Thursday, October 23, 2014

For the Love of Money.

On 20 August, I wrote a long post on the killing for Michael Brown.  In that post I wrote;  "Sad that it has come to this.  But I believe there is a narrative of "green" at work."  I spent a great deal of time looking at some of the folks involved with the "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" protest along with many of the social commentators and the attorneys representing the Brown family (Parks and Crump).  At that time I believed that the issues were not really black v. white but that a color was involved and it was "green".

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) (video at the link)  – In a recent statement, Michael Brown’s mother asked that her son not be part of self-serving business or political actions as she pleaded that he be remembered for the good.  A reported assault and theft this past weekend may dramatically underscore that sentiment.

It happened Saturday night, October 18th, at about 8:15 pm in the parking lot of Red’s BBQ.  It`s the corner of Canfield and West Florissant, just blocks from where Michael Brown was shot and killed.
Police sources tell us Brown`s Grandmother, Pearlie Gordon, along with Brown`s Cousin Tony Petty, were selling t-shirts and other Michael Brown merchandise.

A police report describes a car pulling up and several people getting out.  One of those people, was reported to be Michael Brown`s Mom, Lesley McSpadden.  A witness described McSpadden yelling ‘You can`t sell this s%$&”  One of the relatives, who was selling, reportedly demanded McSpadden show a document proving she had a patent.

The police report says that`s when an unidentified person with McSpadden assaulted Petty so violently that it resulted in a 911 call.  A witness tells Fox 2 that the weapon was a metal pipe or pole.  The suspect reportedly struck Petty in the face.  Medics then took him to Christian Northeast Hospital.  The witness said the assault suspect grabbed merchandise and a box of cash believed to contain about $1,400.

It appears surveillance cameras could have captured the fight and be part of police evidence.  Police report no arrests at this time.

We reached out to the local Brown family attorney, Anthony D. Gray and he declined to comment.

I have said all along that I have nothing but compassion for the parents of Michael Brown.  As a father I cannot imagine losing a child and I am willing to give Ms. McSpadden the benefit of the doubt and believe that she does not want Michael's image used for others to profit.  I get that.  I agree with her.  But, I am also not blind, deaf or dumb and I know that just like people trademarked and profited off "Justice for Trayvon" clothing and other items, so too will someone profit off of "Hands up, Don't shoot" or "Justice For Michael Brown" in some manner.  Right now there are two pages of search results where you can order a t-shirt on Google alone.

Above:  Google results for Justice for Michael Brown T-Shirts
At the end of the day the death of Michael Brown was tragic for him, his family, friends along with the community of Ferguson (St. Louis), the State of Missouri and the United States.  For Mr. Brown's friends and family his death is a tragic for obvious reasons.  For the local, state and nation it is a tragedy because race has been used to hustle a strange form of justice intended to subvert the established system of justice. 
The belief without evidence that the death of Michael Brown at the hands of white police officer Darren Wilson occurred simply because he was black has done nothing but continue to polarize our communities.  The cries of racism have been long and loud.  In the end the truth is that from nearly the moment the story broke nationwide color was involved.  But that color was "green" and the behavior of Michael Brown's relatives only underscore that.  In the end it all boils down to . . . .

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