Nel's New Day

November 24, 2014

No Indictment for Michael Brown’s Killer

Geraldo Rivera, pretend journalist on the Fox network, usually feeds the racist watchers by denigrating minorities. His position on the killing of Trayvon Martin is that it was his fault for being “dressed like a thug,” wearing a hoodie. About the arrests of Democrats such as Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon and California State Senator Leeland Yee, Rivera said:

“Usually, the politicians who are robbing on the Democratic side tend to be ethnic politicians, as in these cases…We are the antidote to that particular problem.”

When he failed to feed the racist watchers, however, they turned on him. His support for President Obama’s executive actions on immigration led to racist, violent messages on Rivera’s Facebook page.

Rivera said on the air:

 “Bravo Mr. President for having the courage or political will or for doing the hard cold political calculation finally to do the right thing for five million undocumented, but otherwise law-abiding immigrants.”

His angry viewers responded:

“Really why call yourself an American if you don’t recognize the constitution, go take Obama and live free in which ever country you would like. Other than ours!! Jeez!!” – A.g. Garrison

“go green and kill your self.”—Jerry Allen

“Don’t let the door hit you. You will be judged by the Almighty for being on the side of the lawless one. Thank God when Jesus comes if you and your cahoots have not repented you all will be kicked off planet earth for good, not just America.”—Marsha Gordon

Unhappy by the postings, Rivera wrote:

“Just checking some of your responses to my recent posts on the president’s immigration action. Most are spirited, but within the normal boundaries of decent discourse. Some, however, are hateful, ignorant and racist, even mentioning my family. That is something I cannot abide. I’m turning your posts over to Fox News and Facebook authorities because you little pieces of shit hiding in the shadows of your mother’s basement deserve no less.”

He shouldn’t hold his breath to see what Fox does. As for Facebook authorities, he’ll find out that there are none.

Rivera has discovered on a personal level the backlash from viewers who believe they are entitled to the hatred that Fox has promoted during the past few decades. This backlash is a minor blip when compared to the release of the grand jury findings of Michael Brown’s killing in Ferguson (MO) on August 9, 2014.

Tonight, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch held a press conference to announce what most people had already assumed, that there would be no indictment of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson who killed the teenager last August. With a self-righteous smirk, he blamed the media, the Internet, and “the 24-hour news cycle” for the protests in the town after Brown lay dead in the street for over four hours before justifying the lack of indictment. Some of his statements were highly specific; others were oddly vague, for example when he referred to Wilson firing “several shots.”

Part of his speech focused on the hard work of the grand jury as they “gave up their lives” while deliberating. Sounding like a defense attorney, he indicated that Wilson knew Michael Brown had stolen cigars from a convenience store before the shooting, but Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson stated that Wilson was not aware that Brown was involved in any alleged robbery. The only charge against Brown every publicized was that he was in the middle of the street—apparently against the law in Ferguson. The question that this discrepancy raises is how many others exist.

Even the timing of the press conference was peculiar. McCulloch waited all day until 9:00 in the evening to announce the grand jury’s findings.

There was no question of the grand jury’s outcome from McCulloch’s first statement, and the press conference was a travesty—as CNN legal expert Jeffrey Toobin described it, “an extended whine” and “entirely inappropriate and embarrassing.”

There will be much said about McCulloch, the lack of an indictment, and the deaths that are sure to result from the protests occurring all over the country. For tonight, however, Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, president of Union Theological Seminary New York, best addresses today’s tragedy on November 24, 2014—51 years and two days after the killing of President John F. Kennedy:

“It was with sadness and growing anger that many in our community at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York took in today’s news out of Missouri. While we cannot claim to know all that led to the decision, we are deeply concerned about all it implies about our nation and the violence that lives with us.

“The state-sanctioned violence perpetrated against young men of color in this country is abominable. It is cruel and sadistic, and undergirding it is the scourge of white racism with the myriad privileges and fears attached to whiteness.

“The brutality of racism and the harms it inflicts on black and brown bodies directly contradicts every tenant of our Christian faith — indeed, the tenets of all the world’s major religions. Until it is addressed directly and with sustained commitment by all of us, we will repeatedly fail to be the country we dream of being.

“We must not turn back from facing this harsh truth.

“As John F. Kennedy cautioned years ago, ‘Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.’ We are committed to peaceful change, and we confess that our democracy is so profoundly broken that nothing short of a people’s movement for deep, systemic change can fix it.

“We are hopeful that out of our anger will continue to spring forth activism rooted in a faith bigger than any one community. We remain firm in our belief in a God that gives life and seeks goodness in all things. Using the fierce, biblical model of love and non-violence claimed by our forbearers, we stand evermore committed to working together for real change.

“That change must start today, growing out of our profound sadness, disappointment, and anger at what has occurred — not only in Ferguson but in far too many of our communities — and flowering in the righteous will to overcome the challenges we face to build the nation we believe in.”

We can only hope that memories of this disaster will lead to positive change instead of fading away like the other horrific events of the past. Tomorrow, however, Rivera can go back to blaming another black teenager for being killed.

1 Comment »

  1. It seems McCullough made his announcement at the most incendiary moment possible.


    Comment by Lee Lynch — November 24, 2014 @ 9:50 PM | Reply

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