Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Montel Williams - Dear Ferguson‬

This article originally appeared on Montel William's Facebook page: 

Ferguson‬ as you await the Grand Jury's decision, I wanted to share some thoughts - this is one of those posts you actually need to read all the way through before reacting to, and react to it on the whole, not on one small part.

First, the indisputable truth is that ‪‎MikeBrown‬ 's death was tragic. In my view, the death of anyone that young at the hands of law enforcement, or otherwise as the result of a gun is tragic, and an all too familiar occurrence in Today's society.

Given that, I think we need to all take a step back - I think the level of frenzied hyperbole going around on social media and on Cable News is troubling - there is too much hype about yet-to-happen chaos - asking for trouble sometimes brings trouble.

That said, I'm not on this Grand Jury, I have not seen the full scope of the evidence, and I suspect the truly unfortunate leaks that have come out represent a small portion, and thus I don't have a position on whether an indictment should issue. I do think, as I have posted, that the Prosecutor has mishandled this from the beginning, and has, as a result, materially damaged the trustworthiness of the result, whatever it may be.

Now is a time to think about what happens next - whatever that Grand Jury decides, we should all be cognizant that the eyes of the world will be watching, including those around the world who would do us harm. I'm a firm believer in the value of the First Amendment, and I'm the first to encourage those so moved to engage in peaceful, lawful protest. I'm also the first to encourage the arrest of those who cross the line into mayhem.

We should all take a moment to remember the lessons passed down to us by leaders of the past - the extent to which we take a deep breath from the frenzied hype, from being angry, from being scared, from the insane need to "not agree" for the sake of doing so based on one's real or perceived ideology, will be the jumping off point from which the story of what happens next will be written. Remember, what happens next will be an epilogue to Michael Brown's memory.

If there is an indictment, Officer Wilson is entitled to due process of law, free from trial by mob in the public square. If there is not an indictment, protest should focus on the broader issue of the disconnect between law enforcement and the greater African American community - let's make this constructive.

I fully expect a free for all in the comments to this. NOTHING would make me happier than to be proven wrong - listen without defending, speak without offending. This post has NOTHING to do with Obama, with Eric Holder, with politics. It has everything to do with whom we claim to be as Americans and basic humanity.

My prayer is that whatever the outcome may be, PEACE WILL RISE IN FERGUSON.