The shootings of Mike Brown and John Crawford happened within only days of each other. But for whatever reason, national attention was given to the incident in Ferguson even though there was near unanimous agreement throughout the nation that John Crawford was not to blame for his death.
Even among die-hard police supporters and apologists, few believed that John Crawford was to blame for being shot. Most pointed the finger at 911-caller Ronald Ritchie, but it was clear that in an open carry state, and in a store that sells both guns and BB-guns, there is nothing illegal, nor even particularly out of the ordinary about handling a replica firearm, taken from the very shelves of the store.
So why did so many unite around the cause of Ferguson and Mike Brown, while few got involved in protesting the Beavercreek, Ohio shooting of John Crawford?
For starters, there was national mobilization in Ferguson by way of heavyweights such as Al Sharpton. The self-described “civil rights leader” got behind the Justice For Mike Brown cause from nearly day one. But in spite of many trying to get his attention in Ohio, the Reverend did not bite.
As it turns out, Al Sharpton is paid off directly by Walmart. The multinational corporation lines the former FBI-informant’s pockets with cash.
This even became a point of concern for some shareholders in the company, back in 2009. Walmart responded, saying the following:
“Our support for NAN is focused on addressing health and wellness issues and other issues important to our customers and associates. Our company will continue to support organizations that can further our mission to help people live better.”
Even the well-known debunking website “Snopes” has confirmed that “Walmart has donated money to the National Action Network, an organization founded by the Rev. Al Sharpton.”
They clarify that none of these donations has ever been used by Sharpton in any way to challenge police authority or abuse.
Being involved with a lot of the folks mobilizing in Ferguson, we can add that there wasn’t nearly as much infighting and division – “my way or the highway” partisanship – in the Ferguson circles. Unfortunately, there was never any unity in Beavercreek protests, many were out for their own organization’s publicity and typically did not show up to protests organized by others, or simply organically assembled with no direct leadership.
The Beavercreek Police and Walmart knew that from day one and people working with local law enforcement and corporate liaisons played on these divisions from day one.
Still, in spite of it all, a contingency of activists continue to assemble at the Beavercreek Walmart on the first Sunday of every month, at 3:00 pm. They also encourage protesters in other cities across the country to do the same at their local Walmart locations. Last month saw over a dozen cities participating.
For better or worse, when there are big-name heavyweights with the power of mainstream media outlets like MSNBC behind them, that does a lot to get people to turn out on the streets. But if they don’t show up and don’t help mobilize for protests, then those crowds don’t show up. Is it any wonder why a corporate giant like Walmart would want to have a guy like that in their pockets? It certainly worked out well for them after John Crawford was killed.
To be clear, Sharpton said many nice words to support John Crawford, his family and the activists on the ground fighting for Walmart and the Beavercreek Police Department to “Release the Tape,” but he never once mobilized on the ground like he did for Mike Brown. Was this because Walmart was lining his pockets? It seems almost ridiculous to argue otherwise. As the saying goes: TALK IS CHEAP!
(Article by Shante Wooten and M. David)