Dialogue, not barricades

Dialogue, not barricades

I agree that Ferguson matters to Jews (August 29). It is an excellent test of how Jews understand justice. Unfortunately, despite her reading of this week’s Torah portion on justice, Ms. Roden failed the test. She convicted police officer Darren Wilson in the kangaroo court of her own bias and prejudice. Today, no one knows if Officer Wilson is guilty of murder. Certainly, the killing of Michael Brown is a tragedy for the Brown family and for all of America. But Officer Wilson has not even been indicted for murder, yet the tone of the article assumes his guilt. If a trial convicts him of murder, then he deserves the full punishment of the law.

The article assumes more than the officer’s guilt. It assumes a racist America and a racist police force. With a black president and a black attorney general, this is certainly not true. Just like a small minority of the Ferguson protestors was looters and rioters, I believe that a small minority of white Americans are racists.

I personally feel safer in the presence of police. When I see a police officer at our YJCC or at our synagogue, the Jewish Community Center of Paramus, I thank the officer for keeping us safe. While walking to the pro Israel rally several weeks ago, I thanked every officer, black and white, for keeping us safe.

I applaud the civil rights movement of relatively recent times. And I do understand that constant vigilance is important in maintaining our civil rights. At the same time, justice does not involve a rush to judgment before we have all the facts.