“MIKE BROWN IS NOT THE POSTER CHILD FOR MY DISCONTENT”
By BAKARI SELLERS || I want to say something… Wait… That’s not right.
I want to cry. I want to yell. I want to punch something or throw a brick through a window. After the events of the past several months in Ferguson, New York and around the country I want to run into the streets and scream at the top of my lungs until all the anger, frustration and hate that’s welled up inside my heart is released into the atmosphere leaving me empty and exhausted because maybe then I’ll get a good night’s sleep.
I want to do a lot of things but speak is not one of them.
So I don’t want to say something. I have to.
And the something I have to say isn’t another knee jerk statement on American justice, another rehash of events or another screaming match between the right and the left.
My heart hurts and another twitter-ready, hyperbolic diatribe masquerading as serious journalism isn’t going to help.
Mike Brown is not the “poster child” for my discontent. He is another young black man whose life was cut too short, another young black man who died when he did not have to.
Eric Garner is not a martyr for justice. He didn’t die for anyone’s cause. He was a father of six children who will never see him again, never hear his laugh or kiss him goodnight. We shouldn’t have to lift him higher than that. We shouldn’t have to whitewash his flaws or sanctify him to make that loss more meaningful. That should be enough and if it isn’t then there’s something wrong with us.
You know, I think about Mike Brown walking down Canfield Drive that day and I want to know why was he so angry? I see the police cruiser pulling up and I want to shout, “Don’t do it!” And I realize that I’m shouting to Officer Darren Wilson as well. “Don’t do it! Take a breath. Recognize what’s happening before the tide of events sweeps you both away leaving another young black man dying in the streets. STOP!”
But I’m too late again. And it happens again and again and again and it’s another young man gone who didn’t have a chance to dream, to realize what the future could hold. It’s another young black man whose memory I will carry with me for the rest of my life, to live my life for him because he won’t ever get the chance.
Michael Brown … Trayvon Martin … Tamir Rice …. Eric Gardner …. Henry Smith …. Samuel Hammond …. Delano Middleton .… Emmit Till.
And the weight gets heavier and heavier but I dare not put it down. WE dare not put it down because, as a people, this is our history, our present and our future.
We want to cry. We want to yell. We want to punch something or throw a brick through a window.
But we don’t.
Instead we mourn. We pick up the weight and carry it through denial, though anger, through bargaining, and through depression. But let us never accept. Instead let us act decisively and finally.
Let us act so this loss might finally be our last.
Bakari Sellers is a Columbia, S.C. attorney who represented S.C. House District 90 from 2007-2014. Follow him on twitter @Bakari_Sellers.
Well, if you quit breaking the law, then you won’t have nearly as many interactions with the police. And that’s win/win.
And to mention that thug Michael Brown in the same sentence with Emmett Till (you would think that you would at least know how to spell his name, Bakari) is an absolute disgrace.
He got Eric “Gardner” wrong too.
Could have been worse, he could have tossed in some Ebonics in the article.
Black people who break the law are statistically far more likely to be killed by police than white people breaking the same laws. That’s a real problem that needs real fixing.
Not when they wear ridiculously loud gamecock pants and drive Range Rovers.
Black people who break the law are statistically far more likely to be killed by police than white people breaking the same laws.
Care to cite some sources on that, Chief.
Hint: Brown and Garner were assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest respectively. OTOH what Garner was being arrested for shouldn’t even be a crime…but you’ll need to take that up with leftist, Bloombergish nanny staters…
At no point did Garner’s actions necessitate a choke hold, which it doesn’t even matter because NYPD officers are supposed to be barred from doing them in the first place.
I tend to agree with this assessment. There should have been an indictment in this case. I do, however, agree with the outcome of the Ferguson grand jury findings.
I will agree with you when I find it was a choke hold. The autopsy doesn’t say he was killed from a choke hold. i have never used one but I have seen them administered and never saw anyone able to speak when it was happening. I am not proficient in this area and all I have to base it on is from my own knowledge.
Four officers present and a Sergeant has a lot of answering to do if a choke hold was used.
Wasn’t a choke hold. A choke hold would have prevented him from speaking.
