Days like today I wish I were an emotional person, able to fling myself wholehearted to one side of a debate or another, instead of someone who keeps asking why. "Why?" is not a good question to ask today.
There are images I want to forget. I want to forget the livestream of Michael Brown's mother, crying for her son in front of the Ferguson Police Department.
I also want to forget the image of her husband comforting her, then yelling, "Burn this bitch down."
I want to forget the image of police officers wandering about while a store is actively being looted.
And of course, the images of all the looting and arson going on last night.
I really want to forget about the split screen of President Obama's comments contrasting with the small group of looters running like hell down the street to attack a police car.
And then, I think, why did the Police leave an unmanned police car sitting a block from the police station when they have a huge parking lot?
I really want to get the image out of my head of a black protestor standing across from the police line last weekend yelling at the officers, "White pussy is the best. You got a daughter? I'm gonna rape your daughter." (I think this might have been what prompted the police to write in their report that the protestors were exercising their constitutional rights and insulting the officers.)
I spent way to much time trying to work out exactly how long someone should lay in the street after being shot. Evidently Officer Wilson says people lay in the street for hours all the time. But how many hours? First the dispatcher got the call wrong, the examiners were at another scene and there was a skeleton crew, the photographer needed new batteries for the camera, the crowd thought the people there to take him away were the police and wouldn't let them on the street that was only open from one side because the police had blocked off the other.
While I was trying to clock out what an acceptable length of time would have been, I shared my thoughts with Gary and, Lord, you would think I'd turn to stone. Horror. "She lost her son! That's all you need to know!"
Well, I wish.
My inclination leans toward the Browns. But then I always think, "On the other hand." Always. there's always the other hand. If a man with a gun says get out of the road, yes, get out of the road. On the other hand, this weekend a Missouri State Senator just argued with a carjacker after he pointed a gun at her. I did not know this was an option. On the other hand, I don't want to blame the victim.
Ha! Captain Ron Johnson is at this moment calling for us to use reason. No! It sucks! No fun at all. There's no catchy chant for "On the other hand!"
Then of course, I realize that if you keep looking from one hand to the other you never get off your butt twelve miles away and march with the right side.
All I know is, I keep going back to Wikipedia to see what made the LA and Watts and Detroit riots stop, and it seems pretty consistent: the National Guard and police start mowing people down. Of course these people will be unarmed, and the Guard will be threatened, and that's what started it all.