Now, one could use this tragedy as a jumping off point for a wider debate about race, state control etc etc in the US but with so few facts that can be established one runs the risk of looking a fool and undermining one's wider points if the shooting doesn't follow the narrative.
I think that totally depends what exactly you have in mind when you
say narrative. It's also possible to set the bar for seeing relationships between events over time so high, that well none of us are related to anything I suppose. If one wishes to.
And the idea that someone in a particular conflict case has to be squeaky clean to be an actual victim of racism or oppression, as it were, is a handy "out" if one wishes to avoid seeing that oppression generally. Or even to further it, as we've heard often from the Syrian government for example: "But you can't blame us
for killing our people and shelling cities (with chemical weapons no less), because look the opposition are all terrorists
..." It's basically the same idea: Don't look here, where oh who could say maybe the people I support are actually in the process of abusing by the way, but hey that doesn't matter cause if I can find anything
in your particular example to make anyone say "Oh they
didn't play by the rules" in some respect sometime or other -- well then, all is fair game and we'll just carry right on, no one will care about that
whole human tragedy anymore.
It isn't analytically sound to use this sort of standard and hold everything in lieu of angelic paragons. Not if the discussion is about understanding what keeps happening in the structure of that society.
Wait until you hear the first "it could have happened to anyone" or "it could have happened to any black child"... that's the point where the people making that statement are openly saying that Michael Brown doesn't matter anymore, what matters is this wider point. And that strikes me as rather sad and dehumanising.
I'm not sure what your
particular standard is there for Brown himself "mattering." But you can look at the statistics and research on who police stop how often, who gets what crime sentences how often. You might look into how much of a White city government budget is coming from police citations on a largely Black population for very minor violations, matters that might often go unattended in other communities. And at least in Ferguson, you could also see who the state
itself found actually deserving of more
police attention in terms of the chance of actually finding contraband (they said, Whites).
There are quite a few telling summary data figures about this context, not to mention the broader state of Black community economics in the region in the wake of the recession, in multiple articles that have come out in the Guardian recently. And some in some US sources which I've only peeked at more casually -- even CNN mentioned at least the differences between police and local situations, as I linked earlier. But I think it's telling that it usually takes just this sort of event
(or series of events, if you would prefer) to make that kind of data material 'of interest' for regular news media.
Now, to me it makes no sense to turn around and say all that has nothing important
to do with the chances of what actually happened to Brown, going down in that setting. The guy doesn't have to be an angel to look and say, hmm the chances of someone who looks like him, unarmed getting shot on the street at night in that area probably have quite a bit to do with how race and class have been playing out there.