Eric Stubben is a mechanical engineering junior and Mustang News conservative columnist. These views do not necessarily reflect the opinion or editorial coverage of Mustang News.
If I could, I’d take an eraser and begin scrubbing as hard as I could until the seven calendar boxes representing the last week of November 2014 were nowhere to be found. I would erase the week off every calendar, every computer and every mind until it was no longer a thought or even a distant memory.
The last week of November 2014 is one that Americans should be ashamed of. It’s a week of paradoxical and hypocritical actions that are not only head shaking, but inappropriate as well. For those whose turkey comatose got the better of them last week (me included), let me introduce a recap of what drove me crazy over the past week.
Around 6:30 on a warm fall evening here on the West Coast, thousands of social media users instantaneously gained their law degrees. Insight began pouring in as a grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri ruled that a white police officer would not be indicted on murder charges stemming from a broad daylight killing on Aug. 9 of an African-American teen in the streets of Ferguson.
For those of us paying attention, or maybe more accurately, for those of us who haven’t been living under a rock for the past few months, we know the white officer is identified as Darren Wilson and the dead African-American teen was Michael Brown.
Quickly, the social media law experts weighed in on the ruling, most bashing the decision. “Hands up, don’t shoot,” the unofficial slogan of the whole fiasco was spewed into every crevice of the Internet. But wait, did you know that most accounts in the grand jury never indicate Brown said this at all, let alone put his hands up in surrender?
In the world we live in, media contradicts the law. In America we are innocent until proven guilty, but in the media Wilson was perceived as guilty from the beginning.
Later that Monday night, rioters in Ferguson went on a rampage. They burned and looted several buildings in the downtown area in protest to the grand jury ruling. If igniting a Little Caesar’s in response to law enforcement injustice was supposed to make a statement, it went far over my head.
The rioters continued for hours, burning police cars and American flags to symbolize injustice. As infuriated as I was watching it all unfold over the shoulders of several national media correspondents, I recognize that the First Amendment covers the flag burnings and violent speech. I couldn’t help but wonder how the roughly 1.2 million soldiers who have died protecting that flag to protect our First Amendment rights would feel about those flag burnings.
Yet, the riots are only a small part of the aura surrounding the Ferguson debacle. As one commenter mentioned in one of my previous articles (yes, I do read all the comments), Ferguson is about much more than just police vs. people. Ferguson is about race, it’s about justice, but more importantly, Ferguson is about “the system.”
“The system” has a broad and very vague meaning. From what I understand, “the system” is the complex network of what I would call “the men in suits.” The “men in suits” include politicians to law enforcement and shrewd businessmen.
Now, it’s important that I point out that there are thousands of protestors around the country participating in civil acts of protest. Though I disagree with their view on the Ferguson case, I feel obligated to mention them. These protestors are upset with “the system” because they claim it oppresses and is prejudiced against minorities. They claim that by having majority minority populations represented by majority white police forces, there is an injustice.
I’m here to claim that though I do respect civil acts of protest, if people truly want to change “the system,” they need to become part of “the system” and change it from the inside out. If more minorities became police officers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, engineers or any other profession, they could change “the system.” In fact, I’m all for it. Let’s lower upper-level education prices, reform education and make a college degree more feasible. Until then, police forces will continue to be 75 percent white and minorities will continue to be represented by mostly white police forces.
Maybe the most important thing to come out of Ferguson is a much simpler facet of life. We live in a society where we are increasingly pushing the faults of our actions onto others. Until people once again begin taking responsibility for their actions, we will continue to walk the rocky road of division.
Think about it: If Michael Brown hadn’t shoplifted from a convenience store, if he hadn’t told Wilson to “f*** off” when asked to step onto the sidewalk, if he would’ve just behaved, we would never be here. Michael Brown would be an unknown criminal who shoplifted from a convenience store in some suburb outside of St. Louis. Instead, many today view Michael Brown as a civil rights hero. And that is the paradox of the world we live in today.
