Ferguson, A Year Later, The Battle Continues
It’s now been a year since the upheaval in Ferguson, Missouri upended the American landscape, when a police officer, later cleared of all charges, shot and killed an unarmed man, he claimed had attacked him during a civil disturbance.
The dead man, Michael Brown, had reportedly just robbed a convenience store when he confronted or was confronted by officer Darren Wilson. According to Wilson, Brown’s refusal to comply with his orders, Brown’s charging on Wilson’s position, and a struggle for Wilson’s firearm, resulted in his firing on Brown, killing him. The problem wasn’t just the contested circumstances, but the fact that Wilson is white and Brown is black.
The ensuing days led to protests, violent protests, that stopped the cities cold. National and international protests erupted resulting in more destruction and chaos that has led to the St. Louis suburb and surrounding areas reminiscent of battle zones.
A grand jury chose not to charge Wilson and that decision led to more unrest.
In subsequent months, almost weekly, police were caught all over the country involved in controversial shootings, many killings of unarmed suspects that led to a swell of protests and civil unrest not seen since the Civil Rights Movement of the ’60s and ’70s. Politicians and law enforcement have been helpless to stop the situations that many feel only have come to light with the advent of video that has captured many police in wrongdoings, that otherwise would have gone without contention. Police have been on their toes since the incident, not knowing when their smallest exploits might be captured and exploited to their detriment.
Other deaths have led to even greater unrest and the rise of the movement “Black Lives Matter” has spawned other ethnic and economic groups to rise up and protest against injustice via police brutality that has been rampant for decades until now. New legislation has been passed, several officers have been arrested and charged with capital crimes, some have used less police patrols to commit more robberies and killings as police are at a quandary as to how to respond, not knowing if the public has their backs or not. It’s now become a recipe for potential explosive civil unrest that at any day could have global ramifications should things get so out of hand that the workings of commerce in general be disrupted.
President Obama has tiptoed around the issue much to the dismay of the African American Community and the public in general. He seems to be more interested in defending illegal immigrants, gays and lesbians, pop star Beyonce, and his fundraising more than the core group of voters that got him elected twice. Being an African American president has had little or worse effect on race relations than any president since Abraham Lincoln.
With the 2016 elections on the way, race will be a pivotal issue. If more incidents occur and things get so out of hand that government functions get compromised, it may end up being ‘the’ issue of the campaigns and cause damage to both parties in ways they couldn’t even dream of.