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Saints’ Ben Watson Has Amazingly Strong Message About Ferguson Case and Racism

Athletes, especially Black athletes, often are lumped in one dishonorable group: dumb jocks. Most are not. And many are quite smart, like the New Orleans Saints’ Benjamin Watson.

The tight end wrote eloquently about the Ferguson grand jury’s decision not to put officer Darren Wilson on trial for killing unarmed teenager Michael Brown, the subsequent protests in the town outside of St. Louis and his hope for the future.

“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 safe 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.

“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.

“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 policemen 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.”

What people are saying

24 thoughts on “Saints’ Ben Watson Has Amazingly Strong Message About Ferguson Case and Racism

  1. We must encourage each other, to tell each other the truth; therefore, I'll start by sharing my truth with Brother Watson. First, you have nothing to be embarrassed about, the actions of others are not a reflection of you. Do you allow your perceptions of White people to be over-taken by the misfits of their race? Hidden in the blow-by-blow media reports of Ferguson's destruction and violence, are the seldom told stories of a several decades onslaught on the economic's of lower and middle class Americans, especially those of a darker hue. As for the so-called looters (you're in New Orleans, in the shadow of a recent history, Hurricane Katrina, that saw the media label citizens in desperation as "refugees" before the winds could subside). The damage in Ferguson is minuscule in comparison to the continuation of damaging policy's, that seem hell bend on securing Black people as prematurely under nourished, educated, housed, secured, served, represented and definitely under respected among their fellow citizenry.

    I'll stop now, oh there so much more I could add… okay, one more… isn't it funny that on average, Americans accept violence as a part of the solution when it's us in Iraqi, Libya, Afghanistan, we even extent such ominous graduate to our ally Israel as they bombard a nearly defensive Palestine.

    There's my truth!

  2. He works in the big house. His message is tempered and strikingly tilted to blame the victim. If there was no savage murdering of an unarmed teenager, or blatant social injustice, there would be no rebellion. There is a difference between rioting and rebellion and we must look closely at the two. A riot is said to be a violent disturbance of the PEACE by a crowd. There is no peace when a child lays dead on the pavement, in the sweltering heat for FOUR hours. Rebellion is the violent or open resistance of government, authority or control. Open our eyes to the reality that this place is a wilderness and the savages are in control.

  3. He could have kept that watered down writing to himself. He tries to make it sound like he's speaking against the syatematic pattern then turns around and gives an idea that maybe Darren Wilson was right and that if we obey the law we won't get mistreated.. please! Apparently he is trying to appeal to Wilson supporters because all the witness accounts including the friend of Mike Brown who saw close up as well as the phone videos that have been played says that the police offocer Wilson was wrong hands down!

  4. Alyosha Shepherd imma need you to get a grip. This is not about black officers, mickey mouse, or wendys hamburgers. You people always try to convolute matters to suit your taste. I believe u call it rubbish. You can have the last word after this… just know nobody cares abt what you have to say. At all.

  5. Les Deffner says:

    Haters gonna hate. WHAT WOULD IT TAKE to persuade you of the possiblity that Michael Brown was in the wrong? Or are you so hell-bent on hatred towards making this officer the poster child for every wrong ever done to the black community that no amount of fact-gathering will change your mind? I'm just asking.

  6. Tamika Covington There isn't a problem with white officers killing black men. There is a problem with violent young black men. Face the real problem or you curse yourself.

  7. Alyosha Shepherd Hahaha what about stoping talking about stuff you don't know ?

  8. Jah De Piña Colada More than 50 black people are killed by other black folks for every one killed by the police. That's a simple fact, which you are blind to because of media distortion.

  9. Alyosha Shepherd The simple fact that you use that "statistic" proves you have no idea about the subject

  10. Les Deffner says:

    1. Tamika, you are wrong. Period. I care about Alyosha's opinion. That's why I'm reading it. I also care about yours. Which is why I'd like your thoughts about

    2. The Charlotte, North Carloline Man who sued a Dating Website, and Says ‘My Perfect Matches Are Always Black.’

    What do you think about that?

  11. Tamika Covington I cite a fact. You call it an 'opinion'. Am I supposed to respect you?

    Jah De Piña Colada > The simple fact that you use that "statistic" proves you have no idea about the subject

    What do you mean by that exactly?

    The stats in question, BTW:

  12. Les Deffner Are you serious dude ? Do you know what that website is ?

    Alyosha Shepherd Yeah and ? What do you learn with that information ? Can you go a bit deeper than the usual : "Hey people kill people !"

  13. Jah De Piña Colada Sure. Even well off blacks commit murder at vastly higher rates than poor whites. Explain that.


    P.S. If Michael Brown had been white, and had acted exactly as he acted, he would be equally dead. Grabbing a cop's gun is a really, really bad idea. Advancing at a cop who is shooting at you is a really, really bad idea. This whole thing is a giant fucking joke. Black America has utterly embarrassed itself by elevating Brown to some sort of hero.

  14. Les Deffner says:

    Jah – no I wasn't serious. Yes, I do know that Empire News is a satire site.

    Most people are good. There is more justice in our society than there is injustice. If it were not so, America would have collapsed long ago. Don't let the Media lead you to think otherwise.

