Concerning the violent demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri: I have spent most of my life working with black people in Detroit, and there is no way Michael Brown represented all the wonderful black people I remember.

There is videotaped evidence that he stole merchandise from a convenience store and bullied the clerk when confronted. After that, witnesses say, he slugged a policeman who was doing his job. He and the rioters were no different from the students at Keene State during the Pumpkin Festival. Destruction of property is the same, no matter where it is.

The media concentrated too much on feeling sorry for Michael Brown and said little about all the hardworking black business owners who will see the real hardships.

In the coverage of the riots, did anyone notice the well-kept homes in the background owned by families whose lives have been spent trying to make their community nice? No! Instead, we were told to feel sorry for a 6-foot-4-inch thug who weighed 292 pounds and didn’t care about anyone except himself.

Residents of black communities, especially those in conservative Southern states, have suffered from abuse by the “good old boys” forever. The anger over that is certainly justified.

If we want to help these people, a good place to start would be the 4-to-49 ratio of black police officers to white police officers in Ferguson.

Curtis Fordyce

South Portland