Hello, I’m Leah G. Alfonso. I write so that I may speak.
A few days ago, I put up a blog post where I touched on my thoughts about the Ferguson case. In that post, I had raised a few questions about racism and touched on the fact that Wilson was one out of a line of cops who hadn’t been convicted for killing someone. But I’m not going to repeat myself here. Because I realize that, given everything that’s happened, that post came most likely at the wrong time.
Today, I want to talk about what’s going on right now. I want to talk about the violence. I want to talk about the protests. I want to talk about another policeman who got to go free after killing another US citizen.
I want to talk about this because it’s turning into a problem.
Allow me to elaborate. In the last century, history and literature gave us examples of when injustice brought people together to fight for justice. History gave us black and white people who banded together to create the Civil Rights Movement. Literature gave us a variety of witches and wizards who fought together against dark wizards who used bigotry to get what they wanted. History gave us a plethora of countries working together to fight Adolf Hitler. Literature gave us thirteen districts who got together to overthrow the corrupt government.
I bring up these examples because injustice has reared its ugly head once again, and this time everyone is pitted against each other. People have bickered amongst themselves about what the real problem is, or even if there was a problem to begin with. People have waged war with anyone who disagreed. People have accused each other of being ignorant, of not caring enough to do something, of being the problem instead of the solution.
The thing is, this isn’t working. We’re getting violent—not just with our actions, but also with our words. This morning, I turned on the news, and the news anchors were getting close to starting another argument about what happened in Ferguson. Even at my alma mater, the place I had called home for four years, the Editor in Chief wrote an article about how everyone has turned on each other (the article can be found here: http://www.calvin.edu/chimes/2014/12/04/letter-to-the-editor-calvin-and-ferguson/ ). Bottom line: it’s getting ugly, and it needs to stop.
Now, let me make one thing clear before anyone has a heart attack and I get a line of comments arguing about what’s happened. Yes, I am angry about what happened in Ferguson. A cop’s job is to protect the citizens of his/her country, not kill them. Whether Michael Brown was guilty of anything or not, he was still a citizen, and he shouldn’t have died. In the last month, the justice system refused to indict two cops who stepped out of line, and that’s not okay. And this does bring up the fact that America still has a long way to go before we can call it a country of equality.
That being said, if we want justice for anyone, and if we want to change our system for the better, then we need to change our tactics. Everyone has gotten physically and verbally violent, and it’s only making everything worse. About a week and a half before the jury came to their decision, the KKK (yes, they’re still out there) sent around fliers threatening action against, as they put it, “terrorists masquerading as ‘peaceful protestors’” (more information on that can be found here: http://www.inquisitr.com/1609144/ku-klux-klan-releases-letter-threatening-lethal-force-against-ferguson-protesters/ ). While I’m sure that none of the protestors are terrorists—at least, I’m hoping that’s the case—using brute force and/or brute language to make ourselves heard only proves that we’re anything but peaceful.
Whether we’re citizens or in the law enforcement, whether we’ve been involved in what’s been happening or not, we all need to change. We need to stop bickering amongst ourselves and start working together to find a solution. We need to stop playing with fire and start listening to each other, no judgment, no stereotypes, and no violence involved. We need to stop the madness.
Photo source: http://www.ibtimes.com/ferguson-protesters-also-mourn-st-louis-shooting-victim-photos-1663296