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Monday August 25th, 2014

by Geraldo Rivera | Aug 25, 2014

Happy Monday everybody. Hope all's well with you and yours.
In the news, they bury Michael Brown in Ferguson Missouri today, the unarmed teenager whose death-by-cop is being seen through the prism of race in America.
Folks are increasingly choosing up sides in the Brown and similar cases based on their own stereotypes, revealing the utter depth of the racial chasm in our country.
Some of you were intensely critical of my appraisal/prediction that, in part, because of that race-stereotyping, Darren Wilson, the white cop who shot and killed the unarmed black teenager will certainly be acquitted at trial.
To be specific, I predict Wilson will be indicted, in large part because of political pressure. Then, a diverse trial jury will acquit the cop because the evidence of criminality is at best ambiguous.
The issue of young black men killed in their encounters with law enforcement will then be muted until the next egregious incident on the mean streets of some other segregated community.
The end of systemic racism, including the meaningful integration of police departments, is certainly necessary in America to reduce these incidents.
As importantly, young black men must be re-incorporated into mainstream society.
As the single largest group per capita by far of law breakers it is inevitable that they will clash with cops.
That statement is not based on the 'hatred' of young black men by society, that is Statistics. Jobs, education, and programs designed to keep urban families together are urgently needed.
So is a re-thinking of urban values and heroes.
There are countless examples, but here's one from this weekend. Michael, we're told, was a hip hop/rapper in training. One highly regarded personality in that arena, Music entrepreneur Marion 'Suge' Knight was shot and badly injured Saturday night at a star-studded party on L.A.'s Sunset Blvd. The founder of Death Row Records, it was in "Suge's car that his friend Tupac Shakur was shot dead in 1996. As it did posthumously with Tupac, and later with fellow rapper '50 Cent' and others, Suge's shooting will increase rather than diminish his stature and allure in the community.
How did it come to this?
There are ample examples of men and women in the African-American community who are positive heroes and role models. The person I think should be Man-of-the-Year is Captain Ronald S. Johnson, the Missouri Highway Patrol commander who took masterful control of the conflict in Ferguson and wrought a non-violent truce. Here is a black man of faith, competence, education, intelligence and dignity whose obvious virtues should be extolled. Yet I haven't noticed Revs. Sharpton or Jackson reaching out to him.
RIP Michael Brown. Now let's use his life and death to begin a new era where every child can identify the admirable person they want to be like.

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