Ferguson is a small town in Missouri. A few months ago, a young unarmed black man was shot and killed there by a police officer. Peaceful protest demonstrations led to rioting and looting by some people.
Last week, a Grand Jury said the officer did not have to stand trial. Again, rioters and looters intruded on peaceful protesters.
Why is there such a strong reaction to the killing? Why is the reaction spreading to other cities?
It is true that people of color are singled out. They are often followed in department stores. The police often stop them while they are driving. This creates a justified sensitivity, which is not going to go away.
However, all movements attract opportunists. People who want to take advantage of a situation. Criminals will arrive to loot stores. Political disrupters will arrive to fight for causes in which they believe. The media will be there, covering all.
Americans tend to focus on events. So many events are happening all over the world. Soon, the nation’s attention will move elsewhere. Will Ferguson stand for anything? Will it change the state of race relations in the U.S.?
Only time will tell.
However, Ferguson will remain a chapter in the struggle for civil rights. A journalist once said:
“It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America.”
And that is the crucial fact about this country. The future is always bright. People of good will continue to press for progress and justice. Whether it is in race relations or wage equity.
Good reasons for Thanksgiving.
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