Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Events in Ferguson

Many who know me know how I feel about cops. Pretty much like I feel about everyone else, I'll treat you with respect as long as i believe you are treating me with respect. I have however had numerous contacts with law enforcement officers during my years. Many have ended up badly and some times I have said things that encouraged bad things to happen to me.

I do not know how the events in Ferguson went down. I am not sure many or any of us do. I know that it is tragic that a young man is dead. It is always tragic when someone's life is taken from them. I also know that since I am white I cannot fully understand or see prejudice at work, I try to be colorblind but sometimes I am just blind to how a word or an action might be interpreted.

I understand the community of Ferguson wanting to know what happened and wanting to insure that justice was done. Hopefully that is what we all want. The community had the moral high ground at the start of the events in Ferguson, they could have demonstrated peacefully in large numbers and gotten the attention they wanted. they knew that on college campuses in the 60s and 70s that is why you heard chants of the whole world's watching. The whole world is watching here.

However instead of seeing peaceful protests on behalf of this young man. They saw rioting and looting. Martin Luther King and many of the Civil Rights leaders of his day saw what Ghandi was able to accomplish in India utilizing passive resistance. That could have been used here, this could maybe have been a watershed moment where perhaps people like myself could have been educated slightly as to what it feels like to be a minority.

Instead we saw behavior that reinforced the worst stereotypes of a group of people. I know that many people who protested were peaceful, that is the way it always is however a vocal minority, many of whom reports say aren't even from that community came in and behaved in a way that only benefited them and harmed the businesses in that area. There are many problems that we need to face in this country and race is one of them. Things are much different now than when I was young but there is much work to be done.

But we need to quit blaming each other and events of the past for where we are now. It is time for each and everyone of us to pick up the yolk and be responsible for our actions and where we are in life.


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