On Sunday August 9 in Ferguson, Missouri a group of peaceful protestors gathered in remembrance of the death of young Michael Brown who was shot dead about a year ago by a police officer. This peaceful protest was similar to the one they had also attempted a year earlier only for some in the community to abuse the solemn moment by looting and starting fires and for police to inappropriately respond by tear gassing the crowd. With the close observation and critical reviews the police have received one would hope that this year’s protest would go well and show an effort to create peace and unity in the Ferguson community however it did not. Some protestors began to gather in the streets against warnings of arrest. Lootings were taking place by people unrelated to read owari no seraph
the protestors. Several shots were fired that caused the civilians to disperse and a young man, eighteen year old Tyrone Harris Jr., was shot on the belief that he was one of the shooters. He is currently in critical condition with pending charges. Reports over what happened are still not complete as police officers report that he had opened fire on them, while those who had been with him state that he had no weapon. The police officers however were not wearing body cameras making it harder to determine what actually took place. Police claim to have released smoke canisters to move the crowds away, while demonstrators say it was actually tear gas. Following this, the next day tensions were high as protests continued and as arrests began, twitter updates of people actually there have some reporting that protestors are throwing water bottles and debris at police officers. While others are saying the police are arresting random people, even pulling some out of their cars, none of these reports necessarily denying the other. From rising tensions and arrests and violence, a state of emergency was declared over Ferguson giving the police more power as it suspends some functions of the executive, judiciary, and legislative branches. Whether this will be a good or bad thing for Ferguson is not certain.
Whatever one believes, there really is no clear enough story on the events in Ferguson from these past days to determine who is at fault or what exactly happened. However what is clear, apart from how we have not learned our lesson as a society, is that things are falling apart and not solely in Ferguson. For the past year America’s eyes have been turned towards African-Americans, police officers, and their interactions, all in order to determine whether there is a racial issue in America. Some would like to believe that it does not exist, some would like to believe that the policies in place are keeping it in check, others merely want to box up the race issue and focus on the looters and riots and the aggression against authority. This focus is much like what happened last year with the riots in Ferguson that shocked America into realizing that it is becoming one of those places it shows on the news to tell its citizens, “thank god this isn’t our country”. However from the beginning America has been hypocritically acting as a peacekeeper in other countries when they have never truly had peace within their own borders. Abraham Lincoln himself described America as a house divided against itself and in the years following the civil war, America was still torn. African Americans were still denied their rights as they were threatened by mobs so that they couldn’t move to better neighborhoods. They were denied access to ancient strengthening technique better housing and better jobs, therefore trapped in a place of poverty. Even the right to vote, the right to a better education, and the right to sit in peace were denied to them. These are rights they all had to fight for including a man all of America claims to respect, Martin Luther King. However America seems to have come to the conclusion that because they give him a day on the calendar and African Americans a month out of twelve that all is well and forgiven. However there are still rights African Americans are fighting for in the U.S., the right to be able to leave the confines of your home without the fear of not returning. The right to not be profiled as a thief, an aggressor, and a monster- or demon, because of the color of your skin and the right to justice for acts committed against you.