For the moment, the nation is focused on Ferguson. Americans are watching the felonious behavior of some young people who are tarnishing the legacy of Michael Brown and giving validity to conservatives and racists who argue, generally, that young Black men are hoodlums and menaces to society.
It’s sad to watch Michael Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, plead for calm in her community while she is also grieving the loss of her son.
“It is important to distinguish activism from vandalism,” said Dr. Leah Gunning Francis, Associate Dean of Contextual Education at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, and the mother of two young boys.
“The thousands of concerned citizens who have participated in peaceful protests, prayer vigils and strategy meetings are actively seeking justice on behalf of Michael Brown,” said Francis, who is interviewing Black mothers for a national research study on young Black males. “But it appears that the few who are stealing and destroying property are acting on their own behalf and for personal gain.”
Francis attended a jam-packed community meeting Tuesday night where concerned citizens gathered inside a St. Louis church to hear from Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, who has called for the U.S. Justice Department to investigate Brown’s death.
I understand the outrage and anger the community in Ferguson is experiencing. I’m angry and outraged, too, I also realize that racism, high unemployment, the paucity of quality public education in this country and a long history of distrust between Black men and police in Ferguson contribute to the rage among its citizens.
However, thugs in Ferguson know right from wrong. The looters who smashed windows and ripped off local stores don’t care about Michael Brown. They don’t care about justice for Brown and his family. They don’t care about Michael Brown’s dream of going to college. They don’t care about collective healing in the aftermath of this tragedy.
And let me be clear: I don’t believe these looters represent all young people living in Ferguson, but for the thousands of Americans – Black and white –who are watching this madness play out on national television, the looters are the perceived representatives of what Ferguson has to offer.
I’ve seen how civil disturbances can tear black communities apart. I’ve covered three major riots in my journalism career – two in Miami and one in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Often times, we burn down buildings in our own neighborhoods and then expect local and federal government to allocate funding for rebuilding and revitalization. It’s a twisted cycle.
Meanwhile, on Monday night, more than one thousand responsible citizens packed Murchison Tabernacle CME Church in St. Louis where civil rights leaders urged protesters to stay calm in the wake of Brown’s fatal shooting by a Ferguson police officer.
James Clark, vice president of community outreach at Better Family Life, a St. Louis social-service group, said local leaders have a civic responsibility to take charge peacefully.
“The eyes of the world are on St. Louis,” Clark said. “Let’s lead.”
Like BlackAmericaWeb.com on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.
« Previous page 1 2
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
1 of 31
2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
2 of 31
3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
3 of 31
4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
4 of 31
5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
5 of 31
6 of 31
7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
7 of 31
8 of 31
9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
9 of 31
10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
10 of 31
11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
11 of 31
12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
12 of 31
13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
13 of 31
14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
14 of 31
15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
15 of 31
16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
16 of 31
17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
17 of 31
18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
18 of 31
19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
19 of 31
20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
20 of 31
21. Bae #retailtherapy
21 of 31
22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
22 of 31
23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
23 of 31
24. Diggy Simmons
24 of 31
25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
25 of 31
26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
26 of 31
27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
27 of 31
28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
28 of 31
29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
29 of 31
30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
30 of 31
31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
31 of 31