NY Times Under Fire for Michael Brown Obit Saying He Grappled with Problems, Promise
NY Times Under Fire for Michael Brown Obit Saying He Grappled with Problems, Promise

The New York Times is under fire for “spitting on Michael Brown’s grave” in an obituary talking about his life. The article spawned a #NoAngel hashtag and the outrage went viral on Twitter as the teen was being laid to rest.

I guess Mike Brown wasn’t as respectable as the Unabomber in their eyes.  I think it’s safe to say that a white kid from the suburbs who was shot dead by a police officer wouldn’t be labelled this way. 

Here’s the passage from the NY Times article, “Michael Brown Spent the Last Weeks Grappling with Problems and Promise,” which has caused the uproar:

Michael Brown, 18, due to be buried on Monday, was no angel, with public records and interviews with friends and family revealing both problems and promise in his young life.  Shortly before his encounter with Officer Wilson, the police say he was caught on a security camera stealing a box of cigars, pushing the clerk of a convenience store into a display case. He lived in a community that had rough patches, and he dabbled in drugs and alcohol. He had taken to rapping in recent months, producing lyrics that were by turns contemplative and vulgar. He got into at least one scuffle with a neighbor.

[…]

In the ninth grade at McCluer High School in Florissant, Mr. Brown was accused of stealing an iPod. His mother said she went to the school, eventually showing a receipt to prove the iPod was his. He left McCluer and went to two other high schools before going to Normandy for most of his final two years.

When his mother moved out of the Normandy District, he moved in with his paternal grandmother so he could remain at that school. But he continued to alternate between his parents and maternal grandmother.

He did not have a criminal record as an adult, and his family said he never got in trouble with the law as a juvenile, either.

This article begs the question, if Michael Brown was “living in a community that had rough patches” and that made him “no angel,” then how do we explain Officer Darren Wilson growing up with a serial con artist (his Mom, Tonya Durso) in his home located in a mostly white neighborhood? Then, add the fact that Darren Wilson learned how to police at the racist Jennings Police Department that has since been disbanded?