The long awaited grand jury decision in Ferguson, MO was released. Officer Darren Wilson was not indicted for the killing of Michael Brown. As expected, disappointed supporters of the Brown family took to the streets in protest last night to make their voices heard about this injustice. Much of the protesting across the country was peaceful, but we of course saw some destruction of property and businesses in Ferguson.
If anyone in this country is surprised that Darren Wilson was not indicted, they are certainly clueless about the state of race relations in this country. This institutional racism that results in decisions like this has been happening in this country for years. We can point to the countless young Black men who have been murdered by white police officers, unlawfully. Unfortunately, many of those officers got away with it. But we can also look at the history of racism in this country; a history that devalues the life of Black men and women. Essentially, Black lives do not matter in this country.
Ultimately, we cannot expect a system that was historically and institutionally designed to hold people of color down to work for us today. Many in America are misguided in a way that makes them believe that we are in a post-racial America, a color-blind society, and well past the perils of Jim Crow and segregation. They look to the election of President Barack Obama as proof of such silly claims. However, even if you look at the President, the level of disrespect this president has endured throughout his term is beyond what any other (white) predecessors have had to work with. Still, Black people still have higher incarceration rates, higher poverty rates, and get murdered by cops at significantly higher levels than any other racial community in America. Essentially, the Ferguson decision supports the position that Black lives do not matter.
Some people may not understand the perspective of the general Black community or that of many communities of color. If you do not live the struggle that many people of color do throughout this country, you cannot understand the plight. For people who don’t have to deal with racism every day must recognize that they have the privilege to not have to worry their kids being harassed or killed by the police on a regular basis. They have the privilege to not have negative stereotypes lingering above their heads. And they have the privilege to not have to worry about whether or not Black lives matter, because in many cases their lives are not threatened by this injustice. However, recognizing that a privilege exists for some Americans is the first step to understanding the situation in Ferguson and the first step towards making the justice system truly work for everyone that it claims to protect.
Other Headlines – In the News
NBC News – Ferguson Protests Continue Across Nation
Categories: US News