Monday night’s unpopular grand jury decision in the shooting of Michael Brown ignited a series of riots in and around Ferguson, Missouri, where Brown, an African American, while unarmed, was shot and killed by white police officer Darren Wilson last August.
Flipping to any news channel after 10 p.m. revealed utter chaos. Residents were looting businesses, starting fires, and causing damage to anything they could get their hands on. Newscasters were being harassed. Some were drenched in tear gas.
The rioting hasn’t stopped. There’s more than 2,000 troops in Ferguson as I type this, and it’s not only happening there. From coast to coast, people are expressing their discontentment. Even made up cities, like Springfield in the television show The Simpsons, are probably a shit show.
It begs a question. People are obviously upset. Any high profile racial incident is going to evoke a lot of passion. Because it stands for much more than just one individual.
But are people really this upset?
Or do they really just enjoying throwing shit around and acting like buffoons? I’m convinced it’s a little bit of both.
It’s not every day people get to take part in an angry mob. Our society is built on order, on enforcement, and on the expectation that we, the people, will police ourselves and behave at all times.
So is it really hard to believe that there’s a small group of people who are constantly chomping at the bit to lash out against the system? People who just need the slightest incentive to run amok?
Well, these Ferguson riots gave them that opportunity. I’m certain there was at least a few people who were completely oblivious to the decision on Monday night, looked out their window and saw the looting, and went, “Aight. Count me in.”
I’m not discrediting the indignation that people felt following this ruling. I understand that plenty of the rioters are genuinely fed up with our legal system and the police.
But for every one of those rational protesters, there’s an anarchist, who’s trying to overturn a car without any real idea why their doing other than because they feel like it.
And then there’s the other half of our population, who were just pissed off that NBC cut away from State of Affairs starring Katherine Heigl to show the Ferguson coverage.
Those people are what this country is really about.