    >>>>>>The things which unite us must be greater than those things which divide us. And they do. Let's focus on the good and what we have in common.<<<<<

    Criminals don't respect the law and are more prone to disrespect and resist those who enforce it when caught. Ever see that movie "Liar Liar"? Jim Carrey plays an attorney who takes a phone call from a client? His response to the person on the other end of the line was "Want to stay out of jail? Stop breaking the law asshole!"

    For me, I'm a firm believer in the rule of law. If you're not a criminal, and follow the laws of the land, and make the wise choice to not keep company with those who do crime you significantly reduce your risk of even talking to a police officer.

    I don't care who you are, white, black, brown, yellow or purple with pink polka dots – if you break the law, and you resist those who are tasked with enforcement of the law, and you get your ass greased, it's your own g**-damn fault. PERIOD. When people stop making excuses for bad behavior and criminals from their actions, instead of blaming the police, then we can progress in eliminating whatever negative stereotypes may otherwise rightfully exist and have been earned.

    This goes for illegal immigrants as well. Again, for me and my house, we will obey the law and not justify those who do otherwise. As the Bible says "woe unto they who call evil good, and good evil." SHAME ON those who would call criminals "good" or "innocent".

    I advocate the rule of law, and an absolute solid personal feeling that I have no sympathy for those VIOLENT criminals who meet their end in confrontation with law enforcement. If some white kid in Utah dies because he resists a black officer, my feeling remains the same.

    If my family member was guilty of crime and of resistance to law enforcement, even if it was my own mother, I would not justify their actions. EVER. Actions have consequences, and those who choose wrong actions give cause and reason for the law to bear down upon them.

    I was fired from a high paying job because I made the mistake of swearing in a call center environment. My failures put the company at risk with it's customers. My family has suffered and it was my fault. I cannot be angry at those who terminated me. I was in the wrong and accept responsibility for my own actions and mistakes. I don't play the victim. That said, people's inability to objectively take responsibility for themselves and rather instead play the victim card (note I said NOTHING about race) and try to pass the blame on others absolutely disgusts me. So does holding up violent criminals as martyrs.

    Again, I do believe injustices take place, and I do believe that officers who abuse their power should be held accountable.

    Regarding Michael Brown in Ferguson: I believe the grand jury had it right and that officer Darren Wilson was simply defending himself against a video-proven violent aggressor. Michael Brown was tall, large, and 18: he was not a child. He was not a saint, and he certainly is not a martyr or hero.

    The case of Eric Garner: from what I read so far, I think the officer should be brought up on charges. Putting a guy in a chokehold simply for selling cigarettes is an over-use of force. It was uncalled for and unnecessary. The video clearly shows Officer Daniel Pantaleo to be in the wrong. Eric Garner died because of police brutality. And I hope the justice system Bears down hard on Officer Daniel Pantaleo.

    Some folks make a judgment and choose to blindly hold that opinion regardless of whatever facts may be later revealed. For whatever reason. Myself, I choose not to be so entrenched. I'm willing and able to be persuaded by facts. I judge people by their character, not what they look like on the outside. And I am fully able and willing to let my opinion of a dirt bag improve if that person's actions show they are turning their actions around. Likewise, if an upstanding person I once highly respected turns out to be a P.O.S., then so too does my opinion of them.

    The action of people speak to their character. My opinion of that person rises and falls upon that character.

  15. Alyosha Shepherd U are mistaken. I dont care abt ur opinion and i care less abt ur respect. We are diametrically opposed because of ur ignorance and savagery, and it will remain this way through the end of time.

  16. Les Deffner Who write the laws ?

  17. Alyosha Shepherd It amazes me how you just don't want to see the facts, you keep post ing irrelevant details when I'm telling you to see the whole picture …

  18. Tamika Covington Condmen the 'ignorance of savagery' of 'white people'; don't condemn the ignorance and savagery of a full grown black man who tried to grab a cop's gun and then charged at him.

    This is why the black community is in such a state of misery. It ISN'T white racism.

    That's also an example of why black people are the most racist, and racially hateful, group in America today.

  19. Jah De Piña Colada Englighten me. How does white racism cause well off blacks to commit murder at far higher rates than dirt poor whites?

  20. Les Deffner says:

    I was willing to give Alyosha Shepherd the benefit of the doubt. But now I find myself disgusted with his insults and painting of all blacks in America with the same broad strokes as those he debates with.

  21. Les Deffner Saying 'blacks are the most racially hateful' is a pretty well supported statement. White America in general, has denounced racism. In most of white America being called a 'racist' is about the worst thing you can be called. Black America, on the other hand, has embraced it; it is a widely held belief in black America that whiteness = evil.

    When a black man expresses basic common sense about what happened in Ferguson the black community jumps on him, and few defend him. This speaks badly of the whole community.

  22. Alyosha Shepherd Buttons on an ice cream cone, dog face….

  23. Alyosha Shepherd Your case is worse than I've thought … You still keep your eyes on details and refuse to see the whole problem

  24. Jah De Piña Colada > Who writes the laws?

    What, the laws against murder? Rape? Robbery?

    Tell me what I've written that's wrong. Tell me why it's white America's fault that blacks shoot each other to death so often? (every two hours, 24/7, every day of the year – bang, bang, bang, bang)

    What is the big picture here?

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