In his autobiography, Luciano Pavarotti explained why he chose NOT to get involved in controversial issues. He wrote, “You have to be very well-informed.”
The Ferguson case seems to be the perfect example!
The rush to judgment was followed–regardless of physical evidence–by insisting all the more on justifying one’s rush to judgment! The on-field display by some St. Louis Rams players reminded me of Pavarotti’s remark. They are sticking to an uninformed position.
All the worse, the players later explained their actions in a way that was downright clumsy: They said they were NOT taking sides. Simply showing solidarity with the protesters and hoping for change.
Not taking sides?! Could these players be any more clueless about what their hands-up gesture is connected with? Or any more naïve about their intent to not take sides while doing that gesture?
Furthermore, they said they did NOT want to go to Ferguson itself.
It was too dangerous! The burning, the looting, the shooting, the beatings…these acts were being done by people co-opting the hands-up gesture. There was no distinguishing who the peaceful protesters were from the looters and burners. They’re all using the gesture. The symbol has been corrupted, co-opted, hijacked. And the players unwittingly just went along.
They further showed how clueless they were by not knowing what’s going on in Ferguson that IS non-violent. There ARE pastors in the community. They have been trying to organize peaceful protests. How long would it haven taken for these players to drive from St. Louis to Ferguson to meet with these pastors and show support? I don’t know that anybody made this suggestion to the players. Anyway, they said, they were too busy.
(Parts were printed in my Facebook post of December 1, 2014.)