I Have a Strong Message for Those Defending the Violence in Ferguson

Let me get this out of the way first – I’m not here to write about whether or not I believe Darren Wilson should have been indicted in the shooting death of Mike Brown. People have already had their minds made up on that issue for weeks. People who think he’s guilty are going to continue to think that he’s guilty and people who think he’s innocent are going to continue to think that he’s innocent.

But what I will address is this embarrassing and pathetic violence that’s transpired in Ferguson following the announcement that Wilson wasn’t going to be indicted.

Anyone remotely trying to defend this disgusting display of idiocy should be ashamed of themselves.

First, I would like to commend the vast majority of protesters who have demonstrated peacefully and the various groups and individuals who did their best to try to ensure that violence didn’t break out. Unfortunately, deplorable violence ultimately broke out last night in a shameful display of ignorance and stupidity.

And I absolutely mean a shameful display of ignorance and stupidity. 

I understand people are upset. I know racial tensions still run deep in this country and this issue was about far more than just Darren Wilson and Michael Brown.

But there is absolutely no legitimate reason for the violence and awful behavior I witnessed.

What the hell does looting, rioting, vandalizing and setting fire to local businesses have to do with what happened to Mike Brown or the grand jury’s decision not to indict Darren Wilson? The answer is simple: Nothing. 

Yet there I saw, all over the internet and even in the mainstream media itself, people actually defending this reprehensible behavior. I’m sorry, but I have zero leeway when it comes to anyone trying to defend these people.

I watched reporters on CNN get things thrown at them and cursed at. I saw one get threatened by some of these looters because they were filming them. I saw one female reporter get hit in the back with something and another get hit with a rock. I saw people blocking major roads so traffic couldn’t get by. I saw windows in businesses that were broken for no reason other than someone felt like destroying something. I saw police cars destroyed, doused in gasoline and burned.

Again, there’s absolutely zero excuse for any of that, and I have no patience for anyone who would even attempt to defend it.

Then let’s not ignore that at the root of all of this is the death of Mike Brown and the fact that his parents urged protesters to not react violently. Because nothing says you’re there to honor Mike Brown and his family quite like rioting, looting and burning down local businesses despite the fact that Brown’s parents specifically asked people not to act out violently.

That absolutely makes sense.

But this violence, for however long it lasts, has been an absolute embarrassment. Small business owners might now lose everything because some of these people decided to act like absolute jackasses. To say nothing about the overall negative economic impact this will ultimately have on the community. Good luck getting some of these businesses to rebuild (if they can), let alone attracting new businesses to the area. Yet there are people out there with the gall to actually defend this behavior.


I feel terrible for Brown’s parents because this violence is the ultimate show of disrespect to them and their late son. At a time where they are still grieving over the loss of their child, they’re now forced to witness despicable acts of violence by people who are carrying out these acts “in the name of their son.” Those of us who have common sense know that this violence isn’t about justice for Mike Brown. These bottom-feeders who are vandalizing, looting, and destroying these businesses are simply using this situation as an excuse to act like heathens. They’re destroying their community for absolutely no good reason.

And while some violence might have been expected, those defending it should be ashamed of themselves. This violence does nothing but hurt the community of Ferguson, show absolute disrespect to the Brown family who begged people not to react violently, and help to further divide this country racially.

I can only hope that saner heads prevail and people honor the wishes of Mike Brown’s parents. At the end of the day, they’re the ones who lost a child. At the very least we should all show them the utmost respect. Because whether or not you feel Wilson’s actions were justified, Mike Brown was still their son and they can’t ever get him back.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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