Dear Ferguson, Missouri:

I probably shouldn’t be writing something like this, and you don’t even know me, but … well … here it is.

How this issue has exploded beyond all measure is beyond my feeble understanding. Can someone please explain to me how setting fire to your neighbors’ cars and stores, looting from your fellow community members, etc., is the suitable and sane reaction to a Grand Jury decision with which you don’t agree?

And truly, I am on neither side of that bloodied fence – first and foremost because I don’t know enough to BE on either side – and neither does anyone else except for those on the Grand Jury who were given all the available evidence to weigh. Personally, what I know is negligible. And, from what I’m reading in the news, even those witnesses who testified were just as informed, because of their inconsistencies.

Yet, another question continues to gnaw at me: Why do we need to turn everything into racism? I realize, unfortunately, that racism is alive and well today, but why have you fallen hook, line, and sinker to the media’s trap to perpetuate the “white officer” and “African-American teen” scenario (apparently, as the rest of the country has, too)? Why can’t everyone just leave it as “officer” and “suspect?” Did the officer (Darren Wilson) have a history of racism? Would we even be having this conversation if the suspect was a Caucasian teen, or the officer was African-American?

Yet here we are in the 21st Century, where some of you feel that rioting, setting cars and buildings on fire, looting, and destroying your own community’s property is the appropriate answer to a Grand Jury decision – whether you agreed with it or not. Despite the fact that Michael Brown’s own parents have been pleading with you to protest peacefully and stop the violence, you still feel that aggression is the only way to protest? Just how will that change a Grand Jury’s decision (a jury, I might add, made up of your own members), or shine the light of Truth on an already muddied crime (whether the crime was that of Darren Wilson or Michael Brown)?

From where I’m sitting, those of you who riot and promote violence on each other are doing more harm than good, because you’re perpetuating that racism the media has been shoving down our throats. And in doing so, you’re only taking the focus away from where it really needs to be – the clear and concise investigation of both Michael Brown and Darren Wilson.

So I sit here, face in my hands, wondering when the madness will end and when all of us (not just you) will wake up and start to act like the intelligent beings we’re supposed to be. Stop the violence. Stop referring to Michael Brown as the “African-American teen” or the “black teen.” He was a teen; or better yet, his name was Michael Brown. Stop referring to Darren Wilson as the “white officer.” He’s a man/officer; or better yet, his name is Darren Wilson.

If we really want to end racism, we need to end it in ourselves first.

Hugs and kisses,
Curious Bloke