KABOOM! The Michael Brown Memorial

Brown memorial

Normally, as is the usual Ethics Alarms tradition when a story causes my head to explode, I would begin with a graphic representing the moment when reading a news item about unethical conduct so shorted-out my cranial wiring that my skull did an imitation of Dante’s Peak. The cause of the eruption, in this case, is even more disgusting than some of those bloody pictures, so I’m posting a photo of that instead. Now, assuming you have an ethics compass that doesn’t spin wildly due to a manufacturing defect, your head has exploded too.


I have to hand it to the good people of Ferguson, Missouri. They have officially disproved the chestnut, “You have a right to your opinion, but you don’t have a right to your own set of facts.” The late Michael Brown—I’m sure you’ve heard of him—is being honored with his own memorial in the town, like military heroes, local martyrs, long-time community leaders, and distinguished men and women born in communities and who honored them by their accomplishments. Apparently the city is under the misconception that Michael Brown fits one of these categories, despite conclusive evidence to the contrary certified by the U.S. Justice Department, which was desperate to prove that the Gentle Giant was a pure as the driven snow. Thus Ferguson is anointing Brown with icon status, poisoning the values and the culture of the city from the moment the memorial is dedicated.

How sad, how wrong, and how stupid.

Mike Brown, like the most humble of us, deserves a private memorial to his short, tragic and pointless life where his family can mourn and remember him fondly. He was not, however, a hero, a martyr, or any kind of an individual sane communities choose to honor and to inspire future generations. Be like Mike, kids!

In his last moments on earth, while high on an illegal drug, Michael Brown robbed a convenience store, assaulted a man half his size, provoked a confrontation with a police officer, tried to grab the officer’s gun while resisting arrest, then charged the officer with his 300 pound frame, getting himself shot dead as a result, and destroying the officer’s career. Then, in part thanks to the lies spun by the sterling lad Brown chose to hang out with, the city erupted in violence, people died, businesses burned, and the city’s name became synonymous with the nation’s shattered race relations, distrust of police, and the use of a false slogan in other U.S. cities to substitute mob justice for the current system.

What a guy!

I take some solace in the true awfulness of the memorial itself—the ridiculous representation of Brown in a mortar board, as if was Mr. Know-It-All from the Rocky and Bullwinkle show, the sickly-sweet doggerel composed by someone rejected by the Hallmark company, the  dove, and especially the line, “He left in an afterglow of smiles…” Yeah, that sums up the last moments of Mike Brown’s life, all right. Smiles all around.

At least the thing doesn’t say, “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!”

Before this, I would have said that nothing short of a bubonic plague outbreak could make Ferguson worse than it already is. Obviously, I didn’t see this coming.

52 thoughts on “KABOOM! The Michael Brown Memorial

    • I’ll delete that comment as a courtesy, since it is really embarrassing, darly. Would you like me to do that? It’s no trouble.

      Unless of course you actually witnessed the shooting and can personally rebut the eye-witness testimony that was judged reliable, and conclusive, by a grand jury, left-biased journalists and a U.S. Department of Justice that began by presuming Officer Wilson was guilty and had to back down, since evidence proved otherwise….indeed by anyone inclined to be objective and fair.

      Because a comment like this really makes you look like an idiot, and I know you aren’t one.

      • Why on earth do you think Darly isn’t an idiot? Going by a google search for darly314 ethicslarms, I see comments aggreeing with you about how corrupt our current sports are without any thought behind them and left wing talking points without any thought behind them.

          • sorry… I was hoping to find out he was a real life friend who was intelligent about non-politics or something. I didn’t go searching until I saw the comment on the “see how they spin” post, wherein he revealed himself as exactly the sort of person you were talking about in that post.

  1. Wow. I didn’t know Michael Brown did all that….. Only people who are heroes, and champions of Justice, person of the people, speaking up for every life…. those are the kind of people who deserve memorials….

  2. I am so sorry that Mike Brown died. And I am so sorry that Mike Brown chose to use drugs that altered his mental state and made him act so aggressively. I believe the grand jury testimony of some of the witnesses, especially the older folks, who said he was a pleasant, polite young man. He probably was, when not high on drugs.

    But to manufacture a story that just did not happen, and continue to cling to the lies, in the face of overwhelming evidence of the truth – is a great disservice to everyone – including Mike Brown. If they really wanted to honor his life, they would be honest about what happened and why, and try to keep kids from going down that path.

    The lies do nothing but stir up more trouble.

      • Thanks, I appreciate that. I’m new to this site, just discovered it recently. Really enjoying the articles and comments – looking forward to reading more.

