Saturday, August 16, 2014
The racial violence in Ferguson, Missouri is dismaying. It is dismaying, in part, because of what our illustrious Supreme Court five in error have said. They took a vital limb of the 1964 Civil Rights Act amputated and dismembered it. The Solomon-less-than-wise five incredulously said we are in a post racial society so the special vigilance of the 1964 Civil Rights Act is now irrelevant as the old issues of race simply do not apply. What they said and what they did is hilarious if it were not so serious and consequential. The Republican five on SCOTUS got it wrong but who of us is surprised?
Some -- mostly whites -- are saying that the robbery photo of Mr. Brown is important to see because, after all, character counts. They say the photo has an implication in the shooting and killing of the victim by police because it may serve to verify the officer's accusation that the victim violently accosted him. There may be some truth to that BUT however "evil" the stealing of a box of cigars is it does not speak to nor justify the killing of a man by police even if that man stole the box of cigars and then stood in the middle of a street. I aver history's evil is of larger consequence.
Persons of color in this nation have been treated unjustly for not only decades but centuries. The issue of the shooting and killing of Mr. Brown by a white policeman is seen by many persons of color as business as usual and just another stone on the mountain of discriminatory injustice whites have, historically and continually, even in our era, built against them.
Those people of Missouri that are on the other side of town, the white side, who say looting is unheard of on their side have never experienced decades of unequal justice that persons of color have known. They never have to worry if they go into a neighborhood that they might be killed simply because of the color of their skin. I need not enumerate the centuries of injustices perpetrated by whites against blacks to prove my point. The black discriminatory experience in this nation has been like no other and still is. The Supreme Court, yet again, was consummately wrong.
The essence of the issue as to why people become violent is because nothing else works. Whites say to vote but even the vote is made harder for persons of color by Republican whites. Voter suppression is legally approved racism across this allegedly "democratic" nation. What is left? Answer: Anger and lots of it because a selected group of people feel systemically left out of the arc of justice even after all these years of struggle and you know what? I do not blame them because the arc of justice is bending away from and not towards them all the time!