That double nuggie** with the footnotes is a bit confusing.
Points well taken, however. If the corner boys gun each other down, the heat does not respond with the same vigor as they might in the case of outright murder … or, sad to say happens all too often, when stray gunfire kills innocent bystanders. The local yokels then, justifiably, hit the bricks hard and the perps harder.
(A very good reality picture that still is ongoing is “The Wire” (Netflix, et al) … in which the cops and the perps are at constant odds, the cops being hamstrung by the continuous PC administrations in that once fine city by the bay. Here in the west, Oakland and East LA have similar dilemmas and similar outcomes and I understand that Chicago, ditto.)
“Hint: Brown and Garner were assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest respectively.”
Witnesses say, right? Or do you have a magical power that puts you there, especially in regard to Brown?
Oh yea, your ‘gut feeling’ right? Just like the Columbia seat belt shooting, right hoss?
Sheesh, give it a rest.
TBG is sincerely flattered that you remember one mistaken hypothesis that he made (and quickly retracted when contradictory evidence became available) a month ago.
Now…an honest question:
You seem to believe that the police running around and shooting/killing/maiming unarmed black guys, for no valid reason, is rampant in our country. TBG does not. In the case of the state trooper/seatbelt violation shooting–you have exactly that. In SC–the birthplace of Strom Thurmond and (gasp)secession!! In Columbia–where the Confederate flag still flies over the Statehouse grounds and Piggy Park still dishes out Q!!!
Why is the national outrage not focused on this?
FWIW,TBG has no idea…
“TBG is sincerely flattered that you remember one mistaken hypothesis
that he made (and quickly retracted when contradictory evidence became
available) a month ago.”
Yes, well unless you’re a Jewish Carpenter, and as a result make no other “mistaken hypothesis”, I’m going to ride you like a spoiled rich kid rides a pony until you stop making assumptions.
“You seem to believe that the police running around and
shooting/killing/maiming unarmed black guys, for no valid reason, is
rampant in our country.”
Yes, I do…it’s not even that controversial anymore with the flood of online videos.
That has no bearing on whether blacks are more prone to crime or why, it simply “is”.
“Why is the national outrage not focused on this?”
Because the offender didn’t die and the cop went to jail, the exact opposite of most of the other similar scenarios.
And don’t forget who it is who edits and posts those videos…. and don’t forget they often have an agenda at odds with the truth….
Shaddup donut eater.
Forensic evidence proved it, cupcake.
Don’t forget who collects the “forensic evidence” cupcake.
Bravo TBG – well said. Rushes to judgment sans logic reason and juris prudence such as that advocated by the crowd in ferguson, Berkley and NYC (as well as the old west, the Jim Crow South and the Red Queen’s Court “Off wither her head!”) have a name -Lynching. We had hopefully moved past that and had a system in place to ensure that reason dictated prosecution of wrong doers, e.g. The Grand Jury, a well thought of and long used method to pursue true justice. Unfortunately, CNN and others find that to be an inconvenient system and think the oak tree and rope should come back into style. Had Michael Brown checked a different box on the race section of the census, this would have likely been another tragic incident that went reported only in the local news. I empathize with the Black community in their perceived view of unwarranted police oversight/attention, but that isn’t a viable reason to trash 230 years of American Jurisprudence, or 799 years of English Law and the rights of the accused in the English legal system, which begat our US system. King John signed the Magna Carta with a sword poking him in the back, but once signed, the rules have been enforced primarily through a logic based system independent of might
Uh, just quit breaking the law. There, fify.
Just like the dud e with the sign that said a mother shouldn’t have to fear for her son’s life every time he robbed a store. Incredible.
That was a photoshop, but still pretty funny.
Yeah, I thought it was, but it had it’s intended effect early on.
Actually, that really happened, only it was a CCW citizen who shot the robber.
I’d like to see your cite on that statistic, because the likelihood of being killed by police is nicely correlated with the type of crime committed (much more so than the race of the offender / officer). Most suspects killed by law enforcement are engaged in violent confrontations at the street level- very few offenders being engaged or arrested attendant to financial crimes, fraud, etc. are killed each year. You’re right that there is a problem, but it’s 5% cop and 95% offender; it’s just more fashionable to blame the cops / society / “the man.”