    • No, I call bullshit on that. I’m not defending pot, but it doesn’t make you aggressive. If anything, it’s likely to calm you down. In my humble opinion, this tells me that he was probably even nastier when he WASN’T high. It can impair judgment, which might be a better fit here, or it might make you paranoid, in which case he would have been more concerned with getting out of a public setting than robbing stores and charging cops. His premorbid personality was revealed, nothing more. He was a punk thug, and he got a punk thug’s due. This plaque is an out-and-out lie, and this only serves to cement the distrust and animosity between the races.

      • I’m not sure about that. It also lowers inhibitions. If you are an aggressive person who normally keeps a lid on it, the effect of lowered self control could exceed the calming affect. On average, I would agree with you, but he could have been an outlier.

      • I’m not trying to excuse Mike Brown’s behavior because of pot. I’m saying that the effects of a combination of pot and alcohol (he was also drinking the night before), and little to no sleep – is dangerous and unpredictable, and may very well be the reason he was so over-the-top aggressive.

        “The Dangers of Combining Alcohol and Marijuana”

        According to Officer Wilson’s testimony, Brown’s face looked demonic, he seemed extraordinarily strong, and when he was charging Wilson, and Wilson was forced to open fire, Brown got hit with bullets – and then kept coming! This was corroborated by several legitimate witnesses.

        The people who wanted to paint Mike Brown as the victim, the “gentle giant”, claimed he was an unarmed teenage boy. But his irrational, violent, drug-induced behavior WAS the weapon that he was using with deadly force against Wilson.

        This article explains it much better than I can:

        “Marijuana Figures Big in Ferguson Meltdown”

        Today’s marijuana is much stronger than it used to be. Drinking alcohol can greatly increase the effects of the pot. And also, from the above article, “…early childhood use of pot is a major cause of psychosis and violent behavior.”

        A line from one of Mike Brown’s songs:

        “I’ve been smoking weed since 9.”

        It’s not an excuse – it’s the reason Wilson HAD to defend himself.

        • I see. I wasn’t aware that alcohol was part of the mix. Alcohol and benzodiazepines, in particular, have a synergistic and potentiating effect when combined with other drugs. Cocaine and alcohol is another such combination. Normally, the liver hydrolyzes cocaine into inactive metabolites, but the presence of alcohol during this process causes one metabolite to turn back into something very much like cocaine, but with an ethyl rather than a methyl ester group adjacent to the arene. It makes it much more potent, more addictive, and much more destructive to nervous and cardiac tissue. An entirely different molecule, not just a psychological phenomenon.

  3. “Afterglow of smiles”?? His life’s legacy was an afterglow of buildings reduced to a smoking rubble after other thugs of his ilk decided to “celebrate his life” in style. Someone please tell me this is some sort of grotesque joke!

  4. Well, denial is a potent narcotic. I was struck by the tone taken by the “journalist” when he wrote that Michael Brown would “finally” receive a permanent memorial. The more benign tree that was planted in his memory was chopped down by someone obviously intent upon continuing to provoke. So now we get a bronze plaque. Can’t wait to see what happens to THAT. Maybe this will become the Ferguson version of Captain Morton’s palm tree. We can only hope that things don’t escalate beyond that level of retaliation.

    • I’d say they’ve already “escalated” to the point of a transnational riot-fest. And the whole damned thing is based on a long string of institutionalized lies, of which Michael Brown’s case was only the most recent example. I value truth over lies and the rule of law over mob rule. Personally, I hope someone takes that brass plaque with its false platitudes and tosses it in the Missouri River.

      • If things proceed normally, the plaque will likely end up in the same place as cemetery markers and vases, gutters, downspouts and aluminum siding.

  5. Hmmm, and Paul Ray Smith has no such memorial in his hometown or anywhere like it. That says something about our priorities. $10 also says they will post a guard or at least a camera to make sure this memorial stands untouched, and anyone who dares to even place a note nearby that sets the record straight will be charged with a hate crime.

  6. Jack,
    I don’t disagree with your take on the memorial. but this: “Mike Brown, like the most humble of us, deserves a private memorial to his short, tragic and pointless life ..” was a tad over the top. He may not have stood for truth, justice, and the American way, but calling his life “pointless” because he didn’t extol wholesome values or achieve great things is insensitive and cruel.

    Who are you, me, or any of us to judge the worth of someone’s life? I know you were trying to make a larger point and don’t want to get bogged down in semantics, but I think this quote crosses a line into poor taste.

    That said, I hope you’re otherwise doing well. Cheers!


