Ethics Train Wrecks Collide, As The Redskins And Trayvon Martin’s Mother Board The Ferguson Express


I just can’t find a photograph of three trains running into each other–in the world of rail transport, that’s impossible.* With Ethics Train Wrecks, however, anything is possible, especially stupid, dishonest, and irresponsible things.

  • The Washington Redskins, one would think, have enough problems guiding their own Ethics Train Wreck, with the team’s owner, who would have been wise, prudent  and responsible to quietly get rid of an archaic name and logo before it became the focus of extreme political correctness bullying, having to battle government censors and opponents of free speech as well as censorious journalists and cynical Native American race-hucksters. But no! Some members of the team apparently feel that if one Ethics Train Wreck is fun, two is twice as nice. Thus it came to pass that during Monday night’s pregame introductions for the televised exhibition game against the Cleveland Browns, several Redskins players ran onto the field with their hands raised as a gesture of support for the slain Ferguson teen, Michael Brown. Brown, writes Yahoo’s Jay Busbee, “was killed by police even after witnesses said he raised his arms and told police he was unarmed. As a result, arms raised in surrender have become a symbol of solidarity and protest in connection with the Ferguson story.” [ Side Note: This is incompetent and biased reporting. Some witnesses say that; others dispute it. No account has been certified as true. Busbee suggests otherwise, and he also can’t write worth a damn: How could Brown have been killed by police after witnesses reported how he was killed?]  The idea originated with Washington safety Brandon Meriweather and cornerback DeAngelo Hall, and several players followed their lead.

Wrong, wrong, wrong:

1. The gesture adopts as truth an account that is entirely unproven, treating it as fact. That is misleading and irresponsible.

2. The gesture in essence declares the officer involved guilty of murder. The players are acting based on hearsay, spin and protestor rhetoric. They have no idea what occurred, and lending their celebrity status to a speculative version of events still being investigated is unfair, unjust, despicable, reckless, and stupid.

3. This was a political, ideological demonstration, and completely inappropriate and unprofessional during a sports event.

The conduct of the Redskins players was far worse than their opponent’s quarterback flipping a bird during the broadcast. He will be fined by the NFL, however; the ignorant, grandstanding, race-baiting players will not.

Make of that what you will.

  • This was small potatoes, in the annals of Ethics Train Wreck crossovers, compared to the open letter by Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother, to Brown’s family. The letter was published in Time, which probably solicited it: that gives the editors a seat on the Ferguson Ethics Train Wreck too. The letter has been widely described as heartfelt. Maybe—I would call it inflammatory, misleading and irresponsible:

1. She should not connect the two tragedies, as they have nothing in common except the fervent efforts of the families and activists to cast them as proof of racial animus by whites against blacks based solely on the skin color of the participants. Doing so links bigotry to bigotry, the bigotry being the presumption of white racial animus. There was never any evidence that George Zimmerman was a racist, or that race played any part in Fulton’s son’s needless death. Yet she continues to abuse the natural sympathy all feel toward a grieving mother to push that divisive narrative. Similarly, there is no evidence we have been made aware of that race played a role in Brown’s death. Yet Fulton is asserting otherwise in a major news magazine, at the height of racial tensions in Ferguson. This is shameful and inexcusable.

2. She writes, “Further complicating the pain and loss in this tragedy is the fact that the killer of your son is alive, known, and currently free.” Ah, how much better it would be if he were known, locked up, or dead! The fact is that while we know that Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Brown, we do not know that he committed any punishable offense. Yet Fulton is focusing attention on the need for retribution for an act that may not have been a crime, and that may have been precipitated by Brown’s own rash conduct. This is also unfair and irresponsible.

3. “You will also, unfortunately, hear character assassinations about Michael which I am certain you already have.” A toxicology report and video of the hulking Brown assaulting a smaller man are not “character assassination.” This is deception and spin.

4. Her disinformation and shameful propaganda continue:

“I will support you and your efforts to seek justice for your Michael and the countless other Michaels & Trayvons of our country. The 20 Sandy Hook children. Jordan Davis. Oscar Grant. Kendrick Johnson. Sean Bell. Hadya Pendleton. The Aurora shooting victims. The list is too numerous to adequately mention them all.”