I understand your mentality Mr. Stubben; however, your position
is a classic case of victim blaming. It’s a dogma that has been expressed
towards communities of color for decades, and one that I’m sure most students
of color at Cal Poly are familiar with. Proclaiming that the only acceptable
way for marginalized communities to change the “system” is to get
their act together and change the system from the inside out is an ignorant
claim. It places the blame for the disenfranchisement and inequitable treatment
that communities of color experience on themselves, liberating the oppressing
party of any blame. Your proposed solution erroneously presupposes that it’s
realistic for people of color to enter this system of “men in suits”
when the facts reflect that the deck is stacked against their favor. For
example, one study from the National Bureau of Economic Research showed that an
individual with a “blacker” sounding name is 50% less likely to be
called back by an employer (http://www.nber.org/digest/sep03/w9873.html)
than someone with a “whiter” sounding name. This is simply from looking at the
name on a resume, there isn’t even any person-to-person interaction. It isn’t
even accounting for the multitude of economic and societal factors that play a
role in impeding the progress of these communities. It’s easy to imagine how
this can make it extremely difficult for an individual of color to reach a
level of influence in this country.
Also, the manner about which protesters express their discontent
for the system (I am referring to the flag burning, which is an act of free speech.
Not the rioting/looting), and whether or not it is approved by our servicemen
and women is irrelevant in this debate, and only serves the purpose of inciting
outrage. It is these types of inflammatory remarks that make it impossible to
have a productive discussion about race in this environment.
Think about it Mr. Stubben: If, since childhood, the whole world
had told you that the most you could ever aspire to be is a criminal, and every
attempt that you made to defy that expectations had been met with resistance
rather than encouragement. Do you think that you would be where you are today,
as opposed to robbing a convenience store and telling an officer to “f*** off”?
Michael Brown is not seen as a civil rights hero, rather he is an example of
what “the system” teaches young black men in America to be, and how that leads
to the unjustified deaths of those young black men. Michael Brown was not born
a criminal, he was a victim of the system and the system taught him to be one.
We are indeed living in a society where people push the faults
in their actions onto others, but it’s not people of color who are doing the
Another condescending opinion on racism written by a white male conservative… can’t say I’m surprised. Maybe you’re the one who’s been living under a rock (in a sheltered suburb perhaps), because the day before you went to press, a grand jury in New York also didn’t issue an indictment for the murder of Eric Garner, a father of four who was peddling cigarettes. But who knows? Maybe if he had “just behaved” as he was being choked to death by a white police officer, he would just be another incarcerated black male contributing to the demographic’s disproportionate representation in prison. Oh wait, that’s their fault for not conforming to “the system” that oppresses them.
But hey! On a positive note, this piece will probably land you a nice job working for the Fox News brainwashing machine after college. Congratulations!
The only hypocrit here is you who decries those who have attempted to become informed about this issue as arrogant, while simultaneously spewing a naive argument based on misinformation to justify the murder of Michael Brown. At the time of Wilson’s encounter with Brown, Wilson was not, aware of the robbery that had taken place. Even if he had known, it would not justify Brown’s death. Perhaps you weren’t aware of this Eric, but lethal force is only justifiable to defend an officer’s life, it is not a means of negotiation.
I am so glad that you brought up the paradox of the world we live in because it seems strange to me how an individual can claim to be tired of the social media law experts, then attempt to discredit protesters with classic conservative techniques…it is so much easier to dub those you disagree with as flag burning looters than to do research and draw on arguments based in reason, isn’t it? Like Jesse said, I’m sure you’ll do wonderfully at Fox News.
“The rioters continued for hours, burning police cars and American flags to symbolize injustice. As infuriated as I was watching it all unfold over the shoulders of several national media correspondents, I recognize that the First Amendment covers the flag burnings and violent speech.”