It is the interaction with the police after they break the law that separates the two. Being half honest just makes the problem worse.
It is the interaction with the police after they break the law that separates the two.
Not many people are killed by the police for shoplifting, jaywalking etc. Usually it’s the resisting arrest when it gets serious.
Sure, no one deserves to die for some petty crime. Problem is…if the suspect decides to escalate…and the police back down…you might as well not have the law in the first place.
Usually because the white people are far less likely, statistically, to resist arrest or attack police. If you want to use numbers, use ALL of them…..
Look at it this way, if you throw a brick through a window, Paul Krugman says you’re helping the economy.
Look at it this way, if you throw a brick through a window, Paul Krugman says you’re helping the economy.
Bastiat > Krugman
Should we all be concerned that he is mentally unstable, could flip and go postal on a grade school full of children? Or maybe he might take revenge on McDonald’s because as a child, he was cheated in the drive through out of a Happy Meal toy?
I didn’t recognize any White or Hispanic names in your list of “victims(?)”. Tissue is on sale at a retail store near you.
And there won’t be, just a bunch of Dindu Nuffins.
Fuck Bakari Sellers and his old man.
And the Range Rover he was driving the night be avoided a DUI.
Remind me again how Michael Brown and Emmett Till have anything in common other than skin color?
Emmett Till was brutally beaten and murdered for allegedly flirting with a white woman. Michael Brown attacked a police officer and was shot by that officer.
Bingo. But injecting logic into a conversation with Bakari isn’t going to go well…
hey! this guy knows what happened! call off the ferguson protest. Cope101 was there!
You’re right itsmorning. I wasn’t there when Emmett Till was killed either, but I see you didn’t question that narrative…
Unfortunately, like all human beings, I’m not omnipresent, so I just take the evidence presented in the media along with Grand Jury decisions and come to my own conclusions. You of course are free to ignore the reported facts.
These diatribes are constantly peppered with false equivalencies.
Does Bakari cry, want to scream, or throw a brick through a window for Zemir Begic? You know the Bosnian who was attacked and beaten to death with a hammer by a group of aspiring rappers in St. Louis just days after his people rioted in Ferguson? I doubt it, because he’s too busy trying to ride his old man’s coattail.
I hoped bakari wouldve won lt. governor, just because mcmaster is such a clown, but then when he adopted the moronic strategy of calling out mcmaster for belonging to racist country club BUT THEN his own boss belonged to SAME CLUB! . he needs to read autobiography of malcolm x. he seems to be a desperate ho politician who has no clue. and lastly, he has always pimped for this race-baiting site, fitsnews, the most successful race-baiting news org in SC and the most shameless. and here he is, trying to use this site whose founding editor is a shameless racebaiter and whose readers are openly racist and actually think white people are superior, WHICH IS A HUGE JOKE: white people are the recessive descendants of black people- you white devils need to learn basic genetics-thats where white skin came from: BLACK PEOPLE LOL- the original people of this planet, and white people are inferior in ever way: physically, mentally, and spiritually. the only thing white people are better at is selling their soul to the devil and organizing and maintaining violent systems of control. most white devils will be erased from the universe since they have no cosmic origin and cant redeem their cloned selves by vibrating at least at the green color… sorry, you earned it.
“According to data released by the South Carolina Department of Education, Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School earned a “F” letter grade for the 2012-2013 school year, substantially below academic expectations put forth by the state in standardized testing and graduation accomplishment”
Dear Ms. Vashti Washington: Thank you for submitting this draft of your upcoming Sunday sermon which, I have been told, is also an excerpt from your Doctoral dissertation.
One more column trying to excuse the obvious.
Stop breaking the law….stop resisting arrest….Stop trying to make Martyrs of street thugs that should be in jail.
If you want to do something, get in front of this problem, instead of lingering on the back end yelling “Racism.”
There have been some young black men that have been unjustly harmed, but lumping them in with thugs and violent nitwits does not help the cause.
