On August 9, 2014 the lives of several black people in Ferguson, Missouri changed. This was the day that 18-year-old Michael Brown was unrightfully shot to death by a police officer. This incident has brought to light the glaring racial prejudice that still exists globally. Why can’t we look beyond the colors of our skins and view each other as human beings? What makes a person of color less important or worthwhile than a Caucasian?
These, and other questions, have been raised since Brown’s death. The black community in the United States has been stirred and they have risen up in protest to say that “Enough is enough.” Far too many of these unwarranted shootings have been happening (consider the case of Trayvon Martin). However, what had begun as peaceful protests has erupted into an outbreak of violence in Ferguson. The actions of both the protestors and the police have created several unanswered questions.
Why are Some People Taking Advantage of the Situation by Looting Stores?
Here people are in a united front trying to raise awareness and instigate change when all of a sudden there are reports of people looting stores and wreaking havoc. Onlookers can only look at the situation and say “See, we were right about black people all along.” The minority creates a bad image for the majority. I understand that there are several people in desperate situations. Some are homeless, jobless and have no food. Desperation can lead to drastic actions such as looting. However, there are other solutions to the problems these people face. Such solutions include going to the Salvation Army or Red Cross. In fact, the real question is “How did they survive before the protests began?”
Are the Authorities Really Listening to What is Being Said?
Yes, President Obama made a statement asking for peace and an end to the protests. However, when the protests end and life goes back to normal, will anything change? How can this archaic mentality of inequality be changed? Implementing policies is a start, but if the core mentality isn’t changed then it will all prove to be worthless.
Is This an End to the Stupidity of the Police Force?
We all hope that the police departments across the United States have learnt from this incident. In fact, many people thought they had learnt from the Trayvon Martin incident. If a man holds up his hands and says “Stop! Don’t Shoot!” what gives a police officer the right to shoot him anyways? Isn’t the protocol for the officer to approach the suspect and handcuff him? I have been told by US residents that Caucasians are treated differently than people of color by police officers in the US. For instance, a police officer may see a white man on the side of the road smoking a spliff and give him a warning. However, when he sees a black man on the road doing the same thing he is imprisoned. There needs to be equality and justice for all, not just a specific sect of people.
It really irks me that in 2014 we are still discussing issue of racial prejudice. People of color have come a long way, but there are still areas where inequality is prevalent. Why should a man be judged by the color of his skin instead of the quality of his character?