Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Most Balanced And Fair-Minded Comment on Ferguson Comes From NFL Player

 

From New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson:

Benjamin WatsonAt some point while I was playing or preparing to play Monday Night Football, the news broke about the Ferguson Decision. After trying to figure out how I felt, I decided to write it down. Here are my thoughts:

I’M ANGRY because the stories of injustice that have been passed down for generations seem to be continuing before our very eyes.

I’M FRUSTRATED, because pop culture, music and movies glorify these types of police citizen altercations and promote an invincible attitude that continues to get young men killed in real life, away from safety movie sets and music studios.

I’M FEARFUL because in the back of my mind I know that although I’m a law abiding citizen I could still be looked upon as a “threat” to those who don’t know me. So I will continue to have to go the extra mile to earn the benefit of the doubt.

I’M EMBARRASSED because the looting, violent protests, and law breaking only confirm, and in the minds of many, validate, the stereotypes and thus the inferior treatment.

I’M SAD, because another young life was lost from his family, the racial divide has widened, a community is in shambles, accusations, insensitivity hurt and hatred are boiling over, and we may never know the truth about what happened that day.

I’M SYMPATHETIC, because I wasn’t there so I don’t know exactly what happened. Maybe Darren Wilson acted within his rights and duty as an officer of the law and killed Michael Brown in self defense like any of us would in the circumstance. Now he has to fear the backlash against himself and his loved ones when he was only doing his job. What a horrible thing to endure. OR maybe he provoked Michael and ignited the series of events that led to him eventually murdering the young man to prove a point.

I’M OFFENDED, because of the insulting comments I’ve seen that are not only insensitive but dismissive to the painful experiences of others.

I’M CONFUSED, because I don’t know why it’s so hard to obey a policeman. You will not win!!! And I don’t know why some policeman abuse their power. Power is a responsibility, not a weapon to brandish and lord over the populace.

I’M INTROSPECTIVE, because sometimes I want to take “our” side without looking at the facts in situations like these. Sometimes I feel like it’s us against them. Sometimes I’m just as prejudiced as people I point fingers at. And that’s not right. How can I look at white skin and make assumptions but not want assumptions made about me? That’s not right.

I’M HOPELESS, because I’ve lived long enough to expect things like this to continue to happen. I’m not surprised and at some point my little children are going to inherit the weight of being a minority and all that it entails.

I’M HOPEFUL, because I know that while we still have race issues in America, we enjoy a much different normal than those of our parents and grandparents. I see it in my personal relationships with teammates, friends and mentors. And it’s a beautiful thing.

I’M ENCOURAGED, because ultimately the problem is not a SKIN problem, it is a SIN problem. SIN is the reason we rebel against authority. SIN is the reason we abuse our authority. SIN is the reason we are racist, prejudiced and lie to cover for our own. SIN is the reason we riot, loot and burn. BUT I’M ENCOURAGED because God has provided a solution for sin through the his son Jesus and with it, a transformed heart and mind. One that’s capable of looking past the outward and seeing what’s truly important in every human being. The cure for the Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner tragedies is not education or exposure. It’s the Gospel. So, finally, I’M ENCOURAGED because the Gospel gives mankind hope.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/BenjaminWatsonOfficial/posts/602172116576590

There are 34 comments.

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  1. Jules PA Member

    WoW. Thanks for sharing that.

    • #1
    • November 26, 2014, at 7:32 AM PST
    • Like
  2. PHCheese Member

    I firmly believe in the Devil. Good and bad are always doing battle. It is up to each of us every day to win a round against Beelzebub.

    • #2
    • November 26, 2014, at 7:54 AM PST
    • Like
  3. PsychLynne Inactive

    I’m IMPRESSED by this young man’s ability sit in the tensions he described without resolving them one way or another. He clearly has the ability to tolerate a lack of knowing and uncertainty, acknowledging the truths of both history and the present.

    I’m INSPIRED by his view that this doesn’t come from SKIN differences, but from a far darker side of human nature.

    Misthiocracy, I’m DELIGHTED by your INSTINCT to share this! Thank you.

