Facebook, Ferguson

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A Facebook friend posted the above image a few days ago.

We attended high school together. We’ve probably communicated, oh, six times since graduating in 1990. I’ve never had any beef with her. Never.

Tonight, however, we are no longer Facebook friends.

The same goes for the person who posted this …

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And the person who posted this …

Screen Shot 2014-11-29 at 12.29.48 AMThe list goes on and on.

I love Facebook. I truly do. I love how, thanks to its existence, I’ve reconnected with (in no particular order) my senior prom date, my junior prom date, the wife of my closest childhood friend, one of my all-time favorite singers, myriad former co-workers from Nashville and Sports Illustrated and Newsday. Facebook truly brings people together. It bridges gaps in time like no other invention I can think of.

And yet, Facebook can also be a truth serum. Especially during particularly trying and heated times.

Especially in the aftermath of events like Ferguson.

Put different, I keep dumping Facebook friends. And it’s not because—as they’d have you believe—I’m a pig-headed liberal who doesn’t want to engage in debate. Nope. It’s because I’m a pig-headed liberal who has no interest in fucking racism. I just don’t, and I’m tired of hearing people talk about black thugs and Kenyan socialist presidents and “those people.” Truth is, I love debate. Fuck, I live for debate. But I’m not debating whether Barack Obama is loyal to Kenya over America. I’m not debating whether black people need to get off welfare and get to work. And I’m not debating whether it’s a travesty of justice that society gave so much attention to Trayvon Martin and so little attention to Marley Lion.

By writing YOU TELL ME … WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? I’m assuming the creator of the post is pointing out that one is black, one is white. Yet who are you blaming this on? Are you mad at blacks for being angry over yet another young man being unnecessarily suspected and murdered? Are you mad at the press for ignoring Lion’s heartbreaking saga? What exactly are you trying to say? Because, without elaboration, it simply sounds like another white person whining about black unfairness. Which is, of course, inane (And, oh, just a little forgotten detail: Lion’s killers were rightly tried, found guilty and sent to jail).

Wait. I digress. The point is, Facebook has gone crazy—and I know m-a-n-y people who feel the same way, and have taken to deleting one dolt friend after another.

If you don’t think Barack Obama is a good president—hey, no sweat. I oftentimes agree. If you don’t think Barack Obama is a good president because he’s a foreigner—I don’t want you. If you think the Ferguson looting was a despicable and heartbreaking act—we can be good. If you think the Ferguson looting was a despicable and heartbreaking act, and you don’t get why blacks are mad and distrustful of law enforcement—eh, farewell.

It is what it is.

6 thoughts on “Facebook, Ferguson”

  1. “You tell me” actually has a good point.
    Race was never an issue with the shooting of Martin.
    Look at the transcript of the 911 call.
    It was the dispatcher that asked what what color the suspicious person (Martin) was.
    Zimmerman wasn’t certain what color he was until Trayvon came closer, then he was certain and said he was a black male.
    It was the 911 dispatcher that asked what he was wearing. He was wearing a hoody.
    These are damn good questions to be asking in case a crime has been commited.
    Why is it always a race issue if a white guy kills a black guy but not a race issue if a black kills a white.
    The fact is we kill each other way too often.
    Usually skin color has nothing to do with it.
    Whites kill whites, blacks, browns, reds, greens and purples.
    The same goes for everyone else.
    I’m not saying there aren’t racists and people who just fear people they don’t know. There are. There are lots of them.
    I’m just not convinced that Zimmerman or Wilson really cared about skin color.
    Now Wilson’s life has been ruined when it is very likely he was just doing his job.
    I’m not saying things couldn’t have been done differently, especially with Zimmerman.
    I’m just saying people seem to use the race card to quickly, and that taints the real incidents where race is an issue.

    1. “I’m just not convinced that Zimmerman or Wilson really cared about skin color.”
      I am absolutely convinced that the skin color of their victims influenced Zimmerman’s and Wilson’s behavior and actions.

      “Now Wilson’s life has been ruined when it is very likely he was just doing his job.”
      That is one of the most disgusting statements I have ever read.

