Who is Looting and Burning Ferguson, Missouri?

CBS news Atlanta has just confirmed that protesters went home shortly after the verdict by the Grand Jury to not try the police officer who shot and killed unarmed teen Michael Brown.

‘There are criminals out there looting and burning cars and businesses. It is a tragedy that people are taking advantage of an opportunity to do these criminal acts.’

The truth is that hoodlums are responsible for fires and total destruction of Ferguson businesses, not protesters.

It is also being reported that fire fighters are not able to get to these fires because it is not safe. So, where is the National Guard? Can’t they help fire fighters so these businesses can be saved?

Rev. Bernice King, daughter of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King,Jr. said shortly after the verdict, “We have some difficult days ahead. We are bleeding. We have to find a way to stop the bleeding immediately.”

Let’s step up our efforts to educate and organize teams of community members to effect public policy for the short and long terms. We need to take our power back and control what happens in our neighborhoods as we track and hold our elected officials accountable all year long, not just during the election season.

What are your thoughts on the Ferguson verdict and the criminal acts of looting and burning of businesses?

From what you know so far, do you agree with how the officials handled the aftermath of the verdict? Is justice really blind? Are you willing to work consistently toward improving your neighborhood and local community? If so, when and with what organization?

Waiting For Ferguson Grand Jury

The nation is anxiously waiting for the grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri to make a decision about the police officer who shot the unarmed teen, Michael Brown.  Civil rights leaders, ministers and President Obama has urged citizens not to resort to violence if the police officer is not charged.

Where are the pleas for the police not to shot peaceful, unarmed citizens and/or protesters and ask questions later?  Isn’t that how we got into this situation in the first place?

One news story reported that the National Guard has already been called to standby to assist the police in Ferguson. Why not install surveillance cameras in areas where protests are likely to happen so we can determine who are the real agitators and aggressors?

Despite a call for calm, groups often infiltrate peaceful demonstrations who cause chaos and start violence.  So, let’s ask law engorcement to use satellites and all available technology to identify and prosecute “the real bad guys”!

It Is All Connected!

Three things that are all connected:
1) Yesterday I did a ride-along with two very caring and committed Parole Officers for their home visits in Atlanta. Wearing my bullet-proof vest, not knowing what to expect, yet eager to learn, I quickly discovered four of the five parolees did not graduate from high school or have a GED. All four provided proof that they are working toward getting their GED. Now they realize how important it is to finding a job.

2) This morning, I was part of an interview panel for the principal selection committee for Harper-Archer Middle School. It will be the school’s 16th principal in 13 years. Once this new principal is selected, he/she will be the third principal for this school year for this Title I school.

3) Tonight I spoke to some knowledgeable residents who agree that educators know how to create high achieving schools without cheating. What we need includes: more consistent parent involvement, parent and staff training, current resources, effective use of these resources; caring, capable & ethical principal and staff; programs rewarding good behavior, clearly defined disciplinary program, curriculum and programs tailored to student needs, input from all stakeholders, and support from central office and community.

As I reflect on yesterday and today, I realize all three of these things are connected. And, it is scary!!

If parents, churches and communities do not come together to hold each other accountable, our kids will continue to fill the pipeline to prison in America’s Prison Industrial Complex. Working together and being proactive, we can save our kids with a good education.