    • #3
    • November 26, 2014, at 8:03 AM PST
    • Like
  4. Doug Watt Moderator

    An honest self-assessment and great questions that the rest of us should answer by assessing ourselves. He definitely proved one other stereotype wrong, that is the dumb jock stereotype.

    • #4
    • November 26, 2014, at 8:12 AM PST
    • Like
  5. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    Like. A lot.

    • #5
    • November 26, 2014, at 8:15 AM PST
    • Like
  6. garyinabq Member

    This man knows his heart and his mind. And he knows that only the gospel has the answers. I’d like to know more about his church and background.

    • #6
    • November 26, 2014, at 8:22 AM PST
    • Like
  7. CuriousKevmo Member

    Misthiocracy: I’M INTROSPECTIVE, because sometimes I want to take “our” side without looking at the facts in situations like these. Sometimes I feel like it’s us against them. Sometimes I’m just as prejudiced as people I point fingers at. And that’s not right. How can I look at white skin and make assumptions but not want assumptions made about me? That’s not right.

    I’M HUMBLED by his willingness to acknowledge this bit publicly. I suspect its true of all of us, but most of us are unwilling to admit it….even to ourselves.

    • #7
    • November 26, 2014, at 8:23 AM PST
    • Like
  8. Z in MT Member

    Despite the riots, throughout this Micheal Brown tragedy my hope for better race relations have been buoyed by statements like these and those of the Brown family and leading residents of Ferguson, MO.

    • #8
    • November 26, 2014, at 8:25 AM PST
    • Like
  9. TG Thatcher

    Thank you for bringing this over from Facebook; I wouldn’t have had a chance to read it if you hadn’t.

    • #9
    • November 26, 2014, at 8:25 AM PST
    • Like
  10. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western ChauvinistJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Amen, brother! It’s all about conversions of the heart.

    • #10
    • November 26, 2014, at 8:27 AM PST
    • Like
  11. Son of Spengler Contributor

    TG:Thank you for bringing this over from Facebook; I wouldn’t have had a chance to read it if you hadn’t.

    Maybe someone can persuade the author to join Ricochet.

    • #11
    • November 26, 2014, at 8:36 AM PST
    • Like
  12. Calvin Coolidg Inactive

    That was awesome.

    • #12
    • November 26, 2014, at 9:12 AM PST
    • Like
  13. Theodoric of Freiberg Member

    Benjamin Watson’s sentiments are wonderful and hit the mark in so many ways. Bravo!

    • #13
    • November 26, 2014, at 9:24 AM PST
    • Like
  14. iDad Inactive

    “OR maybe he provoked Michael and ignited the series of events that led to him eventually murdering the young man to prove a point.”

    Sorry, but this is utter nonsense that mars an otherwise thoughtful piece.

    • #14
    • November 26, 2014, at 10:20 AM PST
    • Like
  15. Rachel Lu Contributor

    iDad:

    “OR maybe he provoked Michael and ignited the series of events that led to him eventually murdering the young man to prove a point.”

    Sorry, but this is utter nonsense that mars an otherwise thoughtful piece.

    Is it? I think it’s possible. I’m not saying it happened, but police can behave like bullies sometimes. Even if Brown was provoked he could have chosen to respond differently, but I think it’s going too far to suggest that Wilson was clearly innocent of any wrong. I think the grand jury’s decision was right, but it certainly isn’t crystal clear what actually happened that night.

    • #15
    • November 26, 2014, at 10:42 AM PST
    • Like
  16. Profile Photo Member

    I hope that someone from the RNC is boarding a plane right now to visit this insightful young man and asking him if he would like to be a candidate for office after his football career is over

    • #16
    • November 26, 2014, at 10:48 AM PST
    • Like
  17. iDad Inactive

    Rachel Lu:

    iDad:

    “OR maybe he provoked Michael and ignited the series of events that led to him eventually murdering the young man to prove a point.”

    Sorry, but this is utter nonsense that mars an otherwise thoughtful piece.

