What can one say about what’s happening in Ferguson? From what I’d read of the evidence, I expected the no-bill — but I was hoping the inevitable protests would include minimal violence.
The frustrations that have built up in poor communities are completely understandable. The way the post-shooting situation was handled in Ferguson was horrific. On a day-to-day basis, corporations refuse to pay a living wage. The country still hasn’t recovered from the Wall Street-sponsored crash of the economy. But as happens so often, though, a relatively small number of people have decided to set everything they see on fire… which doesn’t help anything except the twisted ego of the arsonist.
Burning down businesses won’t bring Michael back, and won’t bring any kind of justice for the Black community — civil, criminal, or economic. And as happens in these cases, many of the businesses are locally-owned… family-owned. And burning them down is definitely not going to help the community’s economy.
But… I guess all of this should have been expected. When you keep people trapped and economically enslaved day after day, year after year, and law enforcement consistently acts with racial bias, it’s going to happen. It’s not excusable. But it’s definitely predictable.
Justice isn’t justice unless it’s complete. Civil rights. Fair enforcement of criminal laws. Income equality. All of these things for everyone, no matter what their ethnicity or age or beliefs or gender or sexual orientation.
We’ve regressed to a state in America that didn’t even exist in the 1950s and 1960s, during the civil rights movement. With the radical militarization of police departments, the ever-increasing economic domination of the top 1% of the population, and the blatant buying and selling of political power, we can expect to see more of this.
We need to do everything we can to turn the political situation around, and the resulting economic situation. No more dark money. Get a minimum wage passed. See to it that police departments are demilitarized and their combative cultures are repaired. Stop this regression that the radical Right has been pushing for, backed by corporate dollars.
This is not the America I grew up in. Some things are better, but too many are worse.
We can’t allow a few violent, disturbed people stop us from building and repairing bridges, keeping lines of communication open, and working toward equality and justice.
Self-interest has been proven a failure. Let’s get back to work on helping each other.
That’s what will help America.
That’s what will bring about justice.