Ferguson: Princeton’s violent inactivity

Princeton University activist students present a Call to Anti-racist and Anti-oppressive Action.

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2 Comments on “Ferguson: Princeton’s violent inactivity

  1. Let us be clear, that the protests in Ferguson did nothing to improve race relations. It actually set things back maybe a decade or more. What we created by the burning and looting there was a reinforcing of the old racial stereotypes about violence that were fading. Even Brown’s stepfather who had publicly stated he opposed violence ending up shouting for the burning to begin – about 10 times he said it. That was destructive behavior on his part. And the Black Friday protests only annoyed even other African-Americans who just wanted to shop. Whoever the leadership out there – if any – is giving very bad advice.

    That said I feel most sorry for Mike Brown’s mother at this point for the tragic loss of her son. That cannot and should not be overlooked. But what took place later was not an expression of respect for his memory. We have to respect the rule of law and work for justice through that With all our problems, millions have proven they still want to move here for a better life. Things are worse nearly everywhere else. Just ask people in Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, Mexico and on South.

    • There is one piece of this reply @mostberg that I will respectfully disagree with. Your first 2 sentences that state that the burning and looting do nothing for race relations and how it actually sets them back.

      Here is another op Ed piece by criminologist Dr. Chenille Jones http://www.yourblackworld.net/criminologist-chenelle-jones-gives-the-real-reason-people-were-rioting-in-ferguson/

      According to the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (NACCD), civil disorders are typically not the result of a single incident or one precipitating cause, but rather a culminating reaction to several tension-heightening incidents that span a range of time. Most of these tension building incidents are then stored into the collective minds of the people who are most negatively impacted by them. This tension builds up until a breaking point is reached, and that breaking point is usually caused by a police action.

      So, if we put this information within the context of Ferguson, we must acknowledge that people of color have a history of marginalization within the United States. They are disproportionately profiled, arrested, and incarcerated. They are more likely than any other racial group to receive longer and harsher sentences. They are also more likely than any other racial group to be wrongfully convicted of a crime. All of this, despite research consistently showing that people of color do not commit most crimes in the U.S. Furthermore, Propublica analyzed nearly 3 decades of police involved shootings using the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Reports, and found that African Americans are 21 times more likely than white Americans to be killed by law enforcement officials (e.g. Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Amadou Diallo, Tamir Rice, Jordan Crawford, Kimani Gray, Eric Garner, Timothy Stansbury, Orlando Barlow, etc.). With many of these cases deemed justifiable and resulting in no convictions.

      Understanding this, it seems the criminal justice system yields its wrath to people of color when they are perceived as offenders but affords them little justice when they are perceived as victims. This trend has existed since the evolution of the criminal justice system. The first policing agencies within the US were slave patrols and night watchmen whose jobs were to marginalize, subdue, and control the minority population. Slave codes were then passed. They were enacted to restrict and criminalize the mundane behavior (e.g. gathering, reading, etc.) of slaves. Following slave codes, black codes were passed. They penalized African Americans for things such as vagrancy and testifying against White Americans. Jim Crow laws were then passed to legalize segregation and prohibit African Americans from public spaces such as parks, restaurants, stores, schools, and public transportation, to name a few. Following the Jim Crow era, the War on Drugs disproportionately targeted communities of color, despite research suggesting that White Americans and African Americans relatively use marijuana at the same rates, and Whites are 7 times more likely than African Americans to use both cocaine and heroin (National Institute of Drugs).

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