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Ferguson, Missouri: Flash Point
by Leah Sellers
2014-11-29 09:36:51
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“Jerrell, I hate what’s happenin’ in Ferguson.  I’ve got kinfolk there.  Their city has got its share of problems, just like most other cities, but the glare of Social Media, News Shows and the Nation’s Judgin’ Eyes are upon ‘em right now,”  Zebediah declared exasperatedly.
“Heck, Ferguson and Missouri need more Jobs for the Folks livin’ there.  Jobs with a Livin’ Wage, ‘cause Jobs give Folks Hope for a better tomorrow.  Good payin’ Jobs open up Opportunities for EveryOne.”
“Yep, Zebediah, the killin’ of that unarmed Black Boy by that police officer has certainly caused a ruckus.  That Boy lost his life for stealin’ a pack of cigars.  It just doesn’t make sense for an armed officer to shoot a’ unarmed teenager six times.  No sense at all.  Why didn’t he just billy-club or pepper spray the Boy ?”  Jerrell asked.
“You got me, Jerrell.  Seems to me the gun was a little overkill as well.  And now the whole country’s frustration and anger over years of hard and heavy-handed treatment of Folks of Color everywhere by the Police, have all rolled up into one humungous powder keg right here in Ferguson, Missouri.  It just doesn’t seem right to all of the Folks livin’ and doin business in that community.”
“You’re right, Zebediah, Ferguson is like a gigantic boil that’s been lanced and all of the pus and ooze comin’ out of all of these old, old social issues and fears and hatreds is gushin’ out all over Ferguson’s streets.”
“Why, they’ve got outside groups and their political and social agendas and views comin’ in from everywhere.  There’s the Young Black Panthers, the Young KKK’s, the Communists…”
“The Communists ?  You mean that Putin and his gang are movin’ in on Missouri just like they did in the Crimea and the Ukraine ?”  Jerrell asked alarmingly.
“Naw, not Putin.  And Putin’s not a Communist.  He’s a high fallutin’ Capitalist.  But you name it, and they’ve got ‘em movin’ in, and they don’t all want Peaceful Protest.  They want Explosive and Loud Action, and that Action is burnin’ down Ferguson’s small businesses in an area in need of Jobs, and scarin’ the pants right off of Folks who live there who just want Justice to Work and Peace in their streets and their Communities.  Heck, Jerrell, they’re even closin’ the schools.”
“These are hard times, Zebediah, but they’re important in a way, too, ‘cause some of those Peaceful Protesters are right.  We do need to Change the old ways of doin’ things, but not at the expense of Ferguson and its Citizens.”  Jerrell added.
“Jerrell, you’re right.  This whole thing has been mis-handled from the beginning’.  Shootin’ that Boy six times over a pack of cigars.  Would that have happened if that Boy had been white ?  Leavin’ Michael Brown’s dead body cookin’ out under the hot summer sun in the middle of the street for over four hours for everyone in the neighborhood to gawk at and get upset over, after shootin’ him down ?  Givin’ the legal process over to a Grand Jury to try instead of havin’ them just decide whether or not there was enough probable cause to have a trial by jury ?  Givin’ the news about their decision to let Darren Wilson, the officer that shot that Boy dead, off Scott-free at 8:00 at night ?  At night ?  When that dead Boy’s grief stricken Family, and a bunch of Peaceful Protesters, and Inciters and Agitators were stirrin’ anxiously around in the streets.  And our Leaders, and Police, and National Guard not havin’ the common sense enough to know that the Demons of Men’s Souls would pop out to burn buildings and cars down under the cloak of night ?  What were the Leaders of Ferguson, Missouri, and the State of Missouri thinkin’ ?”
“And then there was even a question as to how the police forces were stationed that evenin‘, because they sure were not out in force in the real troubled areas.  It’s almost as if they wanted the crowd to break out in violence to prove some kind of point they wanted to make.  Or to put egg in the faces of the Peaceful Protesters Messages.  What were they thinkin’ ?!  Zebediah asked incredulously.
“And then there’s all of the policemen who were name callin’ the Protesters monkeys and animals, and hog-tyin‘ them to the ground and then kickin‘ ‘em around.  And Darren Wilson describin’ that Black Boy he killed as lookin’ like a demon of some kind, and comin’ at him like Hulk Hogan.  Michael Brown was a’ eighteen year old kid for Pete’s Sake.  My boy, Billie, is eighteen.  He ran out of a Seven-Eleven with a six-pack of beer for himself and his friends awhile back, and he didn’t get shot dead or arrested.  The police took all of the boys down to the station and called all of their parents.  We picked ’em up, paid for the beer, and made sure that the boys got a month of community service that didn’t show up on any record somewhere.  I’m almost ashamed to tell the story now.”  Zebediah grumbled.
“Jerrell, the Protesters are right when they say that we have Structural Discrimination all over America.  All over the World for that matter, in one form or another.  Heck, Ferguson isn’t the only Flash Point, Jerrell, ’cause if you ask me, Structural dis-crimintion and dys-functional Flash Points are EveryWhere.  We just can’t afford deny it any longer.  We gotta’ Face Up to it wherever we find it, and Fix It, buddy.”
“I’m telling’ you, Jerrell.  We need to stop Toleratin’ all of the different ways that dis-crimination, bigotries and inequalities exist in all of our Systems.  We need to Fix ’em.”  Zebediah nodded in agreement.
“Well, I know somethin’ about construction, Zeb.  I may be gettin’ old, but I can still lend a Helpin’ Hand at Re-Buildin’ some of Ferguson’s destroyed businesses.  And I’m gonna try and get some other Folks interested in Joinin’ In and helpin’ in whatever ways they can to Fix’ a System that’s not workin’ for EveryOne Equally.”
“This is America, Zeb.  We can’t let this Stand.  We gotta’ do whatever we can to Help Mend this and Heal what ails Ferguson, and Missouri and all of our Great Nation.”  Jerrell proclaimed.
“Why, that’s some mighty fine speechifyin’, Jerrell.  You can count me in.  I may not have your skills with hammer and nails, but I do have a few extra dollars squirreled away that can help Ferguson, your kinfolk, and our good neighbors out with.  I’m gonna’ help buy the timber and nails you’re gonna’ need,”  Zeb announced proudly.
“Thank you, Zeb, thank you.  And while we’re at it, let’s Pray for and Talk about Protestin’ Peacefully, Actin’ out for Positive, not destructive Changes, and Lendin’ a Helpin’ Hand to Mendin’ what’s been broken to EveryOne we See.  Whether that be Mendin’ a Buildin’, a Heart or a Life.  ‘Cause I’ve had quite enough of Rights bein’ Wronged.  It’s Time for Wrongs to Be Righted.”
“Amen, to that, Brother Jerrell.  Amen to that.  Let’s get started.”

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