Ridiculous racial profiling

Outraged citizens of Ferguson protest Michael Brown’s unjust death



Attorney General Eric Holder listens to citizens’ remarks on the ongoing unrest in Ferguson, Missouri

Gun shots pierce the night air as you hear the screams of protesters echoing through the streets of your suburban neighborhood. Clouds of tear gas billow up from the crowd below your bedroom window. Afraid to leave your home, you huddle close to your family and fear that the worst is yet to come.

Many would think that this description depicts a scene from the race riots in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. However, over half a century later, police brutality has returned in full force, reminiscent of a more segregated era. The nation’s painful past has risen from its grave and is now haunting the streets of the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri.

At noon on Aug. 9, Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson encountered unarmed African-American youth Michael Brown and a friend as they were walking down the street.


Wilson fired shots at the two young men, and within minutes Brown’s death would become a twenty-first century symbol of the issue of racial profiling and reignite protests against police brutality.


In light of the case, the Ferguson Police Department is accused by residents and demonstrators of trying to assassinate Brown’s character.


In a press conference following the incident, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson recognized that Brown was a suspect in a robbery case. However, the real reason he was stopped was because he was blocking traffic as he walked down the middle of the street.


Not only is this an unjust action of the Ferguson Police Department, but it highlights the unfair prejudices towards African-American victims that still linger in the minds of many of America’s law enforcement officers.


During investigation of the Trayvon Martin case, pictures of Martin surfaced online, showing the slain teen pointing his middle finger, smoking and dressing like a gangster. The media often portrayed Martin in a negative light to try to excuse the actions of his killer.


Even the way some news outlets break the stories of murders of African American teens make sure they list the faults the victim had, such as previous crimes. For example, white suspects could potentially be depicted as devoted Mormons, brilliant and straight-A students. On the other hand, black suspects are portrayed as gang members and narcotics abusers.


The way the media frequently presents an innocent victim who happens to be a minority is as if they want the audience to feel less sympathetic, fearful and even to blame victims for their own deaths.


In addition, it is hard to believe that the peacefulness of life in Ferguson was affected by the inhumane split-second decision made by one irresponsible police officer.

Officers are sworn under the law to protect and serve the people, not to kill and use their vicitims as scapegoats.


It’s sickening how racist and stereotypical our society is today. Why does the color of ones skin have to determine their character and intentions in the minds of some people?


In a diverse and multicultural school such as AHS, it is unthinkable that some humans incorrectly perceive other humans without dignity, all because of the color of their skin.


We’ve all seen or heard about someone getting arrested in our community, thankfully most of these arrests have some type of probably cause. If the tragedy in Ferguson had happened in our neighborhood, many people would be out there protesting with the family and friends of the deceased.


Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, incidents of racial profiling, hate crimes and general discrimination against minorities has increased dramatically.


In the early 2000s, when America should have been presenting a united front to the world, we were divided within ourselves. We were warring domestically within our nation, while also fighting a war overseas.


The hate and discrimination that 9/11 generated stems from ignorance. It could be argued that stereotypes rule our perception of the people who appear to be different from ourselves. Many Americans let those stereotypes get the best of them, and allowed themselves to pass judgment on others when it actually was not their place to do so.


Not to mention it is embarrassing that a nation that elected an African-American president can still have a major problem with fatalities resulting from racial profiling by law enforcement.


President Barack Obama has only briefly mentioned Ferguson to the public and has failed to address the racial side of Brown’s case.


Admittedly, race is not the biggest part of this issue. However, President Obama, who has dealt with race related issues before, would want to take a stand on the issue of racial profiling and talk about how in this day and age it is ridiculous for Americans to have to deal with racial stereotyping and how no parent should be afraid for their child because they were born a certain skin color. Perhaps he would even advocate for a more thorough investigation of police departments who have had problems with this issue in the past.


For example, creating a database of cases dealing with police killings and brutality will help law enforcement track down irresponsible and dangerous police officers.


Also, cameras on squad cars and as a part of the uniform could help prevent officers from acting in the moment. Video footage could also be reviewed in court cases to make sure that there was probable cause and a reason why an officer had to act the way they did.


All police departments should be taking preventative measures to make sure there is justice for all, including police officers, because it is not always one side’s fault. Everyone deserves equal justice.


Without reprisal from the people, police brutality will continue to occur and the disease of racism will never be remedied. I am thankful that the people’s reaction to the tragedy in Ferguson is a sign that society is moving towards unity and away from the segregated systems of the past.


Only now is the American public beginning to emerge from the haze of prejudice and misunderstanding that clouded their view of other cultures for centuries.