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‘Burn this bitch down!’

(Image: Whitney Curtis, New York Times)

Such predictable results in Ferguson, Mo., last night. Did anyone really think Officer Darren Wilson would be indicted for killing Michael Brown? How many times can you remember when a police officer was indicted for killing someone, black or white, armed or unarmed?

And did anyone really think rioting and burning wouldn’t follow the announcement, whatever it was? History strongly suggests rioting would have occurred no matter what the grand jury decided. We’ve seen it so often — riot, loot, and burn when you’re angry; riot, loot, and burn when you’re celebrating.

Continued sympathy for Ferguson and what happened there is evaporating. There’s no excuse for lawlessness, whether it’s perpetrated by residents or by outsiders who come in. It’s stupid to burn your own community (or your brother’s), to loot and destroy the businesses of neighbors who had nothing to do with the perceived injustice. Why ensure that poverty and joblessness and anger and hopelessness continue?

They want “justice to be served,” but they keep committing their own injustice against their neighbors. Brown’s mother spoke so often of wanting peace and justice, yet when the grand jury’s decision was announced, Brown’s stepdad, Louis Head, turned to the crowd and began chanting, “Burn this bitch down!”

Yeah, that’ll teach ’em. That’ll bring peace and justice.

It does no good for leaders to come out after the fact and say Head was just distraught and emotional. Head didn’t torch the cars and businesses last night. Others did. Just as they have before. And just as they will again.

The outrage is understandable. The lawlessness that always follows is not.

(Yes, you can still view this on YouTube.)

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