One of the most horrifying sidebars to the senseless murder of unarmed Ferguson teen Michael Brown is the money that has come pouring in, apparently from racist St. Louisans, to an all-purpose slush fund for Ferguson cop Darren Wilson. St. Louis television station KSDK reports that, as of today, the “Support Officer Darren Wilson” fund has raised a quarter of a million dollars. Moreover, according to KSDK reporter Lisa Zeigman, fund organizers are transferring the money to something called “Shield of Hope,” an “authorized” charitable foundation, so that future donations will be tax deductible. Huh? It is one thing to contribute to a murderer’s defense fund; it is quite another to make those contributions tax deductible. Can you imagine the outcry if the roles were reversed? If a black man had gunned down a white cop, the Tea Partiers would be gathering on the White House lawn with pitchforks and nooses should the government declare that contributions to the black man’s defense fund could be tax write-offs.
KSDK is also reporting that “all funds received will be donated to Officer Darren Wilson to cover potential legal fees, and relocation and living expenses of both Officer Wilson and his immediate family.” Not only do St. Louisans (and all other right-wing nutjob non-St. Louisans) have no objection to Wilson slaughtering a defenseless kid, they are making it profitable for the cop to have done so. It turns out that murdering African Americans can be a good career move for white St. Louis-area cops.
This should stun and stupefy you. But if you’re from St. Louis, you are probably not shocked at all. Having lived in the segregated neighborhoods of the St. Louis area all my life, I am quite familiar with the white-racist rage that simmers just beneath the area’s placid veneer. For decades it has been barely suppressed by a live-and-let-live attitude (as long as they don’t live by us). Now, though, it has exposed its ugly caped head in the most blatant way imaginable. What those who contribute to the killer cop’s bank account are really saying is this: “I don’t care if it’s murder; just send the message to the black community that we have the power of life-and-death over you, so stay in your place.”
Why would any rational person make out Wilson to be the aggrieved party in this case? What did he do to warrant this outpouring of community support? Do white, conservative St. Louisans automatically back the cops no matter what they do? I wonder if donations would have accrued tenfold if Officer Wilson had machine-gunned an entire church full of African Americans. Maybe contributions would have soared into the millions. Apparently white cops can kill with impunity in St. Louis; it not only pleases the white citizenry, but it is a financially lucrative enterprise.