise the generation behind us to be better. Call it idealistic crap if you want, but I believe that young people are the future. It breaks my heart that they are being taught to exploit and misuse and abuse our valuable rights. It breaks my heart they are being taught to FEAR protest, to be afraid of disagreement, to split into two polarizing sides and spew hate. This is not what those before us fought for. This is not the path the trailblazers created and I hate the idea that it makes me wonder if their sacrifices were in vain. The destruction streaming across the television screen last night felt to me like watching the very dreams of Martin Luther King, Jr going up in flames.