Eloquent Words from Benjamin Watson

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St. Louis native & New Orleans Saints TE Benjamin Watson composed this very well written statement and posted it to his Facebook page. In no way am I trying to take credit or trying to take away from Mr. Watson has already expressed. I felt the need to share it with you guys.

There is so much turmoil going on in St. Louis county and he addressed this issue from his point of view, how he sees his city and from a standpoint of possibly being in the position of Officer Darren Wilson. Mr. Watson very well written.

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If you haven’t seen this, here are his thoughts:
“At some point while I was playing or preparing to play Monday Night Football, the news broke about the Ferguson Decision. After trying to figure out how I felt, I decided to write it down. Here are my thoughts:

I’M ANGRY because the stories of injustice that have been passed down for generations seem to be continuing before our very eyes.

I’M FRUSTRATED, because pop culture, music and movies glorify these types of police citizen altercations and promote an invincible attitude that continues to get young men killed in real life, away from safety movie sets and music studios.

I’M FEARFUL because in the back of my mind I know that although I’m a law abiding citizen I could still be looked upon as a “threat” to those who don’t know me. So I will continue to have to go the extra mile to earn the benefit of the doubt.

I’M EMBARRASSED because the looting, violent protests, and law breaking only confirm, and in the minds of many, validate, the stereotypes and thus the inferior treatment.

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I’M SAD, because another young life was lost from his family, the racial divide has widened, a community is in shambles, accusations, insensitivity hurt and hatred are boiling over, and we may never know the truth about what happened that day.

I’M SYMPATHETIC, because I wasn’t there so I don’t know exactly what happened. Maybe Darren Wilson acted within his rights and duty as an officer of the law and killed Michael Brown in self defense like any of us would in the circumstance. Now he has to fear the backlash against himself and his loved ones when he was only doing his job. What a horrible thing to endure. OR maybe he provoked Michael and ignited the series of events that led to him eventually murdering the young man to prove a point.

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I’M OFFENDED, because of the insulting comments I’ve seen that are not only insensitive but dismissive to the painful experiences of others.

I’M CONFUSED, because I don’t know why it’s so hard to obey a policeman. You will not win!!! And I don’t know why some policeman abuse their power. Power is a responsibility, not a weapon to brandish and lord over the populace.

I’M INTROSPECTIVE, because sometimes I want to take “our” side without looking at the facts in situations like these. Sometimes I feel like it’s us against them. Sometimes I’m just as prejudiced as people I point fingers at. And that’s not right. How can I look at white skin and make assumptions but not want assumptions made about me? That’s not right.

I’M HOPELESS, because I’ve lived long enough to expect things like this to continue to happen. I’m not surprised and at some point my little children are going to inherit the weight of being a minority and all that it entails.

I’M HOPEFUL, because I know that while we still have race issues in America, we enjoy a much different normal than those of our parents and grandparents. I see it in my personal relationships with teammates, friends and mentors. And it’s a beautiful thing.

I’M ENCOURAGED, because ultimately the problem is not a SKIN problem, it is a SIN problem. SIN is the reason we rebel against authority. SIN is the reason we abuse our authority. SIN is the reason we are racist, prejudiced and lie to cover for our own. SIN is the reason we riot, loot and burn.

BUT I’M ENCOURAGED because God has provided a solution for sin through the his son Jesus and with it, a transformed heart and mind. One that’s capable of looking past the outward and seeing what’s truly important in every human being. The cure for the Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner tragedies is not education or exposure. It’s the Gospel. So, finally, I’M ENCOURAGED because the Gospel gives mankind hope.”

Here is the link to his Facebook page so you don’t think I’m plagiarizing or stealing his thoughts. https://m.facebook.com/BenjaminWatsonOfficial?fref=nf&_rdr

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Executive Order for Immigration Reform?

I’ll do my best to keep this short for those that don’t like to talk politics. The President of the United States (POTUS) is planning to sign an Executive Order in regards to Immigration. As usual, this is my opinion and mine alone.

