Please let me present a different take on the Michael Brown tragedy, and the resulting demonstrations and property destruction after the Grand Jury failed to indict Officer Darren Wilson. I have waited for a while because I wanted to read the official court transcripts of the testimony of various witnesses before the Grand Jury. You can find the link to this testimony at:
The Grand Jury witness testimony that was consistent with the forensic and other scientific evidence paints the following picture of the last day of Michael Brown’s life:
Brown (unarmed) robbed a convenience store, stealing a box of cigars and some other items. This is a felony. The security video of the robbery is at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7WIju-nAoQ
A few minutes later Brown and a friend were walking down the center line of a Ferguson, MO street and were asked by Officer Wilson to use the sidewalk. A struggle ensued in which Brown put his entire torso through the open window of Wilson’s police truck and struck at least two blows to Wilson’s head. This is Brown’s second felony of the day.
Brown left the vehicle and started walking up the street, enabling Wilson to leave his truck. Wilson followed closely behind Brown with his pistol in hard, but at his side. Brown ignored Wilson’s demands to submit to arrest and eventually charged Wilson at close range. Wilson, while backing up, shot 4 or 5 times at Brown. Brown paused briefly but then continued his charge, and Wilson finally ended his life with a shot to the forehead.
Brown was headed down a felonious path prior to his encounter with Wilson. He was primed to be one of the 25% of black males who spend at least some of their lives in prison in the United States. He didn’t have to die. Hopefully some workable procedures will be forthcoming in law enforcement to avoid similar occurrences.
There is the popular argument that Brown was a product of the poverty and hopelessness of his urban environment. However no one wants to admit that big government (no matter how well intentioned) has created these hellish neighborhoods while at the same time causing a massive deterioration of our culture. It is my contention that the billions of dollars that government has spent over the past fifty years on misguided social programs has given us neighborhoods rife with crime, poverty, and immorality. What are the chief culprits of this big government meddling?
- Failing public schools. Teachers’ unions and misguided bureaucrats run our public schools. Despite huge per-capita expenditures on education, big city schools often graduate only 50% of their students. The NEA has fought voucher systems, which might have been the last hope for kids stuck in substandard public schools. The NEA knows that politicians couldn’t care less about the education of students as long as they get the millions of votes that the union can provide. Teachers may be materialistic, but they are not stupid; a majority of NEA members that teach in poor urban schools send their own children to private schools.
- Breakdown of the Family. Children who have a mother and a father at home do much better than kids that do not have a male parent in the home. Welfare programs have incentivized single female families, contributing to poverty and moral decay. No other group has a higher incidence of poverty than female-headed, male-absent households.
- Lack of respect for property rights. If a man has no regard for his property or the property rights of others his community becomes a ghetto. By entitling welfare recipients to money and benefits the government has broken the link between property and work. Without that work ethic stewardship over one’s community and neighborhood are lost.
- Fostering of “victimhood” as an excuse for taking responsibility for one’s actions. Once a man believes he is a “victim” he ceases to improve himself or adopt personal responsibility. He blames someone else for his troubles, abandoning hope and not looking for a personal solution to his problems. Most government programs are founded on the principle of “victimhood.” Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have made millions by teaching Americans of all races to play the “victim” card.
- Lack of free market jobs due to excessive government regulation. Child labor laws and minimum wage legislation make it impossible for a small business owner to hire 10-15 year-olds to do just a few hours of work around their store or shop. Instead of learning about commerce and our system of voluntary exchange, children in their early teen years get into trouble. Because they can’t be legally hired they are deprived of that little bit of experience needed to help them understand what a job is all about and how a job leads to wages and income, which are the only permanent path to prosperity.
Michael Brown’s death was a tragedy, yet thousands of young blacks are being killed in our big cities each year. Hardly a weekend goes by in Chicago without at least 2 or 3 young black men losing their lives in gang violence. The guns are not the problem; the people using them are the problem. They are the products of a permissive welfare state that is fuelled by entitlement and which requires absolutely no responsible behavior in return. We’re getting what we’ve incentivized. How sad a legacy.