Vail Daily column: Violent vandalism changes nothing |

Vail Daily column: Violent vandalism changes nothing

Michael Brown is not dead because of the color of his skin.

The 18-year-old is no longer living because a trained officer of the law was forced into a position where he had to use his training and his instincts, making a quick judgment call that tragically ended the young man’s life.

Neither is he dead because the color of the officer’s skin. That’s as irrelevant as saying the first snowboarder to die on the mountain this year will be because they were not on skis.

This is no civil rights issue. Michael Brown is no “martyr for the cause,” whatever the hell that actually means.

And the rest of us must stop thinking we have no choice but to “pick a side” on this issue.

Wrong, we do not.

No one does.

The social media morons making it a liberal/conservative/political issue are nothing more than self-serving buffoons using circular logic to rationalize conclusions that were reached a long time ago, never to be changed in spite of updated information.

Might as well be debating religion on Facebook.

“Yeah, well, a white kid was shot and killed by a black cop not too long ago! Where’s the outrage?! Where’s Al Sharpton!?”

You’re missing the point, but then again you just made one of mine.

Al Sharpton is an opportunistic clown who belongs in the same class with Sarah Palin. They both need to be sent back to grade school.

A great deal has been written during the last week claiming violence is what causes change in a society.

Wrong again.

How is throwing a rock through a window to steal a TV going to help “the cause”? How about turning over a police car, a stranger’s car or burning a store to the ground? Torching cars at a dealership teaches a lesson to whom exactly.

It makes as much sense as an angry mob marching up Bridge Street, throwing Molotov cocktails into Pepi’s and Gorsuch because there’s not enough snow on the hill.

Information is what causes change, not senseless vandalism.

Physical violence only leads to more physical violence (see: history of the world), but information, whether new, old or simply more complete, is more often than not the impetus for change in a society.

And understand I am not attacking Darren Wilson one iota more than I am defending Michael Brown or vice versa, as to do either is an insult to both.

Every law officer faces the potential of death every day and does so for a paycheck and at least some sense of responsibility to the community.

Every parent faces the potential of harm to their child every day and does so because they are 100 percent responsible for bringing that child into the world in the first place and thus owe it to that child to raise them with a proper sense of right and wrong.

Both sides make mistakes, however, and tragedy sometimes follows.

It’s up to those remaining to make the necessary changes, but beating each other over the head with a stick, metaphorically or literally, will never be the solution.

Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at

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