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Honestly I feel that the POTUS is overstepping his boundaries. Why? Because he isn’t even giving the incoming Republican majority, in the Senate and The House of Representatives, a chance to even propose legislation. He says that he wouldn’t have signed the order if Congress could pass a bill. Congress has been slow to act on approving ANY bill, so he, the POTUS, feels he needs to use his power to sign executive orders to handle this immigration issue.

This may sound ridiculous, but in some ways I agree with both sides; meaning, I agree with the POTUS on telling congress to stop sitting on their hands and pass a bill, but that’s where it stops. I think he should have given the incoming majority a chance to do something. Would the incoming majority propose legislation regarding the matter? Honestly, I believe they could, but would it be in a timely manner? No. I believe the POTUS would have eventually signed an executive order anyway. I say that because this option has been on the table for a while.

We, the backbone of the country, have no say so on any issue. The individuals we elect to represent us are not and refuse to listen to the voices of the its people. They push their own agendas and ignore our voices. Basically, our opinions don’t matter. Additionally, what is going to happen to the immigrants that have done the right thing and are on the right track to become U.S. Citizens? Are they going to be moved to the back of the line? Signing this order is going to really complicate things.

I prepared a more in depth post regarding this issue, mainly talking about the POTUS’s stance on immigration. Pretty much it talked about how he felt about immigration before he was elected and where he stands now. If you ever get a chance I suggest that you read the presidents best selling book, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the America Dream, publication date: October 17, 2006, ISBN 978-0-307-23769-9. You would be very surprised on his stance.

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What is ISIS Really?

If you’ve been keeping up current events, you might have already seen the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror group executed another American citizen. What I don’t understand is that the American government has access to the best technology in order spy on its own citizens here in America. So, you want me to believe that no one in our government can’t or doesn’t know how to find this terror group? You can miss me with that shit. I refuse to believe that.

If I were the President of the United States, I would allow congress to spend copious amounts of money on finding this group WITHOUT putting groups on the ground. If I told my troops, to their face, that I would not commit them to another ground war in Iraq, I would firmly stand by my word. As far as I’ve seen the America public is split about this issue. Additionally, what sense does it make to commit troops to another war when you’re telling the Department of Defense that we need a reduction in our force?

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I’m willing to bet that the majority of the American public only knows ISIS for a terror group. That is true, but they’re more than just a terror group. Here are some fun facts about this terror group:

• Who They Are: ISIS stands for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The group is trying to form an independent state with territory in Iraq, Syria, and parts of Lebanon. They are led by an Iraqi cleric who goes by the name Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

• What They Do: ISIS has been fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as well as other militant Islamic groups in Syria for control of parts of Syria while also fighting the Iraqi government in its quest to form the unified ISIS state. Its brutal tactics have been disavowed as too extreme by al Qaeda’s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

• How Powerful They Are: ISIS forces took Mosul, the third biggest city in Iraq and the biggest one along the Iraq-Syria border. When they took the city, the ISIS seized more than $400 million from city banks, making it richer than many small nations. According to the Associated Press ISIS has also taken effective control of Tikrit, where Saddam Hussein was born.

• How They’re Able to Fight: Since it controls cities on either side of the Syria-Iraq border, ISIS forces were able to quickly move weapons seized from Mosul into Syria. The weapons, including Humvees, rifles, missiles and ammunition, will help arm ISIS in its fights on both sides of the border.

• The State They Want to Create: The territory in the western part of Iraq that ISIS wants is made up of mostly Sunni Muslims, as is the part of Syria that ISIS wants. Many Sunni Muslims in Iraq have joined ISIS in fighting against the Iraqi Army, which is under the control of a Shiite minority that mainly lives on the other side of the country.

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There’s A TON more information, but I gave you the abridged version so you wouldn’t get bored.

If you’ve ever served in the United States military and have ever been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, you know how serious Muslims are about their religion. I AM NOT CALLING ALL MUSLIMS TERRORISTS! When I speak of Muslims in this post I am speaking about the Radical Islamists. Now add a dose of ridiculous ideals to what they already believe and that only intensifies their cause.

