RE: JENICE Armstrong's column on Pharrell Williams:

The Ferguson situation is tragic. Mr. Wilson overreacted and a young black man is gone. No doubt charges should have been filed. The protests are necessary to get the point across that we deserve respect. However, when the protesters then burn down their own neighborhood to obtain liquor, TVs or any other things, the looting process completely defeats the demand for respect.

On Aug. 1, Tynirah Borum, a 3-year-old was shot and killed by a stray bullet while playing on the porch of her home. I don't recall seeing any follow-up articles, any protest, any riots over the senseless lost of life.

While Mr. Wilson could not have known about this case, it is just one of thousands across the country. We act lawlessly toward each other but are completely surprised when others act the same way and get away with it. We get away with it because we won't tell. We teach people how to treat us. This goes for us individually as well as we as a people.

Pharrell Williams was just expressing an opinion on a 10-second clip of Mike Brown - a clip put out to help "justify" the excessive forced used against him. We have no clue what transpired or what was said prior to those 10 seconds we were shown. Even if we conclude that Mike Brown was a bully, that transgression should not have cost him his life.

Denise White

Philadelphia

Pharrell Williams brings up a valid point, in wondering how Michael Brown reached a point in his life where he chose to rob a store. Why are you questioning his opinion? He has just as much right as any other citizen, of any other race.

I read a report yesterday, where a group of black males took up arms in Ferguson to defend a gas station owned by a white man, because he had employed one or more of them in the past. Where is the media coverage of that?

Petitioning the government for a redress of grievances is a guaranteed right in the U.S. Constitution, but not rioting, looting and arson. Ferguson has been besieged more than once starting with the shooting in August, with no apparent end in sight.

That is, of course, until the court of public opinion gets its due. A predominantly white police department in a predominantly black city doesn't make much sense, but why on Earth would a white officer blatantly kill a black "adult" sheerly due to his race under those circumstances?

People need to take race completely out of the equation, and all races need to remember that a life was taken as the result of a horrible chain of events. The hate needs to stop. The race war, ever-perpetuated by ratings whores, such as Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and big media, needs to stop.

Finally, if Brown and Wilson were both black or both white, no one would be having this conversation at all. Autumn Pasquale (white) was murdered and stuffed in a trash can by two black minors, two years ago in Clayton, N.J., over bicycle parts. There was no rioting, no looting and certainly no arson. There was, though, the ever-present defense that the accused "teenagers" learned from some sort of "culture."

Can you tell me exactly what that culture is, and why it seems to be justified in these situations?

Chris Concannon

Bellmawr, N.J.

I don't understand the turmoil around what Pharrell Williams said. He was asked about the video of Michael Brown robbing a convenience store. Before you get to think that I am a racist white man . . . I am black, and the truth of the matter is that we as black people have got to learn to separate events.

What Michael Brown did (if he robbed the store) was wrong. Just as the police officer was wrong for shooting an unarmed teen 10 times with deadly consequences.

Now, the community thinks that boycotting Black Friday as a form of protest against what happened to Michael Brown will somehow bring attention to the problem of whites with guns having little respect for black life. What about the other days leading up to Christmas? Should we boycott them all or is this some silly attempt at continuing to get 15 minutes of fame?

Pharrell commented on what Michael Brown did; he made no statement that should have any bearing on what was done by the police officer to Michael Brown.

Charles Culver

Philadelphia

Thank you, Pharrell Williams. It's about time people got their head out of the sand. This is obviously no choir boy we're talking about here.

It's a shame he had to lose his life, but when you steal, punch police officers and then reach for their gun, it may not end so good for you.

I have seen so many young people who make mistake after mistake, and then when something awful happens to them, everyone cries about how young he or she was and didn't deserve what he or she got. Let's check out this kid's school records. How long has he been causing trouble wherever he went? Do some homework. I bet you there are a lot of people who knew this kid who are saddened but not surprised.

There are a lot of people, black and white, who know what I'm talking about.

Andrew Stuart

Somerton, Pa.