On August 9th in Ferguson, Missouri, Michael Brown Jr., a young black man who recently graduated high school and a week away from starting college, was shot and killed by Darren Wilson, a two-legged swine otherwise known as a police officer. All evidence points to Wilson trying to stop Brown for no other reason than walking in the street. Since the murder, further evidence has come forth that Brown may have been guilty of a strong arm robbery at a convenience store a few minutes before he was confronted by the two-legged swine and shot dead in the street. The object of the robbery? A box of cigarettes. In the subsequent days, there has been much back and forth about the justification of Wilson murdering Brown, how much the robbery played into the chain of events and if this is a sign of systemic racism (white supremacy) or if it is just a sign of wayward youth indicative of a cultural inferiority of the inner city black and brown communities? After much back and forth, a major strain of the black community has begun to wash their hands of outright anger concerning Michael Brown Jr.’s murder and are now viewing it in terms of his own criminality, even if the two-legged swine didn’t know about the crime that preceded Brown’s slaying and the state admits that Wilson had no knowledge of it before accosting Brown and eventually murdering him.
So, this entire case begs the question of what was the root cause of this young man’s death? When we look at how his life and tragic demise has mirrored the typical black life through each and every generation of our collective residence in this country, why did this occur? As the narrative has turned to one of personal responsibility and not injustice against the black community in Amerikkka, the lens must be pulled back a tad bit to show what happened is more than just a singular event.
As it is slowly being turned into an isolated incident based upon the individual citizen and strict adherence to the laws of this country, then within that structure what Michael Brown did was a crime punishable by a possible extended period of jail time. This line of reasoning is being utilized by the majority of people regarding Michael Brown and his robbery, with the extension into his “confrontation” with the two-legged swine being the end result of his possible crime. As more details come out about Brown’s actions preceding the deadly encounter, sympathy has turned into open admonishment amongst the average Amerikkkan citizen.
Tragically, this is even prevalent even amongst black people as there has been a turn by many of seeing this young man as a criminal instead of a victim of institutionalized racism. As almost 80% of blacks are Protestant and over 80% of blacks describe themselves as “extremely patriotic” or “very patriotic”, this support of the Amerikkkan justice system is because of the ethnic communal view that said justice system is as an extension of the Christian principles found in the bible, such as ‘Thou shalt not steal’. 1,2 Hence, even the majority in the average black community in Amerikkka from whence Brown came will see his primary role as a thug, with at best a secondary role as a casualty of police violence. With no Earthly reason to align themselves with the state (as measured against the vast number of police brutality cases outside of this individual one that concern black people), this behavior is everything up to an open admission that an importance in the black community is the need to see themselves as “respectable people” in the eyes of white Amerikkka, a predisposition that has been indoctrinated in the black citizenry after many centuries.
But if you pull the lens back, you see that regardless of whether or not Michael Brown Jr. was innocent or guilty of this particular act, robbery as a part of violent crime in the black community is more prevalent in society than any other crime. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the following information speaks directly to the prevalence of robbery in black incarceration:
Among black inmates sentenced for violent crimes, the leading cause of incarceration was robbery (19% of the total black prison population), followed by murder and nonnegligent manslaughter (13%).3
Even moreso, the American Prospect reports:
“Finally, you can’t talk about prisons without talking about race. African Americans in particular are over-represented in prisons; though they are 13 percent of the population, they made up 38 percent of the population of state prisons in 2011. The crimes that landed them there, however, are not too different from their white and Hispanic counterparts. Eighteen percent of blacks in state prisons were convicted of drug crimes, compared to 15 percent of whites and 17 percent of Hispanics. That doesn’t mean that one common complaint—that though whites and blacks use drugs at similar rates, blacks are much more likely to be arrested for it—isn’t true, because it is. But blacks are also more likely to be arrested for other crimes. Blacks and Hispanics are slightly more likely than whites to be convicted of violent crimes, while whites are slightly more likely to be convicted of property crimes like burglary, larceny, and car theft. But the leading violent crime that lands blacks in prison is robbery, while the leading violent crime for whites is rape or sexual assault. More than twice as many blacks are in state prison for robbery as for rape, while for whites the proportions are reverse.”
Therefore, the Amerikkkkan government’s data shows that the main impetus for violence, be it within or outside of the black community, is because of economic reasons above anything else. And to look at the hard numbers, black people are in prison at the same levels and rates as white people for the same crimes. The disproportionality of black people incarcerated comes into play because of two reasons: 1) black people are more likely to be unemployed and impoverished due to institutional and systemic white supremacy and 2) the white privilege found even amongst lower class white people allows them to be released for activities that will entail jail sentences for black people.
