How many of you had that thought it could have been me?” said the Rev. Robert White, a St. Louis pastor, to nearly 50 students in the library of East St. Louis High School Thursday.This is a heavily loaded question. If one is talking about a totally random event like a car running off the road into a sidewalk then INDEED it "could" have been you. However when an event is determined by the behavior of more than one party, the "coulda been me" argument starts to fall apart. On the one hand in the real of possibility, ANYTHING can happen. But when we analyze situations we often find that the probability falls or rises based on other items. The problem with a lot of common black thought is that race in and of itself mediates certain outcomes with police when they actually do not.
“Tell me,” he said to a girl at a front table. “Why are you saying that could have been you?” “Because I’m black,” Monecia Hudson, a junior, told him. “It really doesn’t make a difference what gender you are. Police — they don’t care who you are. If they feel you’re doing something wrong they’re going to do whatever they feel.”Let me stop off race and turn to gender. I usually upset certain women when I discuss the issue of women hitting men and men hitting those women back such as what happened recently on the F Train in NYC. A large number of women (and men) are quick to condemn those men who strike back and say that those persons who agree with that support violence against women. My only comment to such persons are as follows: Are you the type who would strike a man (or anyone else for that matter) for any reason other than self defense? If not then why are you supporting those persons who DO strike men (or other people) for reasons other than self-defense? Secondly do YOU engage in such behavior? if not then you have nearly zero chance of finding yourself in such a situation even IF you were involved with a man disposed to striking back. The result is universal: Silence. Similar logic works here. Brown is not dead because he is black. He is dead because he acted inappropriately to someone with a firearm who was ALSO a peace officer. Brown would be alive today and likely in jail or probation, if her had done the following: 1) Did not walk down the middle of the street obstructing traffic. 2) Did not attempt to take and use Wilson't firearm even IF Wilson had grabbed Brown up through the car window or "hit him with his car door". 3) Upon running and being fired upon, stopped with his hands WAY over his head, not only to his side as some witnesses stated, 4) Not moved towards to officer but stood still. With this in mind, the proper question that should have been asked of the students should have been: How many of you would assault a police officer? How many of you would run away from a police officer after assaulting him? How many of you would disregard an order to stop and continue to move towards an officer you just assaulted? Seen this way none of the hands should have gone up. And that is the real lesson of "could have been me". Civilization requires a certain level of responsibility and behaviors. The same way we expect, as we should, a certain level of behavior from police, we should also expect and require a certain level of behavior from citizens.