Bakari, where’s your outrage over the dozens of black people who die every day because of black on black crime? Where’s your outrage over what’s happening in Chicago? You have an opportunity to stop apologizing for black criminal behavior and try to teach personal responsibility. Instead, you stoop to this garbage.
This is just pure racism on the part of Bakari. Mike Brown attacked a cop and got shot. Shocking. What’s so sad is that people like you are the reason all the real witnesses only spoke to the grand jury and not in public. They feared for their lives. Then when the evidence completely corroborated the cop’s story and the witnesses’ stories, it was an open and shut case. Read the evidence. Like, as in the facts and scientific evidence. Brown was a thug who attacked a cop.
Are you more outraged that a black criminal got shot for attacking a cop, or that a cop was demonized for doing his job and defending himself? If white cops can’t defend themselves anymore, things are going to get really fucked up in this country.
Sounds like Louis Farakahn rhetoric? If he had the guts he would just call his white voters racist, instead of using ‘code’ words.
6 years after 2008 and NOBODY has gone to jail or even been indicted for bankrupting half the country. but there’s a guy selling loose cigs on the corner. holy shit get your batons out!!!
Wonder if he remembers the poor white kid that got the shit beat out of him in Five Points by the black guys. Where was he then. Maybe the honkies should have rioted and burned Five Points down. Could have gotten some good stuff from the stores down there.
Or the white guy that was caught in the middle of a chimp out in front of sharky’s not long after.
” I want to punch something or throw a brick through a window”
Why don’t you just throw it at your mirror?
TBG lost a lot of respect for Bakari Sellers for writing this drivel.
Agree, drivel is being kind. Didn’t know TBG could be so kind at moments like this, I need a tissue.
“TBG lost a lot of respect for Bakari Sellers for writing this drivel.”
I’m sure Bakari will be crying himself to sleep over that.
Tell you what BS, I’ll give thought to your comments when you show some leadership in cleaning up the issues at SC State and Jasper County other than throwing away good money after bad
Before you or any other commenter jumps on the racist wagon, the same deal goes for that little albino mother fucking Cockroach Senator over in Florence. When he and his cronies take action on our failing School System I’ll pull the needles out of his voodoo doll down at my shed
Fucking Cockroaches – all mouth and asshole
For the rest of his life, when Bakarie Sellars runs for office this joke of an OP-ED will be brought up. Rightfully so.
This is horse shit. Michael Brown was no Emmett Till. Brown was a crook and a thug.
We are way beyond racism, discrimination, and tragedy. Both whites and blacks, indeed everyone who gives a shit about their life, and their jobs, and their, with a desire to seize the American Dream every day of the week, is being PLAGUED by an underclass of blacks and yes whites who refuse to come back to the fold and work the system from within. It is a choice they choose to go bad.
My dad was a college student and then a student at MUSC in Charleston when I was a small kid. I never saw him. We were poor. He was studying to get ahead. And he did. And he instilled that in me. Christmas was mighty skimpy. Crap for presents. But we got through it and now my siblings and I are educated and living a nice good life without want.
All blacks can do this. Every black on Sellers list can do this. But you gotta want it bad enough. And you gotta realize there are no shortcuts. No breaking the law, bro. Sweat and work and busting ass are the only way to make it in America. Just do it.
I hear you LOUD and CLEAR! Same values with my family which filtered down to me, and I’m not complaining about the sacrifices (some large, some small) that I made willingly. Very good post!
Race baiting much? What a waste of time. In other news, the banker lobby just put the taxpayer on the hook for $303 trillion in derivatives.
+10 on this
Sellers needs to teach his brothers to learn to live by the dictum, “Play stupid games, win stupid prizes”.
If the coloreds would only adopt the old “step-and-fetch-it” persona every time someone in authority interacted with them they could avoid these problems. Sho nuff.
Trayvon and Brown had won physical superiority over their victims………and then the white guys drew down and popped a couple of caps.
Too bad Ms. Honeywell didn’t have a sawed off shotgun under her apron!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hey Bakari – go find her four kids and share with them your thoughts on all this. You might just get your ass handed to you by an 11 year old kid.
That incident brought out both anger and sadness in me.
Was his mother trying to spell Bacardi Rum?
