Speculation on the Reasons for Michael Brown’s Death
For whatever reason, when I’ve visited black neighborhoods with black friends, the situation is reversed. Black pedestrians seem to be pretty confident they have the right of way regardless of crosswalk placement. Cars will wait for a pedestrian who walks As Slowly As Possible before accelerating past them. The (black) drivers don’t seem angry. They seem to accept this as the norms of the neighborhood.
Different places have different norms. If you find yourself in a street in India and don’t adapt to do what is expected of you, you will live a short life. I don’t know how the norms of black neighborhoods in America came to be the way they are and will not speculate on it.
But I can tell you what other (presumably white) people think about slow, black pedestrians:
Tehy want to show up like they cooler, or chilling? hey r the ones who dont have jobs and responsobilities, thats why they r not in a hurry……
In my professional opinion which is a result of indepth analysis, it is a result of creating a perception of “coolness” by being “ghetto” and to go against normal behavior. It is a form of social protest and passive resistance, though I am not sure why.
I think it is just a ” I can walk where ever I want and what you going to do about it” attitude they have. When you’re not smart enough to get out of the street guess attitude is all you have.
If you read between the lines on this one, you can see a tiny outline of condescension:
They walk in the skreet becuz they is oppressed.
Could it be contrarianism?
Cause it is the opposite of what they are supposed to do. If you told them to walk in the street they would start using sidewalks. Just one of those I don’t have to listen to anybody type situations.
And to gully gee, get real, it’s easy to talk shit on the internet. If your black ass did get hit you would either be dead or you would be like every other black person that tries to be bad ass until no one is around, then you would start that oh dear lord, why me lord, blah blah blah. I saw so much of that in jail. The ones that walk around talking shit acting like they are tough are the first ones on the phones crying to their momma saying please come get me out, I promise I won’t mess up no more. It’s hilarious…….they get broke down so easily when they don’t have their “boyz” around.
I’m a paleface in the States and I suspect that it’s a rule among some black folk that they try to impede the everyday flow of urban life. The more economically disadvantaged they are, the more likely they are to feel justified in gumming up the system.
That’s better. You can tell he’s not racist because he said some black folk. The most illuminating take on slow street-crossers that I had the patience to find was this one:
But it’s selfish, it’s not showing consideration or respect for anyone else. How do you expect to get respect when you never give it? There have been so many occasions when I’m in a parking lot (doesn’t matter what kind, local convenience store, or mall or whatever), and if a black person (I’ve seen all ages and both genders) is walking across, they will continue at a slow pace no matter how many cars are approaching in either direction. If I stop my car well in advance to ‘allow’ the person to cross, they will keep walking slowly and then not even thank me. Whenever I have to cross or I am waiting to cross and someone allows me to go through, I wave thanks and then hurry across as appreciation for them giving me preference. I guess it depends on the area where you live? I don’t know, I see this all the time but my geographical area of reach is not great. Even with entering and exiting buildings, I hold the door open for black people and then don’t say thanks, or if I’m walking behind or going in, they won’t hold the door open. Not every time, but most times. If you don’t give respect, you don’t get it, period.
Note that this last interpretation is a highly emotional one. The writer takes it as an affront to himself personally and society generally that black people don’t hurry up and get out of the way. The black-neighborhood method isn’t just different. It is wrong.
I think this is all necessary background ignored by everyone talking about Michael Brown’s shooting.
Brown’s friend Dorian Johnson tells of a police officer, who has yet to be named, confronting the two of them for the offense of walking in the street rather than on the sidewalk, and then starting a fight with Brown, who held his hands up in compliance, before shooting him dead in the street.
For his part, Michael Brown and other slow, black pedestrians are perhaps living by The Code that reads that if they hop out of the street too eagerly, they will be marked as a punk and get stepped on thereafter by others. Brown may have even adopted a “confrontational cadence” in communicating his intention to delay moving to the sidewalk. The police officer interpreted this as a breaking of the implicit social contract that exists between police officers and young minority males that requires the latter to offer servile obedience to the former.
It’s very plausible to me that Michael Brown did what he thought was required to preserve his dignity and the officer did what he thought was required to preserve his authority.