As so often proves the case with white, conservative racists, the proverbial “porch light’s on, but nobody’s home.” In this case, the porch lights cast a blue glow to show support for Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
Wilson’s totally-not-racist supporters’ run on blue light bulbs even cleaned out a local Walmart, according to a comment on the Support Darren Wilson Facebook page:
“Walmart in Desoto, Mo was out of blue bulbs. I’ll take this as a magnificent sign of support!”
Then again, Walmart’s notorious for keeping its shelves perpetually under-stocked, but still, the blue porch light thing seems to have caught on. One Facebook user even changed her profile picture and cover photo to show she stands by Wilson.
Meanwhile, pro-Wilson Facebook pages keep springing up like mushrooms after a long rain, including Support Darren Wilson, which had over 45,000 fans at the time of this writing (and counting).
Wilson’s supporters also held a rally on Sunday, 12 miles south of Ferguson in St. Louis. Out of the 112 people who showed up, only one was black — Martin Baker, a former Republican candidate for Congress. Unfortunately, the organizers weren’t able to squeeze him into the photograph shown below to prove how totally-not-racist they are.
Luckily, Jon Swain from The Guardian managed to tweet a photo of the elusive Martin Baker, who’s proudly holding up his “I Stand By Wilson” T-shirt.
Oh, and where would these white conservatives be without the obligatory victim-blaming? Facebook commenter Matthew Juckniwiecz Jacknewitz even upbraids Brown for not learning from “Trayvon [Martin]’s mistake.”
The kid was an absolute moron trying to fight with a police officer after robbing a convenience store. Now he’s dead. That’s usually what happens when attack an armed person. Guess he didn’t learn from Trayvon’s mistake. Guess he thought he was some big bad tough guy throwing his weight around. Well, cemeteries are full of big bad tough guys. I stand by u Darren Wilson.
And of course there’s the usual paranoid right-wing ranting about how the media hasn’t covered their pathetic little protest:
Dee Morrison Caines Why am I not seeing THIS on CNN or any other news source? Seems they’re only interested in controversial issues and those reporters know well how to stir up and agitate strife and controversy!
Actually, CNN DID cover it, you troglodyte moron. As did USA Today, Yahoo! News, Huffington Post, and all the other usual suspects. HuffPo‘s Amanda Terkel even tweeted photos from a smaller pro-Wilson protest in Ferguson. Here are a few of the “couple dozen” people who showed up:
And here’s a poster they made for Wilson with signatures from well-wishers.
Wilson supporters speak out.
A reporter from Huffington Post even brought a video camera to Sunday’s pro-Wilson rally, and questioned a couple of the counter-protesters. When asked whether he found it surprising that most of the pro-Brown protesters were black, while most of the pro-Wilson demonstrators are white, one man responded:
“There was a lot of protesters supporting Michael Brown that are white also. Not as many as black, okay, but there was still a lot there. There’s not as many black here because I don’t think the black community understands the system. Again, there’s a process. They’re screaming about ‘why isn’t he arrested?’ ‘Why isn’t he in jail?’ Well, without the investigation being done, you can’t go apply for a warrant. Once the person’s arrested, if you can’t get a warrant in 24 hours, they have to be released.”
Whoa, Nelly, wait a minute. The “black community” and pro-Brown protesters understand “the system” perfectly, that’s why they’re out there protesting. Because “the system” discriminates against people of color, especially young black men. And they rightly believe”the process” treated Michael Brown unfairly, because Wilson’s alive and Brown’s dead.
The investigation may prove fair, but that won’t bring Michael Brown back to life.
Even if Wilson himself isn’t a racist, and killed Brown because he genuinely thought his own life was at risk, that doesn’t explain why police officers across the nation keep beating and shooting black men, why an insanely disproportionate one out of three black men wind up in prison, and why today’s police forces are so quick to shoot and kill. Are there no other ways to subdue crime suspects?
At this point, anyone who doesn’t think there’s something seriously wrong with America’s criminal justice and prison systems is either racist or delusional.
The pro-Wilson protester then goes on to deny the validity of the Ferguson protesters’ anger, and to lump everyone in with the small number of looters:
“What the police have preached right from the start is ‘let the investigation run its course.’ Screaming and yelling and tearing a town apart simply because of what you believe — regardless of what the facts might be — is the crux of the whole matter.”
Yet we never hear guys like him complaining about conservatives screaming and yelling and tearing our country apart simply because of what they believe — regardless of what the facts may be. And just because anger can be destructive or misdirected doesn’t mean it isn’t valid.
Another man complained about how “everybody makes it a race thing.”
“I don’t think it should all be a race thing. That’s what keeps everything getting fired up, is everybody makes it a race thing. You know, what difference does that make? He was a police officer and the guy was asked to do something, okay? What difference does that make what race he was?”
Um, maybe “everybody makes it a race thing” because police keep harassing, brutalizing, and murdering young men because they’re black.
The young, white guy then spins a yarn about how he got stopped by police at a gas station — implying that if black guys cooperated as nicely as he did, police wouldn’t hassle them.
“I was stopped at a gas station, just standing there, when they pulled up on me. And they even said I just looked suspicious because of my tattoos. You know, and they asked me what was in my bags, I had my tools. Can we look in your tools? Go right ahead. Here’s my ID. They asked for ID, here it is.”
Dude, first of all, you chose to get those tattoos. Michael Brown did not choose to have brown skin. Second of all, you probably did not grow up in a milieu that has taught you to hate and fear police officers.
He concludes that black people should just shut up, and the problem will go away. Because in Republican America, people shouldn’t complain when they get mistreated, they should just suck it up and take it like a man.
“Because everybody’s going to be watching [police]. And trying to think that everything they do, they’re doing wrong. ‘They’re doing it against the black man.’ That’s — if everybody would just stop with all the racism thing, it’d all just go away. And everything would go to court and come out the way the law is supposed to do it. Rioting and everything in the streets doesn’t get nothing done. It just don’t make any sense.”
Here’s the video from Huffington Post.
h/t Huffington Post. Featured photo: Screen Grab/Amanda Terkel/Twitter.