Like most of us I have seen the response to the grand jury ruling in the Michael Brown shooting and I have wondered how the activities of violence, vandalism and damage has helped the case of the African American community in Ferguson.
Humans reacting by such destructive behavior baffles me. My initial reaction is it is a form of bullying. If the public feels that this will be the response by one group to what is perceived as oppression of their rights then let them have control and don’t get in their way.
This is what a bully does. A bully is confrontational and puts themselves above others, especially those that appear weaker. Most people recoil from violence and retreat from a threat of pain or harm. The control of others with threats of intimidation is what is happening in Ferguson.
It is the same process in terrorism. I know that is a controversial statement but let’s be realistic in the basic connection in violent bullying.
If I want control over others, power over their thoughts and lifestyle I make it painful for them and instill fear in their hearts. I find justification by pushing what I see as my right to enforce my will.
The person who is the victim of this manipulation avoids this threat by cowering and giving in to the will of the bully.
The saddest part of this escalating violent reaction world wide is the influence on the children who are now seeing this response as the way to get what they want. The enormity of the negative impact this response has is to undermine the philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr. His profound preaching of “the content of your character” in peaceful protest and productive dialogue brought all humans to the equality table. There is no place for any dialogue in a setting of intimidation and retaliation.
No human deserves to have their rights set aside. Yet, how does this help?
5 thoughts on “How does this help?”
I don’t have enough information to evaluate your direct experience of racism in social contexts, but let me assure you as one person to another, the violent reaction isn’t like either bullying or terrorism. It’s an expression (by a small number of people) of extreme frustration with the lack of respect and validation the local authorities in Ferguson showed, and continue to show toward a community in grief over a shooting that is viewed by some as unnecessary.
Violence and looting isn’t appropriate behavior, but neither is an officer having no alternative to lethal force after an avoidable street confrontation. There should be other avenues of action besides “We argued, the kid was still mad, I had to kill him.” If the law supports poor police work, then the law is part of the problem.
You need to understand this isn’t the first police shooting of an unarmed person there, only the latest. There have been nearly 40 cases since 2001, only three grand juries convened, and not a single officer charged. It’s no wonder some residents feel as if the police are one more threat to their lives, along with the other obstacles presented by poverty and a lack of opportunity.
Thank you so much for your response. Living in southern Arizona I have experienced racism in the work place by Hispanic coworkers. Because of my race, being one of the minority, I was bypassed in promotions and left out of training and off site events. I understand the helpless feeling of having no where to turn. I have also been profiled by the police when I drove my insured and licensed vehicle through a well to do part of town simply because my car was older and the paint was peeling and my car had plenty of dents. When I was very young I had no idea that my best friend was not the same race as me until we had moved away from each other and I saw her again many years later. She was no longer my friend and it was because she was black. Not my choice but hers. I didn’t understand why it was so but it was. I remember “colored” and “white” drinking fountains and bathrooms in Texas. There are many instances where unarmed people of all races are killed unnecessarily yet the response of the public and media in this specific circumstance seems to be motivated as a continuation of the bad blood and anger which will never produce the equality of rights desired by all humans. Dialogue on all sides need to be heard and heeded. My heart is happy that my words have provoked this discussion. God Bless and keep you.
I can appreciate the honesty of your opinion, and I applaud you for exercising your right to freedom of speech. I think I’ve said this on here before, but it relates to the post. The truth is a double edged sword, it can raise you up, or tear you down.
I know this is going to sound like an AA pick-up line, but thanks for sharing.
You are right about truth. Humans say they want truth but when it gets in our face we hold back. Thanks!