Thus she groups her son and Brown with unquestioned murder victims, like the Sandy Hook and Aurora dead. A jury determined that her son was not murdered, and evidence is lacking that they were wrong. At this point, Brown’s death also cannot be fairly called a murder. Martin’s mother is part of the race-grievance disinformation campaign to present fiction and speculation as fact, for political leverage. It is lying, or it is delusional. Either way, it should never be presented as truth by a respectable news organ. She is sowing hate, in the form of empathy.

5. Then she adds, “But no one will ever convince me that my son deserved to be stalked and murdered. No one can convince you that Michael deserved to be executed.” Foul. Trayvon Martin was not stalked. This is not even in the realm of reasonable speculation. And there is no evidence that he was murdered, either. Just because she is a murdered young man’s mother does not give her immunity from the ethical obligations to make responsible, factual public utterances, and not to spread misconceptions. To state that Brown was “executed” is disgusting. She is projecting evil motives on a police officer based on no confirmed facts whatsoever. The statement borders on libel.

*Correction: not only isn’t a three-train crash impossible, one happened just last year! Thanks to Fred for the link, and for reminding me to google more effectively before I expose my ignorance.


Sources: Yahoo!, TIME

12 thoughts on “Ethics Train Wrecks Collide, As The Redskins And Trayvon Martin’s Mother Board The Ferguson Express

    • Maybe we’ll see that team from Chicago that is in the Little League World Series go on the field against the team from Texas while carrying signs demanding that the governor of Texas resign from office.

      Oh, maybe that game is already underway…never mind – been too busy keeping up with fatal incidents of black-on-black violence in Chicago.

  1. Since speculation about the facts in these matters abound, why not pose some hypothetical solutions no matter how ridiculous they sound.

    Given that some want to continue the narrative that the culture of the police forces across the US promotes a racial animus toward minorities why not let those communities police themselves. This would eliminate any mistrust of the newly formed community posse that will keep order. By eliminating whites with power from interacting with young black males then it stands to reason that the communities will be much safer because there will be no one there to present such an animus toward the residents. I am sure that other communities will absorb the officers that once patrolled Ferguson and other similar communities.

    Wouldn’t the shop owners prefer not to have hateful police in the area that create the problems faced by these otherwise law abiding citizens. In a different post Deery claimed that the store owner did not call the police and Michael Brown paid for the merchandise. That is Deery’s truth. It couldn’t be that the shop keeper feared retribution when he vigorously made the point that not he but someone else mistakenly called them. No one would want to hurt him otherwise.

    When the police lose the trust of the citizens for whatever reason (media spin, actual malice, race grievance associates) then it is time for them to pack their bags and move to a town that has a different point of view.

    I said the other day that one way to obtain true self regulation among agencies that must maintain the public’s trust is to sanction the entire group for the actions of one if the entire group works to protect its own members. From what I have seen on the news reports the public has no use for this police department why not replace with something of their choosing? I am sure all the people of Ferguson would prefer no police over this force. The same holds true for communities that have a hair trigger toward law enforcement. If you have a visceral distrust of police then why have them?

    Perhaps Mr. Sharpton, Jackson, and members of the media will be willing to confront any real criminals that may be preying on the community when the police fail to show up for work.

    The best thing the Ferguson Police Department can do is stay off the streets. That’s what the people want – right?

  2. That’s what the people want – right?
    You know what’s going to happen, don’t you?
    Firstly, it will become impossible to find good cops willing to work in black neighborhoods.
    Who the hell needs that kind of crap just for doing your job?
    When this happens, all black cities will be worse than Chicago and New Orleans.

    Secondly, and it is already happening, moderate white people who never had a hint of racism in their hearts are starting to get mad.
    They are tired of having to defend themselves and being told they are bad, racist, bigots and so on.
    They are starting to realize they work 60 hrs/wk to pay for the whole mess, while able-bodied black Americans are “protesting”.
    Racists are being created and it is only going to get uglier.

    • Finlay,
      Of course I know what would happen. That post was partly sarcastic and partly serious. If the community is unwilling to believe that the police will ever treat them fairly then what options do they have. If they feel that way then they must therefore reject the option to learn to understand that the community bears some responsibility in ensuring that due process is always observed. They will not reject the kneejerk reaction to blame the police and evaluate the totality of the circumstances. They will continue to protect their own by making every white police on black resident confrontation a racially motivated event.