I would like to go into more detail, but I will do that at another time. I just wanted us REGULAR folks to know the basics of exactly what our government is attempting to disassemble.

Was it worth it?

I’ve been pretty quiet about this topic, but now I feel the need to speak my piece. (As I say in all my posts, please keep in mind, that this is MY opinion and my opinion alone. I don’t go out and conduct polls, but I may ask a friend every now and again some questions or how they feel about a specific subject and I conduct research on the topic, but that’s where it stops. If you don’t like what I say, when you feel offended, stop reading. Now that we have that settled lets get on with it.)

On Saturday morning, August 9, 2014, at approximately 11:51 a.m. in St. Louis County, Ferguson, Missouri, Mr. Michael Brown, 18, was suspected of taking a $48 box of cigars from a convenience store without paying for them. According to the video, you can see an object in his hand, but it’s hard to tell if he actually committed theft and it’s hard to judge due to no sound. At least that’s from my point of view. I haven’t seen the video in its entirety. Additionally the clerk could clearly be seen attempting to stop Mr. Brown and the additional suspect from exiting the store.

Between 11:53 – 11:57 a call was made to 911 in regards to the theft of the $48 box of cigars. The 911 dispatcher stated that the suspect was wearing a red Cardinals hat, a white T-shirt, yellow socks, khaki shorts and was accompanied by another black male. Around 12:00 p.m. Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, 28, radioed to ask other officers searching for the suspected thieves, if they needed him to assist and was told by dispatch that the suspects had disappeared.

At 12:01 p.m. Officer Wilson approached Mr. Michael Brown and the suspect accompanying Mr. Brown, (2nd suspects name: Mr. Dorian Johnson) with his police vehicle while they were walking in the middle of Canfield Drive and told them to move out of the street and onto the sidewalk. Mr. Dorian Johnson then stated that “they had almost made it to their destination and would move out of the street momentarily.” Officer Wilson continued driving past the two young men, but then backed up and stopped close to them after realizing that Mr. Brown fit the description of the individual that was suspected of stealing a box of cigars.

At 12:02, Officer Wilson called for back up because a struggle had ensued. During the struggle, Officer Wilson’s weapon was discharged twice, with one bullet hitting Mr. Brown in the arm while it was inside the vehicle struggling with Officer Wilson, as reported by Officer Wilson. Mr. Brown and Mr. Johnson then fled. Mr. Johnson hid behind the police vehicle while Mr. Brown was pursued by Officer Wilson. At some point during this incident Officer Wilson fired his weapon 6 more times fatally wounding Mr. Brown. Mr. Brown was unarmed. At 12:03 Mr. Brown succumbs to his wounds and dies while lying in the street.

I’m sure you’re wondering why would I bring this up when the verdict for Officer Wilson and the Ferguson Police Department could come back any day now? What’s my agenda? I have no agenda, I honestly feel it’s needed. I feel I’m a neutral party and I have the ability to be impartial to the situation. Here are the undisputed facts: video surveillance of Mr. Brown and Mr. Johnson leaving the convenience store with items in their hands. You see Mr. Brown use a bit of force to get himself and Mr. Johnson out the store. Once they leave the store we now have to rely on the 911 dispatcher, Officer Wilson, Mr. Johnson and the other officers involved.

My feelings on the situation based on the video and the facts that I gathered, he, Mr. Brown, did appear to take something from the store, but I can’t honestly say I know without a reasonable doubt that he took the $48 box of cigars without paying. Now, with me being a neutral party looking from the outside, all I can do is try to piece together the information I found. Don’t think because I’m taking a neutral stance that I condone or agree with the behavior of either party, I’m just giving you my thoughts, because I feel I’m giving you a different view.