    • I thought about “pointless” in fact. The ethics alarm went off. I’m sure, if I had spent more time, a better word would have occurred to me. But I don’t think much in the way of credentials are required to make the observation that a teen who gets himself killed by his own foolish defiance and bravado when given a legal order by a police officer has lived a pointless life, capped by a pointless death. If the point of his life was to become educated, as the image on the memorial suggests, he wouldn’t have engaged in conduct that would get him bounced from most colleges. So what was the point of his life? It will stand for divisiveness, anger and distrust…but that wasn’t the point of his life, I HOPE. He literally threw his life away…and pointlessly. If he saw a point in his life, he wasn’t very clear about it in his own mind.

      I’ll agree with the quibble that it’s not the best description, but it’s not unfair, either.

    • I’d say there was a point to his life, and it was to cause as much strife and misery as a teen-aged thug can. Mission accomplished.

  7. I assumed this was the plaque placed on his grave, which would have been sufficiently deluded and pathetic. Silly me. But a public, municipal memorial? Huh?

  8. I think this is great. We should give memorials to more misunderstood and police harassed individuals. Mike Tyson should get one. OJ Simpson should have a memorial plaque with a glove. Rodney King needs one desperately. Aaron Hernandez should get one too. He was just a bystander. Bernie Madoff should have a platinum memorial on Wall St. Ted Bundy needs a memorial at every sorority house for his charming demeanor. We cannot let these individuals not find solace in that their good standing and commitment to society is not forgotten.

    My cheek hurts from the abuse. I could keep going.

      • A plaque in Hollywood dedicated to the leadership abilities of Charles Manson seems appropriate. We can use travelling circuses to make a moving clown monument for John Wayne Gacy.

        Al Capone can have several whiskey bottles and tommy guns set up in front of courthouses and the IRS building for his personal remembrance to his good intentions and aid he gave willingly.

        I’m starting to get very morbid with this so I shall stop while I am still sane.

  9. That thing on the top that I think it supposed to be a flame… sort of looks like the Twitter logo. I wonder if it’s a conscious decision to make it look like the social media that helped beatify him in the first place.

  10. I think we all would have liked to have had “the memory of Michael Brown to be a happy one.” However, it isn’t and it never will be. Perhaps this engraved plaque should be placed on the bakery that was burned and looted and then, because of the faith, hope, and love of others, made whole again.

  11. Not only is that memorial poorly-worded, it contains a punctuation error. The comma in the last sentence is 100% wrong. You’d think someone, several someones, would have checked for that sort of thing before the plaque was made.

  12. One thing is for certain: If the people of Ferguson want their children to idolize and emulate Michael Brown, their troubles are far from over. They would be much better off with a plaque with the words from Jack’s sixth paragraph above (“In his last moments on earth…”)

    • This plaque is just a symptom of the terrible disease that permeates the African American community right now.

      (hint: You can thank the Left for their woes…)

        • I am loathe to summarize, because the summary leaves out much clarification and caveats, but, in short:

          1) A general unwillingness to be unaccountable for the conditions in which they live or situations they get into.

          2) A general, and active, effort to artificially separate themselves from the greater community – and no, it isn’t imposed from outside by some racist white community (though that was the case before, it is not NOW). This separation manifests in many ways, but briefly in the notion that the “culture” that has been invented around the African American community should be seen as legitimate and protected by “multiculturalism”. Blecccch.

          3) Though probably an offshoot of #2, I also see an departure from what would be labeled “white values” – that is, stable families, aggressive pursuit of education, avoidance of violence as an immediate solution to personal conflict, etc…

          And no, Charles, these aren’t problems caused by white people. It is an endemic and self-perpetuating problem in the African American community, a sick sick plant that has been fertilized and watered by Left-wing policy and rhetoric for TOO LONG.

  13. Back here in India, in every political demonstration etc., there are always a section of people who want to see peaceful demonstrations turn ugly. And those must e the kind of people who installed this plaque. In fact, they get some kind of weird pleasure of seeing the work of their hands turn the peaceful situation into a violent one. Added to that, is the kick of getting high with Alcohol before turning up for the demonstration. Thankfully, there’s less to none of that these days in certain parts of India. I do feel sad for Mike Brown to die and really feel bad that apartheid struggles still exist today. We may deny it, but ITS THERE. In some silent / small / big way.

    But what I don’t understand is why don’t people get the truth that we’re all the people of planet earth. and we must share equality. treat each other with respect.

    Aliens on Mars are probably laughing at us by now.

    • Apartheid?

      You may wanna brush up on History…we don’t have that here anymore…

      “Aliens on Mars are probably laughing at us by now.”

      Don’t you think it’s a bit presumptive to assume aliens on mars have evolved a miraculously perfect set of altruistic inclinations that they would have advanced so perfectly that they surpass us, but then managed to evolve the inclination to laugh scornfully at us rather than weep in pity?

      Nah, aliens are probably killing each other in wars just like we are…

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