With the majority of black Amerikkkans in jail for robbery and drugs by percentage before any other reasons, the overriding determinant of the aforementioned “black criminality” designation is because of economic survival. From just a logical standpoint, robbery and drug dealing are really just a subset of overall economic survival to acquire some type of illegal income to replace the lack of or even nonexistence of income through legal means. Or, it is just an extension of the quote from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century anarchist Emma Goldman regarding being impoverished and the natural reaction to that set of circumstances: “Ask for work. If they don’t give you work, ask for bread. If they do not give you work or bread, then take bread.”4 Even though Goldman was as far removed from the inner city of St Louis as Bill Gates, survival is an instinct of all animals through whatever class, cultures, ethnicities and times. So, if one is to look at the robbery alone as being the determining factor
concerning Michael Brown’s animalistic tendencies, then this designation must also be placed upon the other thousands who are currently in jail because of this and the millions of black citizens that committed this before present times.
So, the unbiased person must see that robbery in and of itself as a form of criminal expression, be it by Michael Brown Jr. or anyone else, is indicative of a broader problem, which is economic in nature. Regardless if we say that Michael Brown Jr. may have done this crime for something as trivial as a pack of cigarettes or not, the fact of the matter is that he wasn’t found with a great amount of money on his person or even that he grew up in an affluent neighborhood, which would have moved the explanation from a financial one to strictly social or psychotic on his individual part. This isn’t the case. Hence, his possible criminal activity can be viewed within the vast collection of the typical black criminality as designated by the state: economic.
So, to even get a greater understanding of this situation as a part of an even broader problem, we must pull the lenses back even further and look at the fiscal disenfranchisement which is an issue with all the Michael Browns that exist in the city of Ferguson and the greater St. Louis area. In 2012, according to U.S. Census Burea, black poverty is at 25.3% and unemployment is at 17.8%.5 In comparison, white poverty is at 7.1% and white unemployment is at 5.7%. And according to St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist David Nicklaus (in using government data):
The unemployment and poverty rates for blacks in St. Louis County are consistently higher than those rates for white residents. Only one time between 2007 and 2012 has the poverty rate for blacks been less than three times that of whites, according to Census data (which is only available through the latter year). The unemployment rate is two-to-three times higher, and, as of 2012, had grown worse while it grew better for whites.
What’s more, those figures disproportionately affect younger residents. Nicklaus pulls out a subset of Census data: “47 percent of the metro area’s African-American men between ages 16 and 24 are unemployed. The comparable figure for young white men is 16 percent.”
Therefore, this endemic poverty and the thought of there being no hope for the future regardless of actions is something that lies in the brain of every black person here in Amerikkka since we are spiraling downward at an ever increasing pace.
Consequently, as black people are approximately 12% of the United States population, but make up half of the prison population with black men having a 1 in 3 chance of one day being imprisoned at some point in their lives, criminality has now become synonymous with black men where a Rorschach test with a black man’s face on a white background will generate pretty much every evil known to man as an initial reaction. This is what the two-legged swine Wilson saw in some form when he confronted Michael Brown Jr. To what degree is anyone’s guess since it is some part conscious and subconscious in the psychological makeup of the everyday racist here in Amerikkka.
But, not many people want to talk honestly about all of these actions, from the young black man possibly destroying his life over a pack of cigarettes to the initial stop by the two-legged swine to his
death in a hail of bullets to even his corpse having to lie prostrate on the ground for four hours in the sweltering heat. In the aftermath of Brown’s murder, there has been a momentous amount of public uproar, outrage and anger over this killing that is symptomatic of an entire community that is internally colonized and cognizant that any of them at any given moment could end up just like this. The crime of robbery that Brown may have committed could just as well be food for a starving child as it could have been for a pack of cigarettes in this instance. And as financial upheaval becomes more and more prevalent in society, the likelihood may soon become a certainty.
As many facets of that deadly day in August are trying to be isolated to fit the need to justify this young man’s death, a truthful assessment along historical lines shows that the only incidents that were isolated was the murder of Michael Brown Jr. by the two-legged swine and the possible robbery by Michael Brown Jr. or some other black man since each was done at different points in time of Michael Brown Jr.’s previous existence. He could have just as easily robbed the store and had the same death occur five years later after he graduated from college and MAY have been lucky enough to get the fewer and fewer, less lucrative jobs awaiting all too many graduates. Yet, even in their isolation if they would have happened hours or years apart, these incidents would still have the same root cause: racism, or more aptly described as white supremacy.
Yet, regardless of the possible crime of burglary, the black people in that community who are being honest with themselves know that this can just as easily be them gunned down in the street for any crime or no crime at all. The history of lynching of black people has been a part of the extra-legal proceedings in adjudicating any transgressions of blackness, perceived or otherwise, from the end of the Civil War until the end of the civil rights movement in the late 1960s. Over all those decades, there were many images taken of black people, black men especially, being castrated, hung, shot and burned alive. These snapshots were a window into the soul of a proud white supremacy. In that vein, whenever a picture is viewed of one of those scenes, no one is looking at any type of justice due to any particular action of the black person. For whatever crime they may or may not have done, the primary reason these people were swinging from a rope was their blackness. That is the reason it happened decades ago and it is the reason why Michael Brown Jr. is dead today. And why there will be another Michael Brown Jr. tomorrow.