If you say that we should have an "honest" discussion about what's going on in Ferguson, it makes people think that hard truths are going to be spoken and we're all going to deeply disagree.
But, what if the dirty little secret is that MOST people, black and white, liberal and conservative, are actually on pretty much the same page about the shooting of Mike Brown?
If Mike Brown surrendered to that officer and the policeman shot him anyway, like every conservative I know, I want that cop to do hard time for it. However, I do think we should find out everything that happened before we render judgment on the situation. "Justice" in this situation may mean that the police officer ends up in jail because he shot Mike Brown after he surrendered. On the other hand, "justice" may mean an acknowledgment that the officer was justified in shooting Mike Brown because Brown was aggressively running towards him after getting in a struggle for his gun. That’s why we have trials -- so we can find out what really happened in cases like this instead of judging it via rumors and wild accusations on Twitter. Hopefully, the idea that this should be sorted out in a courtroom isn’t a big area of disagreement for most Americans, black or white.
Now, some people might say white people don't get upset about black men being shot by the police. That's generally true. But, in all fairness, we don't get upset about white men being shot by the police either. If some white kid who gets high and robs a convenience store gets shot tomorrow, there aren't going to be any white protests over it.That doesn't mean it’s okay for the police to fire at will. I think it’s appropriate to take the police to task if they shoot a DOG unnecessarily; so you bet it’s not okay for them to blow away a human being without good cause. Policemen do incredibly difficult work and they deserve a lot of respect for that, but they also have to be held to the highest standards so they have the moral authority to do their job.
As to peaceful protests, conservatives absolutely support the right of every American to assemble and protest without police harassment. Whether you're protesting a shooting by a police officer, at a Tea Party or at an anti-war protest, as long you're obeying the law you shouldn't have weapons pointed at you and you deserve to be treated with respect by the police.