The aftermath of the Ferguson grand jury decision is scary on many levels. Regardless of whether or not the grand jury decision was correct or not, the outcry and the protests are on a level that comes from a place that is deeper than one grand jury decision. The protests come from a place where prejudice has previously entered into decisions in the past, whether it be police brutality or a court decision. The protests come as a response to prejudice that has entered into their own individual lives in one form or another. These people have come to expect the worst, look for the worst, and react to what their perception is, even if their perception is incorrect. Some even look for a reason to riot and protest, anger seething just beneath the surface.
The violence that is occurring all over America is scary for several reasons:
-People are willing to destroy their own neighborhoods, destroy the very businesses they frequent, and risk the lives of those in their own communities as a form of protest against a judicial decision that was made fairly in a court of law.
-There is a refusal to acknowledge the fact that people of all colors commit crimes. If a white person charges toward a police officer after being told to stop, the police officer has every right to protect himself if he believes his life is in danger. The same goes if it is a black person or an Asian person or a Hispanic person. It is appropriate for a police officer to defend himself. Race is not always an issue.
-There is a lack of intelligent response to the Ferguson decision. Nothing is accomplished by violence. Even African American leaders are offering no real intelligent dialogue on the situation. What should intelligent dialogue include? It should include a call for higher education for everyone, including minorities. It should be a call for black men to be more responsible toward their women, and for women to be more independent. It should be a call for black on black crime to stop. It should be a call for more education for police officers in building better relationships with minorities, and for minorities to work toward building a respect and trust toward law enforcement. With respect comes a knowledge that obedience toward the law will prevent mishaps such as the one in Ferguson. If a policeman tells you to stop….then stop. Ask questions later. File a complaint later. Don’t put a police officer in the position of having to choose his life or your life.
-The Ferguson aftermath is scary because it demonstrates to our children that we do not know how to handle conflict. We react rather than act. We point fingers rather than look inward. We point out the worst rather than look for the best. We look for reasons to protest and riot and loot and burn businesses down rather than look for solutions that will effect change that will prevent another Ferguson from happening. Very sad indeed.