The grand jury verdict came out the other day and the response in Ferguson, Missouri was explosive. On Monday night, the world watched as Ferguson Missouri was burning. The entire city was in a state in which businesses were burning to the ground. The response to this has been interesting, to say the least.
Just a little background on why this is happening. A Black person is killed by police in the United States every 28 hours (on average). This is a stark contrast with other developed nations where in 2011-12 the police discharged firearms in engagements with civilians five times. In the last year available, the amount of police shootings in Germany and France was zero. This is about more than the tragic death of Mike Brown by Officer Darren Wilson in Missouri.
The grand jury was to decide if Wilson was to be charged with a crime and go to trial. There seems to be a bit of a concern here, as the prosecutor in the grand jury trial spent more time describing the actions of Mike Brown on that fateful day and contradicting his own witness testimony. To make a long story short, it’s pretty obvious that the prosecutor threw the grand jury trial. (If anyone is unfamiliar with the legal system: a grand jury trial is not quite like a regular, criminal trial. It’s only to decide if there is enough evidence for a trial. There’s no defense. It is just the prosecutor laying out evidence. The burden of proof is minimal. It’s nearly impossible to lose a grand jury trial.)
The real point here is that a Black person is killed by police every 28 hours and there’s rarely any accountability. The response is typical to the instance of Mike Brown/Darren Wilson: Wilson was afraid, Brown allegedly stole something, Brown tried to flee. And it’s more than just the death every 28 hours. The United States has the largest prison population in the world. Black people in America are about 13% of the entire population but over 40% of the prison population. There is also discrimination in economic disparities.
If this were to happen in any other country, the United States would be plotting an insurrection. If another country was in a situation where the government was executing an ethnic minority once a day with no accountability, they would be assisting dissidents in orchestrating rebellion at the very least, likely supporting them with drones. (If George W. Bush was still President, the US would invade the US and then give Dick Cheney no-bid contracts for the resources.) In the past decade, the United States has overthrown or helped overthrow more than a half dozen governments for doing just as much within their countries.
The response to this situation within the US is that people in the United States are supposed to have “peaceful protests.” The entire embodiment of the only accepted response is for Black people to carry signs in accepted areas and sing negro spirituals and hymns from the Bible.
Why is there rage? It’s not just from the lack of accountability in the frequent deaths. The lack of accountability make this situation nothing short of state terrorism. Black people in America have to live in a constant state of fear of being killed or having their children killed for simply being the wrong color or in the wrong area. Nobody asked why Blacks in South Africa were so outraged at Apartheid. And that just increases the rage. We care about the oppression of people all over the world, until it’s the people in our own world. Then we tell them, “Just sing ‘We Shall Overcome’ and everything will be fine.” Continue reading American Apartheid