You possess more concern over the well-being of a measly piece of fabric than that of an actual human life? The *real* paradox in this nation is how conservatives will squall on ceaselessly about the right of an unborn fetus to live, but when fellow American citizens, who just so happen to be black, such as Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, etc., are slain, somehow their killings are deemed warranted and deserved. Disgusting.
Might be in the best interest of every ignoramus commenting here to take some time to actually read a witness statement or two. You stand to only prove his point of everyone thinking they have an opinion simply because they’re following msnbc on Twitter. Regardless of your ignorance, it is down right pathetic and disgusting if you support and do not condone the action that’s protestors took on the streets of Ferguson. It’s an embarrassment to America and downright disgusting. And that’s all I have to say about that.
I don’t think you understand what “condone” means. This is one of those issues where you have to be VERY careful about what you say and how you say it (when contradicting mob mentality)
So what’s the paradox?
The author of this article posts on the politics board of 4chan, well known for its far-right positions, overt racism and anti-semitism.
Yesterday this same board had a thread about writing Christmas cards to Andres Breveik, the perpetrator of the 2011 Norway attacks. He is considered a hero on this board for his positions on multiculturalism.
Have a look for yourself. http://gyazo.com/53c7b3d26bb7e69f06deb46aa1374984
This is Jacob, editor-in-chief of Mustang News. I want to be clear in saying that whatever post you’ve found above is not by our columnist Eric Stubben. He expresses his opinions within the boundaries of Mustang News, and would never make the racist comments listed above. Some one is claiming to be Eric, and doing so wrongfully.
Hi Jacob, I respect that you’re sticking up for your buddy by censoring me.
I find it absurd that you think someone would take the time to post an obscure editorial from a college newspaper and post it on a forum in order to defame Mr. Stubben (who?)
I find it far more likely that Mr. Stubben revealed a more extreme side of his political views on this website, believing himself to be among friends and hence in no danger of criticism.
I also think that his racist views are obvious just by reading this article.
My apologies for being a “f**cking liberal” and a “n**ger,” to use Mr. Stubben’s terminology. You may censor this as well. Good night.
I am 100 percent certain Mr. Stubben did not reveal “a more extreme side of his political views,” nor did he use the terminology you are referring to.
If you’d like to talk more about this, I’d be happy to do so outside of the comments section. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to chat.
Can you please share with me where you found the post that was censored?? I believe you and don’t want to let Mustang News hush this up if it’s real.
Quoting from the author’s thread on 4chan:
“Also I f*cking hate n*ggers and dirty libs commenting on my article.”
See for yourself: gyazo.com/3772c174222b886dbe3ab2b8e128b644
Right, because obviously no one else could have in any way posted that article acting as him. Have some self respect man, this is childish and makes you look pretty ignorant.
You’re mistaking a case of sloppy internet behavior with a case of defamation. Nobody cares who Stubben is, and nobody would take the time to pose as him in such a subtle way.
He got sloppy, posted the link onto /pol/ and then made an overtly racist comment.
Also notice that he uses meme terms particular to /pol/ elsewhere in his writing, as in “The happenings” (first paragraph of “Republicans Time to Shine.”)
I don’t know who Stubben is or anything about this website prior to today, and I couldn’t care less. But someone who uses language like he did deserves to be called out for it.
Seems like if a narrative is parroted long and hard enough, people will believe it regardless of the facts of the case. Brown was killed because he attacked a cop and attempted to take his weapon. Period. That was the witness testimony and should be the end of the discussion right there.
Let’s take a step back from what MSNBC has told you to believe and be honest for once. Do you really believe that anything different would happen if you, as a white male, committed a crime, resisted arrest, then attempted to take a police officer’s firearm? If you want your points to be taken seriously, you need to argue with a shred of intellectual honesty.
Furthermore, let’s address this issue of “victim blaming”. When did victim blaming become this mantra that shuts down all discussion of the victim’s actions and prevents any kind of criticism? Why do we automatically assume the victim is completely innocent? Being a victim does not make you immune from criticism, and neither does criticism make you any less of a victim.
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