Racism or not, Michael Brown shouldn’t be dead

I’ll try to be brief, but this needs to be said. I often read statistics of women getting lower average pay than men and of black people being incarcerated more often than whites. These are two correlations that potentially could have absolutely nothing to do with sexism or racism. Maybe women’s work doesn’t deserve as high of salaries, and maybe black people commit more crimes. Both of these are possible, and could be reasonable explanations for the statistics. But, here’s my point, my very important point that I beg you to read carefully, the reason for the problem doesn’t negate the fact that it is still a problem. There is absolutely no situation in which any of us get out of this with no responsibility. Whether an individual’s result is because of overt or subtle sexism or racism or because of choices that they were influenced to make matters only in deciding how to treat the problem, not in deciding if there is a problem.

With women’s salaries, we (men and women both) may: A. discriminate like hell and hold women back unconsciously or even purposefully and/or B. raise and influence women to make choices that reduce their income.

Addressing the high rate of blacks incarcerated, it could possibly be due to A. overt discrimination against blacks and/or B. subtler causes that are correlated with being black.

I hark back to this pretty often, and for those who have heard it already, I apologize, but, the reality is, our choices are not our own. As a white dude, I’d be really naive to sit back and say, I got to where I am because of my own actions and inspiration. I got here because my parents have money. And they’re nice, attentive, educated people. And they are that way because their parents worked their tails off and raised them to work their tails off. I’ll spare you from the infinite other reasons that I am happy and productive because I think I’ve made the point. The point is, we are successful not because of some divine inspiration within and we are failures not because of some moronic self-inflicted decision but rather because the universe has conspired to make us exactly how we are at any given moment.

The reason I bring this all up is because Michael Brown was A. overtly discriminated against and/or B. directed toward his tragic outcome by his community, his family and friends, literally every single thing that ever has happened to result in the unfortunate incident. Could it be because blacks are vitamin D deficient because of their darker complexions and this deficiency causes law breaking behavior? Doubtful. But if you believe it is, test that hypothesis rather than rambling about it on Facebook, and if you find you’re right, start a goddamn vitamin D supplementation campaign.

Honestly, what I think it boils down to is apathy; it’s the belief that if one argues down racism then they’re absolved of any responsibility. But if you think high black incarceration rates are due to one parent households or teen pregnancies, you still have an obligation to do something about it. Michael Brown is dead, and that really sucks. No matter what you argue, I beg you to do something to help fix the problem.

2 thoughts on “Racism or not, Michael Brown shouldn’t be dead”

  1. I’ve enjoyed this site until this post.
    You’re talking about an adult, an adult who made choices, poor choices, that led to his demise. Attempting to place the blame on society for his poor choices is a self licking ice cream cone. He would be alive today if he didn’t choose to strong arm rob a store, then fight a cop.
    Oh, and what does you being white have to do with where you are in life? Are there no poor white people? Are there no rich black people?

    1. Hey man I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the rest of my site! Firstly, I want to make some things clear because I may not have done a good job of explaining them in the original post. Michael Brown was a dick. He was a tremendous douche canoe.

      And I’d like to address your final sentiment as well before I address your original point. I don’t think I claimed my race had any influence on my outcome-it may have, but that wasn’t the thesis of my post.

      The reason I say this is because literally everything in the history of time has influenced me to be who I am. This really is just a fluffed up statement on determinism. I’m saying he might be alive today maybe if he had more attentive parents, or maybe more concerned educators, or maybe better after school programs. Maybe those things would have kept him from being such a tool and getting himself killed. What I am saying is something I think we can all agree on: that an 18 year old getting himself into that kind of a mess is a problem. And I don’t think we should dismiss the problem even if we disagree on the cause.

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