Concerning The Christopher Dorner Rebellion of 2013 how will Black History judge the matter? In what might very well be the greatest contribution to the plight of Afro Americans since the end of the Civil Rights Movement, Chris Dorner, in spite of himself, has gone from patriot to mad man in the eyes of the America he loved and his name will no doubt become synonymous in the law enforcement community with Benedict Arnold. But lest we forget although considered a traitor in America Benedict Arnold is revered in Britain.
“...it is unjust that I should suffer such a penalty. Had I interfered...in behalf of the rich, the powerful, the intelligent, the so-called great, or in behalf of any of their friends—either father, mother, brother, sister, wife, or children, or any of that class—and suffered and sacrificed what I have in this interference, it would have been all right; and every man in this court would have deemed it an act worthy of reward rather than punishment.” --John Brown
What John Brown is implying here in his address to the court is that had he been a conformist, the go along to get along type, and were complicit in the oppression of the unfortunate he would have been considered a model citizen, as would have Dorner. The argument of acceptance and conformity that “sometimes bad things happen to good people,” as Dorner was told by his mother according to his manifesto, is insulting and more oppressive than chains around a mans neck. Yes, bad things happen to good people but what are we going to do about it? Just suppress it and move on? In the context wherein he writes about it in his manifesto that's the way he perceived it coming from his mother and that wasn't an option for him. He had swung his first blow against racism in the first grade against a fellow student that called him a nigger and was punished because, as he was told, it wasn't the “Christian” thing to do. Fortunately/unfortunately, however one perceives it, for many of his formative years due to the choices of his parent/s he was the only black child in a lot of his classes in communities where blacks made up less than 1% of the population. So I'm sure conformity to racism was a central theme throughout his adolescence as it has been to us all.
It will prove a crucial mistake to write Christopher Dorner off as just another “angry black man with a gun,” a mad man or crazed killer and assign to him the evil he battled against in the LAPD and various other law enforcement agencies around the world. If your sensibilities are so offended in the “killing of the innocent” there is still time for you to save them from another Christopher Dorner by organizing to hold accountable all guilty parties involved in the ongoing brutality of the LAPD and other agencies like it around the world. There is the failed war on drugs that disproportionately targets Afro Americans and others. The gang and drug violence that has claimed thousand of “innocent” people right outside your front door. The drone strikes and kill list by a Nobel Peace Prize recipient who is the President of these “United” States, corporations and banks that not only threatens the liberties of the masses but partakes in the illegal drug market and so many more innocent people around the world are being slaughtered in the name of US National security that you have a variety of issues you can become seriously involved with beyond just bragging rights for pushing a button on election day. Or is it, as I expect, only convenient for you to sound off when it's safe and socially acceptable? Dr King once said that “the measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Truthfully it's not given to the popular mind of its time to understand men like John Brown. Why, because in their self righteousness there is nothing there to compel them to do anything more than profess their moral integrity and ignore the responsibility that accompanies it while remaining indifferent to the wrong. These were people cut from the same cloth as Dorner's critics today that “support” the cause but condemn the act. Ironically if the critics of both John Brown and Christopher Dorner actually protested, petitioned, marched and encouraged others over which they had/have influence to do the same, with the same fervor with which their counterparts today elected and reelected the first black President, who has yet to address any of these issues in favor of his most loyal constituency, Afro Americans, maybe there would not have been a need for John Brown to raid the US Armory at Harper's Ferry nor for Dorner to commence his rebellion.
John Brown was hung on December 2, 1859, 28 years and 30 days following the hanging of Nat Turner. I believe 4 killings were attributed to Brown and his followers while approximately 55 killings were charged to Nat and his followers but time has numbed the senses and experience has conditioned us to favor the cause. In his address to the court John Brown stated, “I believe that to have interfered as I have done,... in behalf of his (God's) despised poor was not wrong but right” and Afro American history agrees. But will it afford Dorner that same consideration? I think so.