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An Unsolicted Two Cents

Don't judge a book by its cover.

Thug (n): A violent person, especially a criminal.

That word was tossed around last night like common speak. Directed at African Americans that were protesting the decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson. Yes, there was looting and violence. To label an entire race as thugs is senseless.

Besides, I don't hear people using the word 'thug' when describing criminals of Caucasian descent. In fact, the only time in recent memory I've heard it to describe white people is by announcers from the WWE. "They are acting like a couple of thugs out there". Yes, he was describing Caucasian wrestlers.

Don't judge a book by its cover.

A media that frenzies a nation by showing the negative.  What about the 90% of protestors that did so peacefully?  Show us that.

Don't judge a book by its cover.

Officers of the law are out defending our freedoms every day. An officer of the law has a right to defend himself or herself. That I can get behind. Especially when a suspect won't comply with demands or their life maybe threatened. To what extent, though?

Officer Wilson, you shot an unarmed young man 12 times. 12 times! You can't tell me that race didn't play a part in that. Yes, Mr. Michael Brown allegedly stole from a store. He stole cigarillos that probably had a retail value of $10. Is the value of life you put on the youth of America?

An unarmed 18-year old boy. Yes, he fought with you. Yes, you may have feared for your life.  He did not fire at you. He did not assault your car with a barrage of bullets. You fired your gun. 12 times.  12 times.

Don't judge a book by its cover.

I am a white male of the middle class.  I have privileges that I'm probably not even aware of, both psychologically and physically.  And right now, my heart is filled with rage against the people that don't regard what has happened in Ferguson as racism.

African Americans have 400 years of history in this country to fight against. People let stereotypes dictate their perception of people of different races. We all do it.  I will not sit here and say I'm perfect.

Don't judge a book by its cover.

Not all cases similar to this are racially motivated.  Too many are.  All that Michael Brown's family (and supporters) wanted was a trial to receive the tiniest bit of vindication for their murdered son.

Don't judge a book by its cover.

Mr. Michael Brown's life was taken away far too early.  Because of not the action's of a cop, but because of the actions of racism.  Would Darren Wilson have done this if a white male of 18-years old attacked him. My guess is no. He would have reached for the mace...

Don't judge a book by its cover.

I am not defending criminal acts. I am not defending the looting that took place in Ferguson. That is your own community you are destroying. It makes no sense to loot from store that Michael Brown was accused of stealing from. These are the people that only play into the stereotypes.

Yes.  People are angry.  Of all races.  That anger can be channeled into peaceful protests. For the most part, it did. No need to throw rocks at reporters.  Of course, the reporters could have focused more on the peaceful protests, not the burning down of a Little Caesars Pizza.

Don't judge a book by its cover.

I am speaking about humanity. I am speaking the about right for African Americans to live a life without hate and fear directed towards them just because the color of their skin.  The right to walk down the street without people constantly eyeballing them.  To treat thy neighbor with kindness, no matter race, color, creed, or handicap.

Don't judge a book by its cover.

I don't have the answers. I am one man that believes in the power of words.  I am one man that believes racism can be eliminated.  I am one man that does not believe in shoot first, ask questions later.

Don't judge a book by its cover.

A young life was lost. A man's life was ruined. All because of stereotypes and racism.  In crime and in life.

Time for a change. Progress can only be progress when minds are opened.  Continue wearing blinders to issues of racism and this downfall will continue.  I know I have opened my blinders.  Will you?

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