Fer­gu­son ri­ots

China Daily (Canada) - - COMMENT -

fu ge sen sao luan

Fresh protests have erupted in about a dozen US ci­ties against the decision to not in­dict white po­lice­man Dar­ren Wilson for fa­tally shoot­ing 18-year-old African-Amer­i­can Michael Brown in Fer­gu­son, Mis­souri, in Au­gust. Protests against the shoot­ing have been con­tin­u­ing in about 90 ci­ties in 34 states, spo­rad­i­cally in some, since then. Protests of this scale have been rarely seen in the US since the Viet­namWar.

A day be­fore the jury’s decision to de­clare Wilson “in­no­cent”, a 12-yearold black boy was shot by a po­lice of­fi­cer for “threat­en­ing peo­ple with a toy gun” at a play­ground in Cleve­land, Ohio. Se­nior po­lice of­fi­cers said the of­fi­cer fired two shots at the boy after he re­fused to raise his hands.

In 2012, Trayvon­Martin, an un­armed African-Amer­i­can teen was shot by George Zim­mer­man, who was on neigh­bor­hood pa­trol in San­ford, Florida.

Th­ese tragedies show that racial dis­crim­i­na­tion is deeply rooted in some white Amer­i­can peo­ple’s mind, and it will not change even if they have voted for a black pres­i­dent. As a mat­ter of fact, US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama grew up mostly in a white neigh­bor­hood and re­ceived elite ed­u­ca­tion in the US. So he does not rep­re­sent the majority of AfricanAmer­i­cans who don’t have ac­cess to the re­sources or ed­u­ca­tion that white Americans have.

About two-thirds of the res­i­dents in the neigh­bor­hood where Brown was shot are black. Yet only three of the 53 po­lice­men at the lo­cal po­lice sta­tion are black. And ac­cord­ing to a re­port of 2013 PewRe­search Cen­ter re­search, the chances of an African-Amer­i­can male be­ing jailed is six times more than his white coun­ter­part.

The US for years has been us­ing hu­man rights as an im­por­tant diplo­matic weapon to at­tack other coun­tries. But its crit­i­cism reeks of hypocrisy be­cause it doesn’t grant full hu­man rights to all its peo­ple. The US needs to in­dulge in self-re­flec­tion in­stead of ad­vis­ing the rest of the world what is the right thing to do.

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