Friday,21 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1211, (28 August - 3 September 2014)
Friday,21 September, 2018
Issue 1211, (28 August - 3 September 2014)

Ahram Weekly

Another nail in racism’s coffin?

“MICHAEL BROWN does not want to be remembered for a riot. He wants to be remembered as the one who made America deal with how we are going to police the United States,” veteran civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton thundered. He was speaking to the congregation at the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church on the outskirts of Ferguson, north of St Louis, Missouri.

“We are not anti-police. We respect police,” Sharpton roared. “But those police that are wrong need to be dealt with just like those in our community who are wrong need to be dealt with,” Sharpton extrapolated.

 “Tomorrow all I want is peace,” Brown’s father pleaded. Of considerable symbolic significance, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon failed to show up at Brown’s funeral service.

“Something is wrong in America. America is going to have to come to terms when there is something wrong,” Sharpton raged.

“Brown must be remembered for: This was when they started changing what was going on. And, this young man, for whatever reason, has appealed to all of us.”

“We have had enough. We have had enough of these senseless killings,” Brown’s cousin Eric Davis concurred.

These are only the first steps on a long journey to racial harmony in America. Racist attitudes die hard. It is worth noting that two online fundraising pages were created in the name “Support Officer Darren Wilson.” Wilson is the white police officer who shot 18-year-old Michael Brown six times, including twice in the head, which lead to Brown’s instant death. In only ten days’ time, the two sites site had received donations of more than $450,000, well beyond what has been raised for the family of the late Michael Brown.

The fundraising demonstrates that racists also have the political will to express their views with audacity. If nothing else, this should make more obvious anomalies in American race relations.

The predominantly white police force in an overwhelmingly African-American suburban Ferguson, pulled kicking and screaming to this point, are desperately trying to limit the damage to their reputation.

Making up for time lost on the road to racial reconciliation in America will be a long and bumpy ride.


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