A friend forwards an item making the rightwing rounds:
The woman’s name is Peggy Hubbard, and she’s talking … eloquently and convincingly … about the Black Lives Matter movement in the context of two recent shootings in Ferguson, Missouri, during the continuing street protests there.
Peggy’s really good … hey, she got me all fired up … but she bases her argument on apocryphal stories and stereotypes. She says black protestors in Ferguson are ignoring the little black girl killed by a stray bullet and focusing BLM protests on a criminal who shot at the police and was shot dead in return.
That doesn’t ring true to me. Aren’t BLM protests about the lives of innocent black Americans killed by cops? The little girl this woman mentioned, the boy in Cleveland with the air gun, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, that poor guy who reached into his car for the drivers license the cop told him to show, the other poor schmoe who had his hands in the air when the cop shot him dead, and so many more, seemingly a new life taken every day by a cop somewhere in this country?
I can’t speak for black Americans, but these are the lives white sympathizers think of when we say black lives matter. I’m pretty sure the black protestors in Ferguson aren’t all that worked up about the justified police killing of a black man who was exchanging gunfire with the police. Of course, I could be wrong.
The continuing protests in Ferguson have all along been about Michael Brown, the teenager shot and killed by officer Darren Wilson just over a year ago. I remember, when it first happened, reading media report after media report describing Brown as an innocent high schooler gunned down with his hands in the air while running away from a deranged racist cop who had jacked him up for no reason. A year later I read an article about Darren Wilson in the New Yorker, which laid out the basic facts of the incident. Brown stole some cigarillos from a convenience store and roughed up the store clerk while he was doing it. Wilson, on patrol, had been alerted to be on the lookout for the suspect. When Wilson stopped Brown (who was walking down the middle of the street with the stolen cigarillos in his hand), Brown reached inside Wilson’s patrol car and scuffled with him, according to Wilson trying to grab his gun. Brown was not only facing Wilson when Wilson opened fire, but was advancing toward him. The story we hear today is substantially different from the story we heard at the time. And yet Michael Brown is one of many inspirations behind the BLM movement.
There are very real reasons for the Ferguson protests. The city and its police force are totally corrupt and there’s rampant racial discrimination at every level. And here’s the thing: the cops left Brown’s body lying on the road for hours afterward, like he was road kill slated for removal by the sanitation department … whenever they might get around to it, maybe tomorrow, maybe next week. Fucking hell, they may as well have dragged his body through the streets as a message to a despised minority!
Anyway, Peggy Hubbard is basically giving an encore of Bill Cosby’s “Pound Cake” speech, which went over pretty damn well with a lot of black Americans, never mind whites who liked it for all the wrong reasons. We are reluctant today to acknowledge pathologies in cultures other than our own, because to do so is inherently racist. It would be almost unimaginable for a modern-day Daniel Patrick Moynihan to write a study titled The Negro Family: The Case For National Action. Some black Americans are willing to acknowledge the kinds of problems Peggy Hubbard addresses, but her message will be rejected and ridiculed by many of those for whom it is meant, while being hailed and embraced by racist white rabble … again, for all the wrong reasons.
But I am beginning to rant, and my inner conservative is showing.
© 2015, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.