Wednesday , September 19 2018
Home / Culture and Society / And Then He Told Us It Was Raining: Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in Staten Island Provide a Seminal Moment
Americans daily and the international community of nations have taken note, and even a country like North Korea can scoff at America when it comes to human rights – America has loss its moral standing in the world.

And Then He Told Us It Was Raining: Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in Staten Island Provide a Seminal Moment

White people witnessing a lynching with lunch and a smile.
White people witnessing a lynching with lunch and a smile.

The St. Louis County Prosecutor took the time he needed to write the script he wanted to present to the grand jury in order to avoid bringing to justice a white cop who shot and killed an unarmed black boy. Then he took what many experts in the criminal justice field say is the extraordinary measure of releasing all of the normally secret grand jury proceedings to the press and the public in an act of false transparency.

The prosecutor’s script went well: His assistant prosecutors laid out a case that favored the accused cop and disregarded witnesses who testified on behalf of the slain black youth. They misdirected the jury by giving them copies of a repealed unconstitutional law that allowed policemen to use deadly force on fleeing suspects, then weeks later admitting to the jury that the law they directed them to be guided by was not the current law.

Then they give the jury the current law which no longer allowed police to shoot fleeing suspects but they kept that distinction muddled, and the prosecutors didn’t have the power or the decency to correct the jury’s first impression of their responsibility to the law. This looks like an intentional plot twist in the pre-written script to lead the jury astray.

On top of all this, they let the cop narrate his story without being challenged by cross examination.

The prosecutor and his team were banking on the appearance of transparency to throw the NAACP, Al Sharpton, MSNBC producers, and investigating reporters off the scent of their dirty dealings by hiding their deception in plain sight. Yet again, white authority figures have gotten so blatant with their mistreatment of black people that they may have calculated that even the discovery of their phony grand jury process would go unchallenged and the cop would still walk away rich and free. They own and control the apparatus of justice and they have centuries of experience making it serve their causes – there is no one with the power to overrule their chicanery.

When similar miscarriages of justice are perpetrated in Russia, China, and North Korea, the United States Government cries foul and is quick to point out the abuse of human rights in those countries. The American government threatens offending countries with sanctions, trade restrictions, and support of an opposition. When it comes to human rights Americans feel superior and would approve any U.S. government commitment to help those mistreated in oppressive countries.

This same American government and these same American people turn a blind eye to the miscarriage of justice they deliver to black and brown people.

How the talking heads on radio and television are busy selling the outcome of the grand jury proceedings in St. Louis, Missouri to white America. They are using every tactic of subterfuge known to intelligent man to convince their white spectators that the right thing was done, but I must tell you that seeing Morning Joe Scarborough and them white boys around his table talking about this event brings to my mind a widely available picture of a black man hanging from a tree and a mob of white crackers milling about eating their lunch – and there is a white girl among them with a look in her eyes that suggest that she’s not certain that she is enjoying the sight as well as the others.

It used to be that whites packed a lunch to take to a lynching; on Morning Joe the mob drink Starbucks coffee and pastries from Dean & Deluca as they clutter the facts to make it easier for their viewers to confront the truth – modern times. I’d like to see Morning Joe and his gang tackle the case of the female intern who was found dead in his congressional office, his divorce, and his abrupt resignation from Congress.

There is even one black, there could be more, who is speaking out in support of black suppression. The basketball player Charles Barkley, who was never good enough to win an NBA title but has future plans to enter politics, put in his two cents by calling protesters scumbags. Barkley has had a colorful persona all of his celebrity life; known as a street brawler, gambler, and loudmouth, Barkley has also expressed interest in a political career – he wants to be elected governor of Alabama. I am willing to credit Barkley with the Machiavellian foresight to be grooming an image of himself that could, in the future, make him attractive to racist whites, especially in Alabama. With future demographics disfavoring them, whites will soon move into the position of supporting surrogate blacks and browns (see Tim Scott and Nikki Haley of South Carolina) to carry out their racist policies. Barkley is making comments to position himself in the surrogate line.

Hand up Don't shoot.
Hands up, Don’t shoot.

Surrogate oppressors will play out soon and then there will be nowhere else for racism to hide. And it will all be from what happened here in 2014. The results of the Ferguson killing will be a seminal moment in history. It’s all in the air; this is a don’t-move-to-the-back-of-the-bus moment for blacks and progressive white people. It may take a few years, but the events of Ferguson and Staten Island are providing a moment in American race history that will change police departments and grand jury policies nationwide.

After the Ferguson grand jury non-indictment I posted the following poem on my Facebook page:

Police Oppression

The weight of police oppression
Is so crushingly debilitating
My breath exhausts, my mind scramble,
My spirits fall

And then to see the system fail
All powers shore up the wrong
And spite again that black boy

To tell all like him what they can expect
From a white country
Where might make right.

To turn it around
We may have to
Go underground.

A young white boy I once briefly worked with saw my poem and asked me whether I had read the transcript from the grand jury proceedings. He was implying that my poem had reached an opinion without its author having read the facts as seen by the grand jury. I admitted to him that I had not read the transcript, but having been around for as long as I have and knowing America as I do, I didn’t need to read the transcript. I could go on my gut instinct on this one, I posted back to him.

That was all he needed to read from me to know that I was biased and the kind of person who reached conclusions without ascertaining the facts. He had read the transcript, he said, and concluded that the cop should not have been indicted. I’m sure that he still feels this way even after knowing that the whole grand jury proceeding was rigged, which tells me that he didn’t need to read the transcript to reach the opinion he reached – he read it (if he did) to wave as a concealment of his own bias. People are lining up according to race; there are a sizable number of whites siding with justice in this case, but not my young boy or many of those whites in the power positions in the criminal justice system.

The St. Louis prosecutor wrote his script, summoned the grand jury, and carried out his farce, right in our faces, then told us it was raining.

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About Horace Mungin

Horace Mungin is a writer and poet. He has published many books. See more at www.horacemunginbooks.com.

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One comment

  1. Dr Joseph S. Maresca

    There is a lot of good detail in the article. Clearly, the federal jurisdiction can be invoked and ultimately the differences between state/local law and federal law jurisdictional discrepancies can be resolved in the United States Supreme Court.

    These types of cases should get a quick approval of Certiorari because the constitutional implications are considerable and the impact on public policy is profound as evidenced by the street demonstrations across the country.

    In recent NYC Administrations, there has been a trend involving stepped up police activity to resolve small quality of life issues like the alleged sale of individual cigarettes in the Garner case. The police activity has been directed to things like graffiti, littering, squeegy panhandlers, loitering, the minimal possession of pot, selling individual cigarettes on the street and other petty offenses that should receive nothing more than an equivalent traffic ticket or police desk appearance. Such was the case in the recent incident involving Mr. Garner.

    The huge struggle which ensued to restrain Mr. Garner seemed to be grossly disproportionate to the alleged offense of selling individual cigarettes to people who probably could not afford to buy a pack or carton of cigarettes in any case. Most likely, the City of New York will settle this out of the trial court for a fair financial compensation.

    The reason is that no jury can look at the video of Mr. Garner and side with the police on this issue. A related question has to do with the supervisory oversight by the police themselves to prevent the situation from escalating to the extreme level that lead to the death of Mr. Garner.