We have a lot of media that have not done a great job.
Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, who surprisingly did not continue by adding:
Instead of passively watching people get teargassed, they should have been actively helping us with the teargassing. It would have been far more efficient if they’d just been willing to help us out. Do you know how long it took us to teargas everyone in Ferguson yesterday? We were driving around all night! All night! By the end of it, we were just tossing teargas grenades into front yards willy-nilly as we drove past, hoping to get a couple on-target. We didn’t even have the time to stop and arrest people for “failure to disperse” from the area we’d trapped them in!
What he did go on to say, however was:
"We had a number of journalists — and not all, I want to say that now — the journalists have been on our side, they have been our partners…
Proving that the Ferguson HP and PD see this as an “us versus them” where “us” is “law enforcement,” and “them” is "literally everyone else who’s not actively supporting every action taken by law enforcement."
More importantly, it shows that there’s no actual law enforcement goal in Ferguson, except to “win” - whatever that means - by any and all means necessary; though I suspect “winning” in this case means “stop questioning our tactics - that we used them justifies their use.”
What none of them has yet understood though, is there’s no “winning” a protest about law enforcement’s usage of excessive force and over-militarization through additional usage of over-militarized excessive force.
This reminds me of an old discussion with squashed about how I (as a proxy for libertarian-leaners) view the government as an us/them dynamic, whereas he believes it’s actually not so. And in a way, I agree: the best government is an agency for acting on behalf of the people in the people’s best interest. But here’s the rub: the vast majority of folks in government fundamentally believe in the dichotomy — indeed, the very structure of most governments reinforces it.
We can all agree that the Ferguson PD has done a horrible job, but simply saying, “those are bad people who are bad at their job” doesn’t do the situation justice. I think it’s more a matter of, “those are people employing the power they’ve been granted to their own ends.” We cannot grant an agency power and authority based on the things we want specific people to do; you can trust good people and want to enable them to do great things, but those people will die/retire/be ousted and the power and authority will stand.
A fire broke out backstage in a theater. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that’s just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who think it’s a joke.
- Kierkegaard, Either/Or
A quotation a friend posted the other day becomes increasingly relevant.
But beware the false break. Make sure you have a real one.
This is a great article that brings together many of the anecdotal experiences I’ve had over the years - highly recommend.
This is good.
Folks, saying someone is depressed or suicidal because they aren’t praying enough, are self-absorbed, sinful, or don’t have a deep enough faith? It’s abusive. And it needs to stop. Now.
Prayer and a deepening faith have helped many along the road to depression. But it doesn’t always work out that way. It didn’t for me. And you know what? That’s okay. It doesn’t make us any less of a Christian believer. It doesn’t diminish our value in the eyes of God if we find His grace in our name printed on a pill bottle.
And finally, as Christians, we should never be pointing our fingers at the hurting and calling them selfish.
Rather, we should be looking at them with our eyes wide open and saying, “I’m here. You’re not alone. Let’s get help, together.”
We live in a very broken world.