Ferguson Tragedy: Flashes of 60's
The Caribbean Is One Nation. Ferguson Tragedy: Flashes of 60's
Once more the underlying racism has surfaced in America in Ferguson, Missouri with the death by police gun shots of an Afro American young unarmed teenager Michael Brown. While others are trying their utmost to discuss this act of law enforcement terrorism, with a quietness and almost apologetic tone, we at Mahogany Coconut cannot sincerely be that placid. For those who fought and protested America’s racism and socio-economic disparities between white and afro America, these images in 2014 or fifty years after the zenith of the civil rights movement in the sixties, are really too much to bear. With the election of a black president, we thought that such terror would have subsided but that was just a dream.
Preliminary examinations suggest that Michael Brown was shot six times with two of the bullets hitting him in his head. The other four were in his arms. This means that the police involved did not think about just stopping this young man but of ensuring that he was forever separated from his family and loved ones. We are more than aware that good lawyers can get their clients acquitted of almost any and everything and we have no doubt that if charged, this policeman would have a very strong defense.
Over the coming weeks, there will be much spin to portray the young gentleman as a thug and the police officer as a dedicated protector of Ferguson’s residents. Already they are trying to plant that he was a “cigar” thief and a trouble maker. Many, blacks included, will swallow this story. Indeed we can expect tones of apologies and the mantra: “We are all in this together” to be fed to the black folk of Ferguson. While we do not condone looting and violence, we are already witnessing how the media are trying to portray those who are stealing and looting as the bad guys. Yes, they are breaking the law because they have just seen the law breaking itself by shooting down an innocent young black man.
Anger and frustration constantly accompany ALL black Americans regardless of their social and economic status. Prominent Afro Americans still endure the horrors of profiling. They live in the constant hope that one of these mornings a new day will dawn. That day is somewhat in the distance. Unfortunately incidents like that in Ferguson automatically dig up images that both black and white America want to forget. There are whites joining these marches because the younger generations, on both sides, are trying to create a better world than that being left to them by their parents.
While we cannot, with any sincerity deny, that race relations in America have improved, many of its attendant negatives still haunt the society. The simple truth is that travesties such as this one in Ferguson, bring home the reality to Black Americans that the race is not o’er and the battle has not been won. There is still much work to do on both sides.