Has anything changed?
If we are being honest with ourselves – nothing has changed.
One year ago, a white police officer shot and killed unarmed African-American teenager, Michael Brown. This event enraged the predominantly black city of Ferguson, Missouri and drove the tension between police and community sky high.
The anger of the African-American community was misinterpreted by many, including the media, who never hesitated to politicize and trivialize the pain of Mr. Brown’s family and friends.
When protesters took the streets last year, their goal was to bring forth a message of unity and change, but were instead, greeted by hostile national guards. Then rioting ensued. What else can one expect?
Like the wise, Martin Luther King, Jr. said some years ago, “a riot is the voice of the unheard.”
The New Yorker magazine recently published an interview they had with the former cop Wilson. And in reading it, there is little doubt that he feels no remorse or moral anguish for his part in the death of a teenage boy. He continues to justify his actions on that fateful day, even though there was a possibility for both to walk away from their kerfuffle…….alive.
Wilson admitted that since the incident, he has been in hiding and only associates himself with “like-minded” people.
Code for: “I only hang around racist bigots like myself.”
These are the notions and ideals that have only worked to strengthen the racial divide in this country.
How can a white officer who thinks so little of blacks and minorities, serve in those very communities?
Now African-American Andre Anderson, replaced the former, out-of-touch, white police chief. The interim top cop vows to change the city and is extremely optimistic. And I do not deny that Mr. Anderson may be doing his best to turn things around, yet since his tenure, there are only 5 African-American officers out of a 50-person police force that “serve” the predominantly black Ferguson community.
Ferguson is also one of the poorest cities in the country, but its locals had been unfairly ticketed to create revenue for the city. And it continues to happen today.
It is conventional wisdom that it usually takes a tragedy to bring about change, but the backlash from racism and brutality is a bubble that will unavoidably burst.
What really have we learned from Ferguson one year later?
From the looks of it; nothing at all.
When it comes to race and relations, what direction is America heading in?
Image Source Credits: pri.org; abcnews.go.com; dailymail.co.uk; nypost.com; fergusonaction.com