If Mr. Brown did steal a box of $48 cigars was it worth his life? I don’t think so. No amount of money is worth taking a life. How do I feel about Officer Wilson and the way he handled the situation? He could have approached the situation in a different manner. Instead of using deadly force, use your baton, pepper spray or your taser to subdue the suspect or wait until back up arrives so you and another Officer are able to subdue both suspects. I’m not going to even speculate about how the Officers weapon was discharged inside vehicle, but the facts are 2 shots were fired from inside the vehicle. After that and a chase ensues, 6 more shots were fired and Mr. Brown is fatally wounded and succumbs to his wounds.

What I disagree with from some individuals in the Ferguson Community is how they decided to honor Mr. Brown and his family. The candlelight vigil was no problem, but the violence that ensued days after the incident was unacceptable and inexcusable. What does that prove? Nothing. You’re left with a mother that is mourning the loss of her son, attempting to find answers and a city that is trying to figure out how to deal with one of their own law enforcers killing a eighteen year old black male. The first thing that the majority thinks is it was racially motivated, but we can’t prove that because Mr. Brown can’t tell his side of the story and who knows, maybe Officer Wilson is only willing to give us a version that isn’t true, there’s no room to speculate, but I’ve digressed.

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We as a human beings will use skin color/race/ethnicity against each other to gain an advantage over one another. Sometimes we treat individuals of the same skin color/race/ethnicity in a negative way as well. Why is that? An excuse to riot, destroy a business to acquire free merchandise or burn down an establishment, because the person that owns the business doesn’t share the same skin color/race/ethnicity or views as you? I refuse to let this become a race issue, because I believe that’s not where the problem lies. I honestly feel it’s a police department that on more than one occasion, abused its power of policing to gain the upper hand because they feel it falls within the limits of their power and they feel no one governs what or how they do things. In addition to the previous issue, I also feel the Ferguson Community doesn’t have any faith, confidence and don’t trust the Ferguson Law Enforcement Department.

Instead of letting this issue tear us apart, lets try using it as a teaching tool in order to bring us together. If you feel that the policing is subpar, band together and peacefully protest, you will get the right persons attention eventually. One person screaming in a crowd of people is a waste of time, but when that crowd is screaming in unison, they will be heard, whether the individuals listening want to hear it or not. It’s going to take the Ferguson Community quite some time to heal and put their trust back in the hands of the Ferguson Law Enforcement Department due to what has happened. It takes time to heal from an incident of this magnitude.

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I would like to make one more point then I will leave it alone. There are young people killed by law enforcement all over the United States, everyday, but their answer isn’t to riot or burn businesses within that community. There are certain individuals that want to turn issues such as this this into a race matter, but I honestly feel it has nothing to do with race, it has to do with the policing from the Ferguson law enforcement individuals. If you are a law enforcement individual and you are charged with the responsibility to serve & to protect, but the people don’t trust you at any level of law enforcement, then they are going to take matters in their own hands and police the only way they know how. Is that the right way to do things? No, but it happens, but it’s easily overlooked due to the media reporting what they want also being biased plays a huge factor as well.

We HAVE to do better as a human beings. I strongly feel a lot of individuals in this world act like crabs in a barrel, meaning they’re willing to step on one another other to gain the advantage over someone else, no matter skin color/race/ethnicity. As human beings we will never move forward if we keep treating each other this way. As far as Mr. Brown & for the sake of his family, if you want to make a difference, find something positive out of this negative situation and honor him that way. Don’t assume destroying an entire community will make it all better. We HAVE to do better. We CAN do better. It won’t happen overnight. A little progress is a step in the right direction.

For those that live in the Ferguson Community, I ask that for the sake of Mr. Michael Brown and his family, if the verdict doesn’t come back the way you expect and you feel the need to protest, please do it peacefully. Please remember Violence only begets Violence. Let’s start that move in the right direction in a positive way.

We The PEOPLE

I’m not sure how in tuned into you are with your public broadcasting station, but I like to watch mine for at least 2 to 3 hours a day, daily. Doing that I occasionally see newscast from different new agencies from all across the Globe. I always learn something new, I learn a lot. Some of it I like, some it I’m in the middle of the road and some of it I hate and is completely ridiculous.

