Because there are so many things wrong with the events going on in Ferguson on so many levels - to wit, the vicious crackdown against peaceful protesters and journalists, the excessive display of militarized police akin more to an occupying force than public defenders, the facilitation of evidence tampering and obstruction of evidence gathering, the overt and covert institutionalized racism that underlies all the tension and anger, and the overall tone-deafness and history-blindness of officials in charge of cooling emotions and securing peace - that it is understandable that people would get sidetracked by any one of these betrayals of the values of justice and equality, all outrageous in their own right.
But there is just one point that I think puts all the insanity in Ferguson in perfect frame:
All of this is to protect one man.
A single man. Namely, the police officer who allegedly killed Michael Brown, Darren Wilson.
An entire police force waging war against the community they purport to protect and serve. An entire demographic of Americans hostilely oppressed and denigrated. A supposedly civilized country, whose warhawk representatives expect us to police the rest of the world, embarrassed on the global stage for its blatant disregard for due process. Politicians who denounce the murderous terrorists overseas yet do not call for the arrest of a similar accused killer in our own territory. American citizens, journalists, youth and children and elderly and mothers and fathers, risking being trampled to death by mobs, shot by bullets rubber or otherwise, and risk facing the criminal justice system themselves because they are brave enough to protest injustice.
All of this is to prevent one man from facing any sort of scrutiny for the actions he chose to take.
Maybe he's guilty of a crime. Maybe not. But the system - no, the country - has been forced to expose some of its most glaring inherent flaws and inconsistencies and failings, both unintended and completely contrived, all to prevent this single man from facing anyone he has wronged, or courtroom, or jailcell.
Regardless of whether the officer Darren Wilson is ultimately found guilty of any crime, there is supposed to be protocol in place when police officers are caught in these altercations. And yet, there is no word that he has been dealt any sort of punishment, any sort of suspension or firing, or had to surrender his badge or firearm, let alone facing any judge or criminal prosecution.
One man is being valued higher than all the integrity of and the trust we put into the most important defenders of our lives and communities.
All the riots, all the teargassing and arrests, all the protests and demonstrations, these are all because one man is being shielded from the law, the same law each and every American citizen is supposedly expected to follow, the same law he was sworn to protect and serve.
With all the protections afforded a member of the police like Darren Wilson, it was always a miniscule probability from the outset that he would ever face any real punishment for killing Mike Brown, made all the more audacious compared to the lack of similar resources available to Mike Brown or his family to seek justice in the very same courts. And yet the powers that be still found it necessary to impede the serving of justice by every means available.
They would rather protect this officer to extraordinary levels, potentially withholding evidence and fabricating evidence and witness tampering and knowingly giving false information, all of which could likely get anyone who's not a cop arrested themselves.
They would rather have marchers and protesters in the streets every day and rioters and looters every night.
They would rather shoot tear gas and suit up in combat gear and brandish assault rifles and drive their tanks onto civilian streets.
They would rather expose the city of Ferguson to mountains of civil lawsuits and millions of dollars in settlements and legal fees by infringing on people's and reporters' First Amendment rights.
All because they don't want one man to even have handcuffs on his wrists. Someone who has probably placed handcuffs on countless other individuals, before they were ever charged with or found guilty of a crime, as well.
All of this is to protect one man. People's lives are being put on the line, our taxes are being wasted, our justice system is being made a mockery of, all because the people who supposedly pass as leaders refuse to treat a single man to even a fraction of the justice he himself dealt to Michael Brown.
Let us not forget that all the turmoil, all the tension and anger and apathy raised in Ferguson and throughout the country, this all could have been avoided if police officials or the elected officials who oversee them, had just done their jobs, their sworn duties devoted to the community of Ferguson, and arrested Darren Wilson and properly investigated Michael Brown's death.
And from now on, anytime anyone in the Republican Party tries to claim that they don't have a problem appealing to minorities, or say that they don't have a racism problem, they can sit down and shut the hell up and get nothing but facepalms on their twitters for the rest of their lives. Your shameless hypocritical double standards have been put on full display. Your party, that deems it so important to judge every drug user, welfare fraud, and illegal immigrant, can't even be bothered to make the most simplest call for someone who clearly should go to court to be arrested. You may be able to convince your own devotees who already believe everything you say, but you have absolutely zero credibility with anyone who chooses to look at the facts objectively. As if it wasn't already plain as day to anyone who doesn't willfully allow themselves to be lied to on a perpetual mind-numbing basis. Republicans would rather obfuscate and divert attention and point fingers at Obama, then to plainly admit the simple truth. You don't even have to go whole-hog kumbaya with all races and minorities and call for Darren Wilson to be found guilty; you can't even plainly say that Mike Brown should not have died, without sounding phony. What would get you to mourn Mike Brown's death, other than posthumously turning him into an unborn fetus? What would get you to call for Darren Wilson's arrest, other than finding out that he officiated a gay wedding?
The reason minorities vote overwhelmingly for Democrats is not because they like handouts and welfare. It's because the Republican Party protects and legitimizes the people who kill them. It's because the Republican Party works harder to prevent them from voting than for helping them feel represented in their own government. It's because the Republican Party fights harder to defend the Second Amendment rights of non-black Americans than their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, to peacably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. It's because the Republican Party would rather portray them as robbers and drug users than to treat them as just plain human beings, who don't deserve to be shot down in the middle of the street.
All the turmoil in Ferguson, all the threats against peace, all the rioting and looting, none of these even remotely compare to the level of betrayal represented by failing to arrest and charge Darren Wilson.
Darren Wilson, you are just one person, as we all are. Stand up and face the music, like any one of us is expected to.
And for any elected official who doesn't immediately call for Wilson's arrest or to turn himself in, you do not have any moral standing to call for civility in Ferguson, because to call for civility, you first have to show that you understand what it means to live in a civil society.
The question isn't if a lone individual like Darren Wilson is worth all of this.
The real question is, is any one?