Who is the real victim?

We will soon see a new phrase added to the urban dictionary – “looting tourism.”

Over the last several days, Americans have watched as heavily armed police in full riot gear, with machine guns and armored vehicles, battle rioters. We have watched tear gas explode, Molotov cocktails being thrown, and we’ve heard rubber bullets being fired.

At first glance, it’s another riot in the Middle East. Unfortunately, it’s urban America.

The phrase “looting tourism” was coined, apparently, by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, while talking with a reporter about the ongoing riots in the St. Louis suburb.

“It’s like they are spending their gas money to come down here and steal,” the officer was quoted by a St. Louis Post reporter.

This is a scenario that has played out more than once in this country. A white officer kills an unarmed black teenager – call in the riots.

Because we all know it was a senseless brutal slaying of Michael Brown, an innocent young African-American. Even eyewitnesses said Brown was shot in the back for no reason.

Never let the facts get in the way of a good story. Justice must be done. We aren’t getting it, so riots are a perfectly reasonable form of protest.

Yet the facts are slowly emerging. Brown was caught on a video surveillance camera strongarming a store owner and stealing cigars just prior to the shooting. He had marijuana in his system. He was never shot in the back, at least according to a forensic expert hired by Brown’s family to conduct an independent autopsy.

The officer who fired the fatal shots, Darren Wilson, was struck in the face at least once. Eyewitnesses at the time left out that fact as well. In fact, they said Brown was never near Wilson.

What really happened? We don’t know – yet.

Only time and a thorough investigation will determine what exactly happened. And we need to wait for that, not riot.

The only thing we do know for sure right now is a young man is dead. An officer’s career is shattered.

Rioting is not the answer. Everyone and their brother, local, state and federal authorities, are in Ferguson trying to determine what happened. That is, if they can take the time to investigate instead of battling rioters.

Interesting that many who have been arrested aren’t even from the community.

The riots do nothing but destroy the community. Store owners are guarding their buildings with guns. And do we really think that those businesses that have been destroyed will ever be rebuilt? Who wants to go back?

In an Instagram post, former NBA player Gilbert Arenas, an African-American, pretty well summed up the situation.

“I would like to start off by saying too the family of the victim GOD BLESS#RIPmichealbrown you will be missed: too EVERY African American out there..how dumb are we really???every time we hear some bad news, the first thing we do is #RIOT #ROB #STEAL #BURN sh-t in our OWN neighborhoods..this racism fight has never been #blackvswhite, it’s ALWAYS been #blackvsblack from what the stats.. About 10 riots from the black community over the years and the only thing damaged, was the BLACK COMMUNITY by The BLACK COMMUNITY.

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