    Is it? I think it’s possible. I’m not saying it happened, but police can behave like bullies sometimes. Even if Brown was provoked he could have chosen to respond differently, but I think it’s going too far to suggest that Wilson was clearly innocent of any wrong. I think the grand jury’s decision was right, but it certainly isn’t crystal clear what actually happened that night.

    Watson doesn’t say that Wilson might not have been “clearly innocent of any wrong.” He suggests that Wilson “provoked Michael” then killed him “to prove a point.”

    The fact that something isn’t “crystal clear” does not justify malicious conjecture in the absence of proof. What evidence – as opposed to speculation about what’s “possible’ – is there that Wilson provoked Brown, then killed him to prove a point?

    • #17
    • November 26, 2014, at 11:01 AM PST
    • Like
  18. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk andJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Charlie LeDuff tries to talk to another good man in Ferguson:

    • #18
    • November 26, 2014, at 11:01 AM PST
    • Like
  19. Rachel Lu Contributor

    iDad:

    Rachel Lu:

    iDad:

    “OR maybe he provoked Michael and ignited the series of events that led to him eventually murdering the young man to prove a point.”

    Sorry, but this is utter nonsense that mars an otherwise thoughtful piece.

    Is it? I think it’s possible. I’m not saying it happened, but police can behave like bullies sometimes. Even if Brown was provoked he could have chosen to respond differently, but I think it’s going too far to suggest that Wilson was clearly innocent of any wrong. I think the grand jury’s decision was right, but it certainly isn’t crystal clear what actually happened that night.

    Watson doesn’t say that Wilson might not have been “clearly innocent of any wrong.” He suggests that Wilson “provoked Michael” then killed him “to prove a point.”

    The fact that something isn’t “crystal clear” does not justify malicious conjecture in the absence of proof. What evidence – as opposed to speculation about what’s “possible’ – is there that Wilson provoked Brown, then killed him to prove a point?

    In cases such as these, a fair amount of conjecture is permissible; we all want to consider the real possibilities for what might have happened. As for “evidence” that Brown was provoked, I’ll just say this: cops do sometimes provoke people unnecessarily, and it’s somewhat odd that Brown would be so aggressive if not in any way provoked. That’s very far from dispositive, but I think enough to justify this level of conjecture.

    The phrase “to prove a point” may be taking things a little far, but I don’t think it’s egregious. Cops are capable of being culpably callous about the value of human life.

    • #19
    • November 26, 2014, at 11:45 AM PST
    • Like
  20. Mike Rapkoch Moderator

    Rachel Lu:

    iDad:

    “OR maybe he provoked Michael and ignited the series of events that led to him eventually murdering the young man to prove a point.”

    Sorry, but this is utter nonsense that mars an otherwise thoughtful piece.

    Is it? I think it’s possible. I’m not saying it happened, but police can behave like bullies sometimes. Even if Brown was provoked he could have chosen to respond differently, but I think it’s going too far to suggest that Wilson was clearly innocent of any wrong. I think the grand jury’s decision was right, but it certainly isn’t crystal clear what actually happened that night.

    Exactly. Wilson could have waited for assistance (he’d already called for help) but instead chose to pursue Brown. This was sure to aggravate the situation. Although I’ve just begun to read the evidence, I see some policeman machismo in all of this. That is troubling to me.

    • #20
    • November 26, 2014, at 12:11 PM PST
    • Like
  21. iDad Inactive

    [Deleted]

    • #21
    • November 26, 2014, at 12:17 PM PST
    • Like
  22. iDad Inactive

    Rachel Lu:

    iDad:

    Rachel Lu:

    iDad:

    “OR maybe he provoked Michael and ignited the series of events that led to him eventually murdering the young man to prove a point.”

    Sorry, but this is utter nonsense that mars an otherwise thoughtful piece.

    Is it? I think it’s possible. I’m not saying it happened, but police can behave like bullies sometimes. Even if Brown was provoked he could have chosen to respond differently, but I think it’s going too far to suggest that Wilson was clearly innocent of any wrong. I think the grand jury’s decision was right, but it certainly isn’t crystal clear what actually happened that night.

    Watson doesn’t say that Wilson might not have been “clearly innocent of any wrong.” He suggests that Wilson “provoked Michael” then killed him “to prove a point.”

