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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Word About Ferguson

There are two conclusions we can draw from the public reaction to the decision not to indict Darren Wilson for his shooting of Michael Brown. First, the reaction indicates that it would have been very difficult for Wilson to get a fair trial. Second, the reaction shows that we have a very serious problem with racism along with an abuse of power problem. As one internet writer stated, the police shooting of unarmed Blacks has become the new form of lynching. And that would make our time period another Jim Crow. This has already been stated by Michelle Alexander in her book, The New Jim Crow. And when we look at the disproportionate incarceration rates based on race and the life after incarceration many are forced to live, the shooting of unarmed Blacks by police, and the attempts to inhibit Black voting, comparisons with our racist past gain a disturbing and growing certainty.

But we also have a growing abuse of power problem. Those in authority are obtaining more and more power while shedding more and more accountability. This of course started at the top where our President feels he can force his decisions on people while having no one to be accountable to. Conservatives will assume that I am talking about President Obama. I am not referring to him though I could. The current growing problem with the abuse of power started with President George W. Bush and his decision to invade Iraq. And it is not that he is the first president to abuse the powers of his office.  But combining that immoral decision with the Patriot Act renewed a precedent for American Presidents and gave a big non-Colbert bump to the authoritarian mindset that said those with power are accountable only to themselves.

Those with power in our nation have already decided to ignore the peaceful protests of the Occupy Movement. Will they also ignore the current reaction to the decision not to indict Darren Wilson? And if so, what will it take for them to repent? And what will it take for the rest of us to end our desire to dominate those who are different simply because they are different?


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