There are perverse, corrupting elements in the “Black” subculture of the United States. But these elements are not unique to Black America. Prior to the period of British Rule, Indian culture included the practice of Sati - ritual murder of widows by burning them on their husband’s funeral pyres. When a group of Hindu priests protested to the British general in command, his response was as follows:
"Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs."
As it is my culture to resist the evil and promote the good, that is the spirit in which I write this piece.
India also gives us the word “thug”, which comes from the Thuggee cult - a death cult dedicated to the murder of innocent people as human sacrifice. It is not an accident that we get the word “thug” from a death cult, as the thug culture in the US is itself violent and death-oriented. Videos of both Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown revealed after their deaths demonstrate that they were part of this poisonous culture. As a direct result of this culture, they both felt that a violent response to a perceived slight or challenge was required. To walk away would, to the thug culture, be an act of cowardice. It is this culture that led a young man on his way to college to commit a felony robbery over a pack of ten-dollar cigars.
But the poison doesn’t just destroy the lives of those it impacts - Brown’s stepfather was recorded screaming “Burn this bitch down” over and over after the Grand Jury returned a No True Bill (no indictment). He was inciting the assembled crowd to destroy his own community. To burn down the stores and services he uses, in his grief and rage, he tried inciting a mob to burn his own neighborhood. That is how poisonous thug culture is.
It’s this culture that mocks and denigrates learning, education and hard work, and promotes violence and criminality. This venomous, destructive culture is killing Black Americans, and as soon as it is held in universal contempt, the better off we will be.
But there is a light that shown in the Ferguson disaster that we should raise up. As the police abandoned the shopping district where the protest was, and looters started ransacking the stores, a group of men spontaneously got together to protect shops and stores in their community. They organized a classic militia, defending the stores from looters and vandals and partially containing the rioting. But these groups weren’t alone. There is a viral video of a lone woman stopping a couple of vandals from smashing the windows of a pizzeria. There are stories of others as well, individually standing up to looters and forcing them to withdraw. These people all stood against the toxin and corruption of the thug culture. They helped defend against the mob, and then helped clean-up and rebuild. They deserve to be honored.
And then there’s Natalie Dubose, who owns and runs a bakery called “Natalie’s Cakes and More.” She started by selling baked goods at local flea markets to get the money to start her own shop. Like most small business owners, she was fiercely proud of her store. During the protests, sales plummeted. There were times she was depositing twelve dollars after being open all day. That was bad enough, but then vandals smashed her storefront and looters ransacked her shop. A picture of her reacting to the demolished storefront went viral as a poignant symbol of the victims of the riots and looting in Ferguson.
But America doesn’t like seeing hard-working people laid low by disasters like this. Multiple people launched fundraising campaigns to help her recover and rebuild. Her official fundraiser, promoted by many websites, including the Conservative/Libertarian Legal Insurrection, raised over a quarter of a million dollars in two days. That gives her enough money to rebuild, expand, open a commercial website and even hire someone to help her. She has now stopped accepting donations for herself, and is using her fundraising page to promote the recovery fundraisers of other local businesses.
These are the stories that should become the story of Ferguson. The thugs and looters should be forgotten, save as the villains of the people who fought them and rebuilt after them. The fighters and rebuilders should be elevated as the heroes of Ferguson, as the Good in this story, and the looters and vandals should be reduced to nothing but Evil.
Current list of businesses on Dubose's GoFundMe page: