The Rev. Earl Nance, president of the St. Louis Clergy Coalition, said blacks must take more responsibility to help police fight "black-on-black crime."
"I understand people who holler about the police," Nance said. "There are bad police officers, just like there are bad preachers and bad politicians. But I'd like to see more of these characters out there (protesting) on the streets when we kill each other."
Protesting black-on-black violence is counterproductive; the frequency of black-on-black violence being publicized by a rally or march and broadcast on the local network affiliates only confirms why white people live in suburbs far, far away from blacks and send their kids to "good schools " (devoid of blacks).
Which brings us to the most farcical moment of the entire farce of Ferguson.[Clergy-led protest raises questions over nature of repentance, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10-15-14]:
The rain pounding the pavement made no difference to those urging repentance.
With or without umbrellas, a gang of clergy from various faith traditions marched to the Ferguson Police Department on “Moral Monday,” the last day in a weekend of protests dubbed FergusonOctober. Clergy advanced on South Florissant Road determined to force one question on a community of officers: Will you repent?
They gathered in the parking lot of the police station and created a memorial to Michael Brown, the unarmed teenager fatally shot by Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, by drawing a chalk outline of a body on the pavement. Candles were lit.
A line of police officers quickly formed a perimeter around a crowd of hundreds who had come in support of the clergy. Some guarded the police department’s side door. Officers soon changed into riot gear, equipping themselves with shields and batons.
Then, in the midst of the unrelenting rain, one protest leader cried that officers would be given the chance to confess their sins and repent. One by one, clergy approached the officers on guard, asking them to — for at least a moment — forget their duties and reflect instead on America’s system of racial injustice.
Others, however, said the protest reflected a more fire-and-brimstone kind of theology, with some in the crowd yelling “In Jesus’ name, repent!,” which sounded less like an invitation and more like a threat.
Sgt. Tim Harris of the Ferguson Police Department, who has been an officer for almost 30 years, was facing the front lines of the protest. Harris said that although he tried, he had a difficult time hearing some of the pastors who spoke to him because of all the shouting.
“You could tell some of them were trying to be sincere, but this isn’t the place,” Harris said. “They wanted to force this on us.
“If they respected us, they wouldn’t have come at us the way they did.”
David Greenhaw, president of Eden Theological Seminary, who participated in the protest, said he, too, could have done without that part of the demonstration.
It was “dramatic but unrealistic to think that a police officer would offer their confession,” Greenhaw said. “You know, I wasn’t crazy about that. I didn’t think that was the best element.”
Repentance, Greenhaw said, isn’t “coercive, I think it’s invited, and there was a coercive element.” Greenhaw said the protest reflected a doctrinal divide in the theology of repentance.
Others said the call to repentance wasn’t meant as a condemnation of any one individual but of American society as a whole. Before the march to the police station, clergy themselves were asked to repent for their complicity in a system of racial disparity that continues to hurt African-Americans.
Rabbi Susan Talve of Central Reform Congregation said the officers were “part of the system that use young black people as an ATM,” referring to the disproportionate number of traffic tickets and fines inflicted on African-Americans.
But Talve also admitted clergy had been part of that structure for too long. The protest, she said, was one step toward earning “the trust back of a generation that feels like we’ve neglected them, not heard them, and betrayed them.”
The Rev. Jim Wallis, founder of the Christian magazine Sojourners and a spiritual adviser to President Barack Obama, said that despite the noise, he managed an intimate conversation with a 36-year veteran of the police force — a fellow Christian — who described the last two months as the hardest of his life.
Wallis said that although he does not believe every officer is engaging in brutality, “You can’t say you’re not a racist if you accept and support systems that are.”“There’s no doubt that racialized policing is occurring.”If racialized policing were occurring, the Department of Justice would immediately have suspended any and every officer engaging in such activities immediately. The only crime these clergy demanded repenteance from white police officers for is that they were white at the time they arrested a black male.
|Don't make eye contact, or else you'll agitate the animals...|
Again: we are quickly approaching the day when it will be against the law for a white police officer to arrest a black person they suspect as having committed a crime.
Eight members of "a secretive unit of the U.S. Department of Justice called the Community Relations Service" have been on the ground in metropolitan St. Louis since August 10, when Darren Wilson defended himself from Michael Brown's unwanted advances.
Eric "My People" Holder dispatched more than 40 FBI agents to canvass the neighborhood of Ferguson, where those unwanted advances by Michael Brown were permanently stopped; not to mention the legion of "prosecutors on the ground from the Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney’s Office" Holder had on the ground probing for radicalized policing.
They've found nothing to confirm that racialized policing is occurring in Ferguson or other communities in metropolitan St. Louis, outside of the frequent interaction the police have with black males when it comes to arresting suspects for violent crime, assaults, robbery, home invasions, homicide, rapes, and weapon offenses.
Repent or else...