      I was simply posing the question, what if the local police force chose not to work because they know that they have no way to gain the community’s trust and support. I just framed it as why does the community elect people that will fund an agency that it distrusts and fears. A possible answer is that they like being able to bash the police, but none will step forward to confront the criminal element in front of them out of fear of real retribution. Some years ago, a drug dealer in Baltimore torched the home of a community minded person that stood up against him. The entire family burned to death.

      Jack has put out several posts on this topic in recent days and I agree 100% with everything he has stated.

      Here is the problem. No one will provide an answer on what it will take to regain the trust of the people protesting who, I emphasize, want this to be a classic racially motivated killing. The people, the press, and now the U.S. AG have a vested interest in ensuring a finding that the police department inculcated within this 6 year veteran of the police force a feeling of racial animus toward the black residents of Ferguson. This validates a deeply held belief that all police are racists, it generates more press than a simple black on black shooting, and it gives the AG an opportunity to show his support for the black community in an election year.

      Even if he is exonerated by the facts the officer will be forever known as the murderer of Michael Brown, just as George Zimmerman is still believed by many to be the murderer of Trayvon Martin. The press never portrays Reverend Sharpton as the perpetrator of the Tawana Brawley racial hoax.

      Certain facts are indisputable in one aspect of this case. The community does not want an investigation; it wants officer Wilson arrested and convicted post haste – the trial will be perfunctory. That is the primary demand of the protesters. Wilson has no chance and neither will any other white officer who may be confronted by an armed minority person or assaulted by a large unarmed man in the future.

      There is also a level of cognitive dissonance that I cannot understand. If the officer had been female and 70 lbs. lighter than her assailant no one would have a fit if she shot him even if he was unarmed. What is the difference when a smaller male is assaulted by a larger male with a similar height and weight advantage over the smaller male?

      The people may be frustrated with the treatment by the police but has anyone asked the police if they are frustrated by the lack of willingness by the community to turn in its drug dealers and other thugs, coupled with its ability to turn a blind eye to protect one of its own when they are accused. What I am seeing is that race trumps truth and justice. That is one element of this case that is color blind.

    • A courageous point to make, and I agree that it’s probably happening. It’s one thing when a Martin Luther King is assassinated, or even when a film shows multiple cops whomping on a prone black man, as in the King case. But riots and looting triggered because of the skin color of two participants in an uncertain event cannot be explained, much less justified. Whites are saying, “Christ—I wouldn’t do that. Nobody I know would do that! What’s the matter with these people?” And what they will hear from elected officials is “I can understand how they feel.” Understand how looting and rioting is a rational and civilized response? This is in the same box with “understanding” terrorism..

  3. I took pains not to link these events to terrorism but in light of the brutal beheading of the photo-journalist James Foley a case can be made. The comparison is simple. ISIS states that unless the US does at it demands it will suffer more beheadings of the remaining captives. A Missouri state senator, Jamilah Nasheed, said if the officer is not indicted tomorrow by the Grand Jury the riots that occurred recently will look like a picnic compared to the havoc that will come. (I think I got the quote right but it is not in quotes because I got it from an audio source).

    Such statements can be interpreted as cautionary or as a threat. I will bet that any riots that break out will be explained as just cautionary and justified as “understandable” by her. Her word however carry a different message to her constituents; those words will have been heard as a call to action by the rioters. If US policy is not to negotiate with terrorists then we cannot concern ourselves with the behavior of malcontents in determining sound decisions that pass Constitutional muster.

    If the Grand Jury finds that probable cause does not exist from the facts the people – not the government – came to that conclusion and the rest of us have to accept it. If the Grand Jury factors in the threat of violence and an indictment is returned then the Grand Jury system has been obliterated by those seeking to profit from the threats of violence. What exactly will we be left with if our judicial system cannot be trusted? Vigilante justice.

    I am appalled at the rhetorical behavior of those whose name is preceded by the “Honorable” when they engage in the deliberate incitation of violence when they don’t get their way.

    The protesters want an indictment of officer Wilson not because of what happened but because it represents as an indictment against to system that they want to invalidate and a validation of their claim that the criminal behavior of many young poor men (of all colors) is somehow justified and rational. I would ask how many indictments of white officers will be necessary make the black community feel no longer oppressed by the police and the criminal justice system?

    In my hypothetical solution, I posited that if they can never trust the police no matter what then the police should simply be defunded and leave these people to protect themselves.

    If I were a white police officer I would be looking for a new line of work when our elected officials are so quick to disavow the due process requirement in favor of racial preferences of the electorate.

    There is no leadership on this issue.

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