(Why this post is titled this way may not be apparent at first, but be patient.)
Just to be clear what the Ferguson protesters are protesting, and in some cases, rioting, about:
Michael Brown, when asked to stop walking in the middle of the road by Darren Wilson, taunted him and told him he was too much of a pussy to fire his gun. When Brown approached the car and Wilson tried to get out, Brown blocked the car door and punched Wilson twice (photographs showed the bruise). Then Brown reached for his gun, trying to get his finger on the trigger (forensic evidence showed that the gun went off twice inside the car). When Brown walked away, Wilson followed and told him to stop. Brown then turned around and charged Wilson, who then shot the 6' 4", 295 pound Brown. Although a few witnesses claimed that Wilson shot Brown while his back was turned, three separate autopsies, including one commissioned by the Brown family, proved that this was not true. (Over half a dozen other witnesses confirmed Wilson's account.)
This is the case about whose grand jury decision Americans held their collective breath for last night.
This past summer, three days after Brown was killed, a black Salt Lake City police officer shot and killed a 20-year-old white, Dillon Taylor, because he did not get down on the ground when was asked to. Taylor was not in any way threatening the police officer, and according to all accounts, didn't obey simply because he couldn't hear him because of the earphones he was wearing.
(Where is the media outrage about this? Where are the white rioters?)
The hypocrisy of the media, and of Eric Holder, and the lies told by the agitators are so blatant that it hardly seems worthwhile for me to belabor them here.
Anyway, all of this is not to say that there are never unjustified shootings of blacks. This past Thursday two rookie police officers were patrolling the darkened stairwells of the Pink Houses project in East New York, a particularly crime-ridden building in a high crime area. One of the rookies, Peter Liang, had his gun drawn and his finger on the trigger while he patrolled, a violation of NYPD policy. Akai Gurley and his girlfriend happened to open the door to the stairwell right when Liang and his partner were there, and Liang pulled the trigger and killed Gurley.
Liang claims it was an accident. My guess is that he simply panicked, even though Gurley was doing nothing wrong. (Of course, that's pure speculation.) Gurley's relatives will undoubtedly get a nice fat settlement from the city -- which they deserve.
This, not Ferguson, is the case that blacks should be upset about.
That said, it's also easy to see why a rookie cop would be on edge in that particular housing project. There have been multiple murders committed there over the years, and the stairwell's lights were broken (drug dealers and other criminals prefer it that way). That doesn't excuse Liang's actions; but it does make them more understandable.
In the past 24 hours there has been a lot of talk about the need to preserve peace, talk that of course has been ignored by the Ferguson arsonists. But peace can only come about through understanding, which seems to be in short supply.
Here'a an idea to counteract that: every senior in high school should be required, before he graduates, to spend three days at a police station, part of which should consist of riding around in a patrol car, preferably in a high crime neighborhood. The senior would find out what it's like to have to patrol a high crime area, and what it's like to deal with real criminals and a hostile populace.
All the white liberals from the suburbs (the types who join in Ferguson protests in relatively safe places like Times Square or on college campuses) would gain some perspective. All the spoiled rich kids would get some (minimal) sense of life in a poor community. And blacks from poor areas, many of whom are reflexively leery of authority, would at least see how things look from the other side.
It's possible that some students would come away from that experience feeling even more anti-police. But I suspect that for the vast majority, three days of being slapped in the face with reality would be a real education, and they'd get a sense of how difficult that job can be.
I don't think for a moment that such a proposal would have the slightest chance of being enacted. Most parents would be up in arms about their little dears going into a high crime neighborhood. And the first time a high schooler was killed in such circumstances would result in all sorts of repercussions. Plus, the police wouldn't want to be saddled with a useless third person they'd have to protect.
Still, it's unfortunate that such a requirement will never be put in place, because it would promote understanding, which is what's needed at the moment.