      1. “I am absolutely convinced that the skin color of their victims influenced Zimmerman’s and Wilson’s behavior and actions”
        What evidence is there that Wilson did what he did because Michael Brown was black?
        Wilson was physically attacked. He says that Brown attempted to take his weapon. What is he supposed to do? Hand over his weapon?
        I think Zimmerman is a nutcase, I’m not so sure he is a racist. My gut tells me Zimmerman sees himself as some kind of neighborhood savior. A wanna be cop that views himself as a tough guy. But nothing in the conflict points to racism.
        If you have anything other than those false eyewitness accounts that caused the lynch mob mentality in Ferguson I would like to know what you have.

      2. You choose to believe the testimony given by Officer Wilson to the Grand Jury was truthful. You choose to believe statements made by George Zimmerman concerning the killing of Trayvon Martin are truthful.

        The only people who know for certain what happened in each case are the participants, and the only surviving participants are those with guns, because they shot and killed the other participants, claiming their lives were in danger.

        Personally, I think both men are lying, but I have no proof of that.

        I also believe that, had Michael Brown been white, and Trayvon Martin been white, both men would still be alive. I think both Wilson and Zimmerman would have behaved entirely differently had their victims been white because they would not have been perceived to be a threat. I think it’s entirely possible that they would have been ignored by their killers if both dead men were white instead of black.

        But they were black, and they were shot dead by people with guns who said their lives were in danger.

        That’s what I have.

        By the way…when one uses the phrase “lynch mob mentality in Ferguson”…

        The irony of that statement would be amusing if it wasn’t so pathetically repugnant.

      3. Ted I actually am going more on the evidence supporting what these men said.
        A lot was made about Zimmerman judging Trayvon as a thug because he was wearing a hoody. George never made that kind of statement. The only reason the hoody came up was because the 911 operator asked what he was wearing. The rumor mill decided George singled him out because he wore a hoody.
        Did you read the 911 transcript?
        It was the operator that asked what color skin the suspect had. Zimmerman thought he was black but only when Trayvon came close to him was George certain he was a black male.
        It was the press and others that created a racial incident.
        In Ferguson it was the bogus eye witness accounts that made officer Wilson into a demon.
        Every single one of those eye witness accounts were shown to be lies.
        Do you really think it is ok to destroy a mans life with lies!!!?
        We know the physical evidence supports what officer Wilson says happened.
        Wilson just got married. He has a baby on the way. He had planned to retire in the police force and a bunch of hateful people lied to destroy him.
        These bogus claims of racism only hurt they don’t help.
        If there was a true racial bias I would be one of those demanding justice for Michael Brown.
        Instead I ask for calm, and respect for officer Wilson. Most likely he found himself in a situation that he had hoped to avoid.
        Jeff brags about the research he does on his books, and he should be proud of that. I just wish he would do the same research on issues that can cause so much harm to so many.

  2. OK, let;s assume there’s no difference. But if we accept that this is so, this means that law enforcement officers, allegedly trained to handle situations like this, are incapable of doing so without the excessive, lethal use of force. If that is the case, they are like any other citizens who kill, and are entitled to none of the qualified immunities and exceptional benefits of the doubt that now protect them. The reason the law gives law enforcement officers these immunities is because they are trained NOT TO KILL wantonly, or as a first or even second resort.

    OF COURSE there’s a difference between an African-American youth killed by a Caucasian police officer, and a white youth killed by African-American criminals. Sure, both youths are equally dead. But as Jeff points out, law enforcement worked hard to catch, try and punish the thugs who killed poor Marley Lion. The DA and other law enforcement bent over backwards to shield the Caucasian cop. And this is the norm, not the exception.

    And yes, anecdotally you can show me instances of African-American law enforcement officers shooting African-American suspects, or even white suspects. But the overwhelming statistical anomaly is that Caucasians are 77.7 percent of the U.S. population in the most recent census; African-Americans are 13.2%. Yet, law enforcement fatal shooters tend overwhelmingly to be Caucasian; their victims, overwhelmingly persons of color. Coincidence? I think not.

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