If Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri fame had been properly brought up to have self-control and to respect authority he might be alive today. Police have the authority to issue commands in certain circumstances as when people are violating laws by, say, walking in the street. Cops are often rude and arrogant. No doubt about it. But you still must obey their lawful commands even if rudely barked. Here is where self-control and respect for authority come in. If Brown had possessed self control, he would have kept a lid on his feelings and would have refrained from stupidly initiating an altercation with an armed officer of the law. Apart from questions of morality and legality, fighting with cops is almost always a highly imprudent thing to do. And if Brown had been properly brought up, he would have known that in a situation like this he had a duty to submit to the cop's legitimate authority. What's more, it was imprudence on stilts for Brown to act as he did right after stealing from a convenience store and roughing up the proprietor.
Similar lessons may be gleaned from the fateful encounter of Trayvon Martin with George Zimmerman. The case is worth revisiting.
One 'take-away' is the importance of self-control. If Martin had been taught, or rather had learned, to control himself he would most likely be alive today. But he didn't control himself. He blew his cool when questioned about his trespassing in a gated community on a rainy night, cutting across lawns, looking into people's houses. He punched a man in the face and broke his nose, then jumped on him, pinned him down, and told him that he was going to die that night. So, naturally, the man defended himself against the deadly attack with deadly force. What George Zimmerman did was both morally and legally permissible. If some strapping youth is pounding your head into the pavement, you are about to suffer "grave bodily harm" if not death. What we have here is clearly a case of self-defense.
Does race enter into this? In one way it does. Blacks as a group have a rather more emotional nature than whites as a group. (If you deny this, you have never lived in a black neighborhood or worked with blacks, as I have.) So, while self-control is important for all, the early inculcation of self-control is even more important for blacks. Otherwise, the case has nothing to do with race. It has to do with a man's defending himself against a thuggish attack.
Hard looks, hateful looks, suspicious looks -- we all get them from time to time, but they are not justifications for launching a physical assault on the looker. The same goes for harsh words.
If you want to be successful you must learn to control yourself. You must learn to control your thoughts, your words, and your behavior. You must learn to keep a tight rein on your feelings. Before leaving your house, you must remind yourself that you are likely to meet offensive people. Rehearse your Stoic and other maxims so that you will be ready should the vexatious and worse heave into view.
Unfortunately, too many liberals in positions of authority have abdicated when it comes to moral education. For example, they refuse to enforce discipline in classrooms. They refuse to teach morality. They tolerate bad behavior. They abdicate their authority when they refuse to teach respect for authority. So liberals, as usual, are part of the problem.
But that is to put it too mildly. There is no decency on the Left, no wisdom, and, increasingly, no sanity. For example, the crazy comparison of Trayvon Martin with Emmett Till. But perhaps I should put the point disjunctively: you are either crazy if you make that comparison, or moral scum. You are moral scum if you wittingly make a statement that is highly inflammatory and yet absurdly false.
Related: Trayvon Martin Was No Emmett Till