As Americans continue to weigh in on a grand jury’s decision not to indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown, a brutally honest Facebook post by New Orleans Saints’ tight end Benjamin Watson is capturing a fair amount of attention.
Watson, a Christian, presented a candid list of his emotions surrounding the case as well as the ongoing chaos and anger in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the U.S., touching in issues ranging from faith to race relations.
After first hearing about the grand jury’s decision Monday night, Watson said he processed his feelings and translated them into writing, proceeding to share them with the public.
Watson started by expressing his anger over the fact that “stories of injustice that have been passed down for generations seem to be continuing before our very eyes,” moving next to his frustration over pop culture and entertainment.
“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,” Watson wrote.
He continued, “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.”
But Watson also touched upon all parts of the debate surrounding Wilson and the subsequent looting and destruction that followed the grand jury announcement, claiming that he’s “embarrassed” that the breaking of the law, for many, validates stereotypes and perpetuates “inferior treatment.”
Expressing sadness over the loss of Brown’s life, the NFL player admitted that “we may never know the truth about what happened that day.”
More specifically, Watson added that he has sympathy for Wilson, as no one truly knows what happened on August 9 when the deadly incident unfolded.
“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,” he continued. “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.”
Watson also expressed his confusion over why “it’s so hard to obey a policeman,” but also decried the notion that some cops do abuse their power, noting that the current state of race relations in America leaves him both “hopeless” and “hopeful.”
He also admitted to some faults of his own.
“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,” he said. “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.”
He ended on a positive note, claiming that he’s “encouraged” because, though all of these issues are rooted in a “sin problem,” he believes that the Christian gospel is the solution.
“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,” Watson concluded. “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.”
Read the entire post here.
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