    The fact that something isn’t “crystal clear” does not justify malicious conjecture in the absence of proof. What evidence – as opposed to speculation about what’s “possible’ – is there that Wilson provoked Brown, then killed him to prove a point?

    In cases such as these, a fair amount of conjecture is permissible; we all want to consider the real possibilities for what might have happened. As for “evidence” that Brown was provoked, I’ll just say this: cops do sometimes provoke people unnecessarily, and it’s somewhat odd that Brown would be so aggressive if not in any way provoked. That’s very far from dispositive, but I think enough to justify this level of conjecture.

    The phrase “to prove a point” may be taking things a little far, but I don’t think it’s egregious. Cops are capable of being culpably callous about the value of human life.

    So – no evidence, just conjecture.

    • #22
    • November 26, 2014, at 12:19 PM PST
    • Like
  23. iDad Inactive

    Mike Rapkoch:

    Rachel Lu:

    iDad:

    “OR maybe he provoked Michael and ignited the series of events that led to him eventually murdering the young man to prove a point.”

    Sorry, but this is utter nonsense that mars an otherwise thoughtful piece.

    Is it? I think it’s possible. I’m not saying it happened, but police can behave like bullies sometimes. Even if Brown was provoked he could have chosen to respond differently, but I think it’s going too far to suggest that Wilson was clearly innocent of any wrong. I think the grand jury’s decision was right, but it certainly isn’t crystal clear what actually happened that night.

    Exactly. Wilson could have waited for assistance (he’d already called for help) but instead chose to pursue Brown. This was sure to aggravate the situation. Although I’ve just begun to read the evidence, I see some policeman machismo in all of this. That is troubling to me.

    Even if what you say were true – and I suggest you need to keep reading – this is not “provoking” then “killing to prove a point.”

    • #23
    • November 26, 2014, at 12:23 PM PST
    • Like
  24. EThompson Inactive

    WOW indeed. I wish this young player would have a chat with Russell Wilson’s teammates.

    Edited because this made Main feed and I hope my favorite NFL compadre -Charlotte- is reading and thinking about renewing her membership.

    We miss you.

    • #24
    • November 26, 2014, at 1:09 PM PST
    • Like
  25. Petty Boozswha Inactive

    iDad:

    …Sorry, but this is utter nonsense that mars an otherwise thoughtful piece.

    Is it? I think it’s possible. I’m not saying it happened, but police can behave like bullies sometimes. Even if Brown was provoked he could have chosen to respond differently, but I think it’s going too far to suggest that Wilson was clearly innocent of any wrong. I think the grand jury’s decision was right, but it certainly isn’t crystal clear what actually happened that night.

    Watson doesn’t say that Wilson might not have been “clearly innocent of any wrong.” He suggests that Wilson “provoked Michael” then killed him “to prove a point.”

    The fact that something isn’t “crystal clear” does not justify malicious conjecture in the absence of proof. What evidence – as opposed to speculation about what’s “possible’ – is there that Wilson provoked Brown, then killed him to prove a point?

    The evidence I think the author was referring to was the rabble rousing “eyewitness” accounts that started the media frenzy. He wasn’t making something up.

    I hope this footballer considers a career in politics after the NFL – he sounds like an extraordinary young man.

    • #25
    • November 26, 2014, at 2:02 PM PST
    • Like
  26. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    Liz @ #24: Amen. Russell Wilson’s treatment by his teammates is abominable.

    • #26
    • November 26, 2014, at 3:07 PM PST
    • Like
  27. Ansonia Member
    AnsoniaJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’m in awe of his courage.

    • #27
    • November 26, 2014, at 4:09 PM PST
    • Like
  28. Lucy Pevensie Inactive

    Rachel Lu:

    iDad:

    Rachel Lu:

    iDad:

    “OR maybe he provoked Michael and ignited the series of events that led to him eventually murdering the young man to prove a point.”

    Sorry, but this is utter nonsense that mars an otherwise thoughtful piece.

