Ferguson on Center Stage
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/09/2014
Year Published: 2014
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20795
Miah examines race relations in Ferguson, Missouri after the recent police murder of Michael Brown as a result of racial profiling and police brutality.
Brown's family said the alleged robbery was a classic tactic of misdirect (a "smokescreen") of blaming the victim for his own death. Many whites had already assumed Brown was a criminal.
What torpedoed the planned coverup were the eyewitness accounts. It put politicians on the spot, including the Democratic Governor Nixon. The cops had to retreat. Nixon appointed an African-American captain, Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol, a native of Ferguson, to be the public face of the police force.
Later the Governor imposed a curfew after some protesters started looting stores August 15. Community leaders condemned the action of a few who they said did not reflect the majority support for defiant but peaceful protests. Provocative actions, many by unknown people not from Ferguson, played into the cop's assertion that they had to use heavy force to keep order.
The insensitive response by the police and white politicians exposes what every African American knows all too well: Blacks live in a racially divided country where different rules apply. It recalls the times when African Americans were treated as less than human, cops were seen as an occupying force, and demands for "community control of the police" became popular.