Thoughts on the coverage of Ferguson

Wdon't shootith the big push for voter registration not to mention the fact that my grandson’s Mom has been out of town and my grandfatherly duties always come first. I have not had much time to comment on what everybody else seems to be commenting on. Well when I get a chance to watch or listen to the news one thing that bothers me is how many people who are from somewhere else have come running down to Ferguson. Some to show their support for the people some to demonstrate and a disturbing number of people have come in order to agitate. Everything that can go wrong has gone wrong in Ferguson. It has also brought attention to what those of us who live in the city already know too well . Poorly trained police and young or in some cases not so young Black men AND often women don’t interact well and this too often leads to abuse by the police and even death to the Black or Brown person involved. This is not something new. In my own family I have had three relatives all young Black men killed by Police for one reason or another. One cousin, Neville Johnson set off two weeks of rioting in Miami back in the early 80s When he was shot for absolutely no reason by a police officer. This problem is far from being something new…. it’s one of the things that gave rise to the Black Panther Party in 1966 that I became a part of . The original name was Black Panther Party for Self Defense. All Black men live with the possibility of something going wrong just about every time we have to interact with Police. This abuse happens every single day … it’s only the extreme cases or the very visible ones that make the news and from time to time they set off extreme reactions like in Ferguson ..this has been happening throughout the “post slavery” period. Every city in the United States is Ferguson. But what bothers me is that some people have been waiting for a chance to show just how “radical” they are.. or to prove themselves as militants and have flocked to Ferguson just to get a piece of the “action”. They have gotten in the way of the local people from Ferguson trying to talk with and reason with police officials and many times have been the ones who have actually provoked an already nervous and poorly trained police force sparking even more stupid reactions from police. The problem in Ferguson is a NATIONAL problem. A problem that needs to be addressed in every city in the country. From the militarization of police forces to the very poorly trained police officer on the beat. from the way so many already violent and racist individuals gravitate toward the police departments to the stagnant job rate and frustration in the street. There is work to do working on these problems WHERE YOU ARE. And Like the people from the so-called New Black Panthers or the traveling Anarchists and people from the Bob Avakian cult who call themselves Revolutionary Communists … all groups so desperate to get a piece of this riot and civil disobedience action that they have actually become what we used to call in the old days “Agent Provocateurs” need to go back home. If they want to be of use they can organize “cop watch” patrols in the cities where they come from. They should go home and counsel young people on how to safely interact with police…and take their romantic notions of throwing a tear gas canister back at a policeman back home.