In response to the most heated and controversial issue in the US right now, the murders of unarmed black men by white police officers, protests have taken many forms. Violent riots broke out in Ferguson, MO as after Darren Wilson had not be indicted. After the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York, Al Sharpton arranged a more peaceful protest, a national march in Washington DC. Even those who didn’t physically participate in demonstrations still voiced their opinions via social media; the hash tag #blacklivesmatter began trending on Twitter. While obviously looting stores and violent demonstrations don’t solve anything, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and should be allowed to voice this opinion if not inflicting harm on others. However, last Sunday, when St. Louis Rams players made a grand gesture during player introductions, there was a lot of outrage. Continue reading St. Louis Rams: Jocks for Justice
After Missouri police officer, Darren Wilson, shot and killed Michael Brown on August 9th, Ferguson experienced protesting continuously throughout the following weeks. The controversial issues of police brutality and racism turned many protestors violent. The grand jury ruled Darren Wilson not guilty on November 24th and that night, angry citizens surrounded the Ferguson Police Department.
What began as an angry, but nonviolent, protest intensified throughout the night until buildings were burned and businesses were looted. To fend off the violent protestors, police launched tear gas and plastic bullets into the crowd. While protests in Ferguson have not all taken such dramatic turns, this was not the first violent protest. While citizens of Ferguson maintain their right to speak out about what they perceive, or what might actually be, injustice, do they have the right to break the law while doing so? Continue reading Letter from Birmingham to Ferguson
In light (dark?) of all the protests against police brutality, especially against Black bodies, I would like to examine the state of civil disobedience in the United States.
As I learned in my political science 101 class, and according to Martin Luther King, Jr., civil disobedience is when you protest and disobey unjust laws, yet accept the monopoly of punishment under the state and accept the consequences of your actions, such as by being arrested (1963). He cites in his text that his thinking was very much based on St. Augustine’s belief that “an unjust law is no law at all.” In both the Ferguson and now newly arising Eric Garner protests, some people are protesting peacefully with sit-ins, while others have looted and many have been hurt by said protests. While some are obeying laws entirely and are not taking part in civil disobedience, others have expressly committed illegal acts and willingly accepted the consequences in order to make a political statement.
I’m sure we have all heard about Ferguson, Missouri over the past few months and especially the past week. Michael Brown, an 18 year old, was killed on August 9th, 2014 by police officer Darren Wilson. Many protests and riots have occurred across the country after Darren Wilson was not indicted on any charges stemming from his shooting of Mike Brown.