Ferguson Is the Wrong Tragedy to Wake America Up

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TIME

For many, the main lesson of the Ferguson verdict is that Michael Brown would still be alive if he were white — that Darren Wilson’s gunshots were the spawn of the racism always just beneath the surface of the white American soul.

However, in light of what we heard last night, I feel that the Ferguson incident is instructive to America in a larger sense. The key element in the Brown-Wilson encounter was not any specific action either man took — it was the preset hostility to the cops that Brown apparently harbored. And that hostility was key because it was indeed totally justified.

The right-wing take on Brown, that he was simply a “thug,” is a know-nothing position. The question we must ask is: What is the situation that makes two young black men comfortable dismissing a police officer’s request to step aside?

These men were expressing a…

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