The reason I bring up that last comment is because I saw a show and that show in particular is Frontline and they were doing a piece on Iraq. It commented on one of their shows they have coming up and they stated, “How America Lost Iraq.” That really boils my blood. The reason it does is because of the lives that were lost, the soldiers, marines, airmen, and sailors that were wounded and their lives were changed forever and will never be the same. Are you brave enough to tell the parents of the fallen how America Lost Iraq? Are you going to say the same thing about Afghanistan when we exit? I’ve lost a LOT of friends in the mountains of Afghanistan. I am one of those wounded and my life will never be the same. Are you brave enough to tell me to my face how we lost Afghanistan? Fuck it, I dare you to say how we lost Iraq or Afghanistan! I’ve lost friends in both countries.

We take our liberties such as freedom of speech for granted. I can’t believe how America treated our veterans when they returned home from a hard fought fight in Vietnam, with some thinking they would never see the United States again, but because of their tact and humility they didn’t do a thing. The conditions they fought in were 100 times harder than what my comrades and I fought, but Americans, were “so patriotic” had the audacity spit in the face of the soldiers, marines, airmen and sailors as they returned physically, mentally and spiritually spent. They were called baby killers. All these individuals were doing was following orders. If you’re given an order, especially in a time of war and you don’t execute said order, you WILL be punished under the Uniformed Code Of Military Justice and you WILL be convicted supposedly by a jury of your peers (sure, yeah right) and sent to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas to spend who knows how much time. So I applaud every one of them, for not lashing out and breaking the neck of every person that what brave enough to spit and run. Every time I see a Vietnam veteran I say thank you and give them a proper welcome home Brother. Also, according to america, we lost Vietnam. Is it because we pull out of a country, we’ve lost? What constitutes a loss? In Vietnam and Iraq when American and allied lives are sacrificed by an unknown enemy and you are trying to fight a fair fight according the Geneva Convention, but the enemy is fighting an unfair fight and half the time you don’t know who the enemy is. Pulling out is the sensible thing to do right? That what I would do if I were the President of the United States of America.

We as America need to start worrying about our own country. Yes other countries are at war, but we, America was at war at one time. Does The Civil War Ring a bell? Before the Civil War someone took charge and brought an intelligent group of individuals together and organized this country. Why can’t they do the same? Because every time someone tries to take charge there’s an outcry of hatred or violence outbreak, somethings got to give. I’m not saying our country has the perfect blueprint, but the framework is there. If we go back to our own framework we could possibly get something done.

Congress can’t even pass a fucking bill, but yet they blame it on the President. I’m not just talking about the current President, I’m taking, Clinton, Bush, shit, his Dad even. Congress has too much damn power. The power is supposed to be with the PEOPLE and not with the Government.

OIF US CASUALTIES: 4,486
OEF US CASUALTIES: 2,335

OIF ALLIED CASUALTIES : 318
OEF ALLIED CASUALTIES: 1,127

OIF TOTAL CASUALTIES: 4,804
OEF TOTAL CASUALTIES: 3,462

OIF/OEF TOTAL CASUALTIES: 8,266
** OIF – Operation Iraqi Freedom
** OEF – Operation Enduring Freedom

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VIETNAM CASUALTIES: 58,220

<>We the PEOPLE of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

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The Regulars 200th Post

This is my 200th Post and I want to dedicate it to The 64 Regulars that follow this Blog. I started this Blog because I was tired of reading about celebrities and how hard their lives were. To some 64 means nothing, but to me it means everything. 64 to me means there are actually individuals on this planet that are interested into what I have to say! Thank you for the support. All 64 of you keep me grinding and keep me on my toes.

I will continue to strive to give you posts to keep you interested. I know all my posts aren’t perfect, but with each post I do my best to get better. I am trying to expand my vocabulary and overall knowledge on subjects I have no idea about. I never realized that I would have taken this Blog this serious. It’s become apart of my life. It’s because of all of you, I keep doing what I do. Again, Thank You for all the continued support. I can’t wait to hopefully one day hit 500! THANK YOU!

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