    Is it? I think it’s possible. I’m not saying it happened, but police can behave like bullies sometimes. Even if Brown was provoked he could have chosen to respond differently, but I think it’s going too far to suggest that Wilson was clearly innocent of any wrong. I think the grand jury’s decision was right, but it certainly isn’t crystal clear what actually happened that night.

    Watson doesn’t say that Wilson might not have been “clearly innocent of any wrong.” He suggests that Wilson “provoked Michael” then killed him “to prove a point.”

    The fact that something isn’t “crystal clear” does not justify malicious conjecture in the absence of proof. What evidence – as opposed to speculation about what’s “possible’ – is there that Wilson provoked Brown, then killed him to prove a point?

    In cases such as these, a fair amount of conjecture is permissible; we all want to consider the real possibilities for what might have happened. As for “evidence” that Brown was provoked, I’ll just say this: cops do sometimes provoke people unnecessarily, and it’s somewhat odd that Brown would be so aggressive if not in any way provoked. That’s very far from dispositive, but I think enough to justify this level of conjecture.

    The phrase “to prove a point” may be taking things a little far, but I don’t think it’s egregious. Cops are capable of being culpably callous about the value of human life.

    And since there are people who will read this who clearly believe that this is what occurred, his including that possibility makes the whole piece much more powerful and universal in its appeal. My Facebook feed is full of rich white liberals who believe that, by the way, so it is far from an opinion held only by blacks.

    Curious, because I know nothing about football, what is the treatment by teammates that the rest of you are referring to?

    • #28
    • November 27, 2014, at 5:35 AM PST
    • Like
  29. iDad Inactive

    Lucy Pevensie:

    Rachel Lu:

    iDad:

    Rachel Lu:

    iDad:

    “OR maybe he provoked Michael and ignited the series of events that led to him eventually murdering the young man to prove a point.”

    Sorry, but this is utter nonsense that mars an otherwise thoughtful piece.

    Is it? I think it’s possible. I’m not saying it happened, but police can behave like bullies sometimes. Even if Brown was provoked he could have chosen to respond differently, but I think it’s going too far to suggest that Wilson was clearly innocent of any wrong. I think the grand jury’s decision was right, but it certainly isn’t crystal clear what actually happened that night.

    Watson doesn’t say that Wilson might not have been “clearly innocent of any wrong.” He suggests that Wilson “provoked Michael” then killed him “to prove a point.”

    The fact that something isn’t “crystal clear” does not justify malicious conjecture in the absence of proof. What evidence – as opposed to speculation about what’s “possible’ – is there that Wilson provoked Brown, then killed him to prove a point?

    In cases such as these, a fair amount of conjecture is permissible; we all want to consider the real possibilities for what might have happened. As for “evidence” that Brown was provoked, I’ll just say this: cops do sometimes provoke people unnecessarily, and it’s somewhat odd that Brown would be so aggressive if not in any way provoked. That’s very far from dispositive, but I think enough to justify this level of conjecture.

    The phrase “to prove a point” may be taking things a little far, but I don’t think it’s egregious. Cops are capable of being culpably callous about the value of human life.

    And since there are people who will read this who clearly believe that this is what occurred, his including that possibility makes the whole piece much more powerful and universal in its appeal. My Facebook feed is full of rich white liberals who believe that, by the way, so it is far from an opinion held only by blacks.

    Curious, because I know nothing about football, what is the treatment by teammates that the rest of you are referring to?

    By that reasoning, including the statement, “I’M SYMPATHETIC, because I wasn’t there so I don’t know exactly what happened. Maybe George Bush acted within his duty as a Resident to prevent the 9/11 attacks, Now he has to live with the contempt some feel for him because they think he didn’t do his job. What a horrible thing to endure. OR maybe 9/11 was an inside job that Bush was in on” in article about 9/11 is justified because it makes the piece “more powerful and universal in its appeal” and it’s an opinion held by both some blacks and some rich white liberals.

    • #29
    • November 27, 2014, at 8:48 AM PST
    • Like
  30. Profile Photo Member

    Amen to Mr. Watson!

    • #30
    • November 27, 2014, at 11:47 AM PST
    • Like

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