Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin, and Michael Brown

I wonder how long people of my race would put up with the list growing. Does it matter that the list is so much longer for the black race? Does it matter that they occasionally get all hot and bothered? Does it matter that it’s their own neiborhoods they burn down when they set buildings afire?

Yes, yes, and yes.

The last because most of those who own property in those neighborhoods at risk are lib-symps at best. Let’em burn.  Well, that may not be so true. But at least they’re fully insured and these kind of things don’t usually hurt anything except the bottom line of a pretty high set of lines. Besides, this resolves the problem of how to mine the property for cash without risking arson.

Capitalism is a great system, for some of us.

The second is also on the side of “no problem.” Occasionally the natives get restless. You have to expect it. The important thing is keeping it under control.

The first is not nearly so benign in its importance. It raises the question of how long until the country is in a real civil war over the continued oppression of less spowerful peoples by more powerful people. An old college professor of mine, a very conservative person, maintained that welfare was an insurance policy he was very glad to make payments toward. He knew war, and wanted to avoid it at all cost.

Perhaps it will be a long time. I don’t know war, but I know enough to hope never to.

Democracy prolongs peace, at least. After all, we have a black president. How liberal is that? Surely that indicates we should work within the system?

Well, not so much. I’ve long said that Obama’s biggest mistake was assuming he could rely upon Republicans to let him try something. When he and Harry Reed, in obama’s first two years, decided to allow things to be stopped by 40 Senators from being debated at all, they made a tremendous mistake.  At the time, Americans thought of’ ’’Mr. Smith goes to Washington” whenever they heard the word “filibuster.” It was a very different time.

Once upon a time we thought a Senator could challenge and stop a wrong-headed law by personal sacrifice. That was the power of the filibuster. It turns out that, today, there is no personal sacrifice required to hold up legislation.  All that is needed is coordinated effort from a minority of forty or more. But I digress.

The power of nonviolence cannot be denied here. But how do you deny the oberservation that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is in the list?

The culpability of the officer involved is not clear, and probably will remain so now. But the racism of the entire system is pretty clear. What the grand jury did was entirely out of their their usual (actual?) jurisdiction, and the prosecutor in the case knew it from the start. Grand juries are not set up to be the place where trials take place, but that is what the prosecutor asked them to do. All a grand jury is supposed to do is decide whether a jury trial is warranted. In this case, it was tasked a different role only to avoid trial altogether. That was done as a racist ploy.

Racism in America is alive and well. It is engrained in our institutions, We have to eliminate it by recognizing it, This is especially true of those for which capitalism works very well. The powerless are not in a position to make those changes within the system.

I only hope it can be eradicated by democratic means before the next revolution does the job by other means .

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4 Responses to Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin, and Michael Brown

  1. Fred Drake says:

    Emmett should never be included on a list with Trayvon or Michael. He deserves much more respect than that.
    The prosecutor knew from the get go that based on the evidence there was no probable cause to charge any crime, but he didn’t have the balls to take the heat. So he presented to the grand jury who agreed with him. Could it be they were correct?

    • George says:

      Three questions: What makes you say that Emmet deserves more respect? Why do you think the “stand your ground” laws in Florida should apply, as I assume you do, to the attacker and not the dead victim? and What do you think the list is a list of?

  2. carole says:

    So why did we have such a revolt in St. Louis when in Cleveland this last week a young boy was also shot for holding a toy gun–yet with no revolt?

  3. Fred Drake says:

    1. Emmett was a victim not an aggressor in a situation he could have controlled.
    2. You and I disagree on who the victim and attacker were in this case.
    3. It’s your list. Why do you think they belong together?

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