I think Bakari is Swahili for “Ma baby, did’in do nuffin”.
Look at the blacks at the top of American business. A black vet in NC started Rapier Solutions. This is an IT company.
Blacks run Xerox, Merck, and American Express.
Look at Magic Johnson.
Look at the guy on Shark Tank, who made his money with FuBu clothing.
I think we need to run more stories of black American success every time Bakari wants to throw a brick. He has doomed himself from ever winning high state office with his op-ed.
The antisocial underclass in America regardless of color does not need to be elevated to sainthood, ever. Get off your fu*****ing ass and get a job.
I wonder if Bakari wanted to “Burn this bitch down”?
I think the Emmett Till reference is going to be lost on a lot of people.
When the police tell you that you’re being arrested, follow their instructions. It’ll save us all a lot of grief.
I think less of Sellers after reading this piece. I regret that, but I am disappointed.
Did you feel that for Kelly Hunnewell mother of 4 killed for no good reason while she was at work? In your own state?
Hey Bakari, Michael Brown was a thief and a thug. He got Exactly what he deserved. God bless the officer who was protecting himself from this piece of crap, who had just robbed someone. The fat guy in NY was also breaking the law, resisted arrest, and got what he earned – a bad death. This has nothing to do with race, and everything to do with character. Just saw an interview with Chris Rock where he said there is a divide between black people and “Niggas” and the “niggas” got to go!
I simply agree.
Obey the damn law and obey police officers. A monkey can be taught to do that. You can lay the blame at the foot of their parents.
Solutions????????? I missed that part. That is what we have to work toward!
I recommend the film “A Soldier’s Story” (1984) starring Howard Rollins and with a great performance by Adolph Caesar, especially his speech at the end explaining the reasons for his attitude towards the black soldiers under his command.. A little bit about the film:
A black officer is sent to investigate the murder of a black sergeant in Louisiana near the end of World War II. It is a story about racism and segregation in a black U.S Army regiment with white officers deep in the Jim Crow South, in a time and place where a black officer is unprecedented and bitterly resented by nearly everyone.
Conflicted, light-skinned Sergeant Waters (Adolph Caesar) ruthlessly heaps abuse upon his men. He calls them names, but he especially relishes torturing the jovial and highly talented C.J. Memphis (Larry Riley). Sergeant Waters especially cannot stand the light-hearted behavior from the fellow black men in the platoon.
If Brown or Garner were white…….or had they been shot by a black officer under the same circumstances would we be having this discussion? NO.
Your fascist for evening asking that. White privilege needs to be stamped out, and if by a black cop all the better!
Your an illiterate racist dick head. Surprised you didn’t respond using Ebonics. White privilege my ass. Take your quotes and affirmative action and shove it up your ass
You make a lot of sense young man but you just still refuse to get to the crux of the matter. You refuse to vent your anger where it really belongs!
Just a glance at anonymous comments at this site and elsewhere (e.g., old The State format) shows that a large number of conservative white male southerners still consider black Americans, especially males, about the same as soldiers considered Vietnamese civilians. “Gooks” and probably enemies. Assaults on them weren’t like on “real Americans.” More like a cop making a judgement call on shooting a barking (later claim “snarling, attacking”) yard dog. Far lower threshold. I wonder how many here are old enough to have made the excuses for Calley.
Especially laughable are the comparisons implying that lawman assaults are excused somehow by black crime elsewhere. But look at who they vote for. Rational thinking is not their long suit. More like reptilian “brainstem thinking”: us vs. THEM.
It is disappointing to see one of our statesman stooping to the level of sensationalism in the name of racism. This article leaves out the very important details of the incidents and laws that give law enforcement rights to use their judgment in tense situations, for right or wrong. He’s shown himself to be nothing more than an another angry black man.
The persecuted by white society defense doesn’t necessarily make sense in today’s society.
I’ve noted before that the President of the United States and his Attorney General are black. As are, many of our nation’s mayors, councils, and police chiefs. One look at the media shows that blacks dominate TVs and music in ways that far surpass the percentage of African-Americans in today’s society. Then we have sports, where AAs have dominated for years.
American society is color-blind.