The public favors equality

There’s this stigma associated with the police in areas where people of color reside. There is almost complete distrust toward the law and order side of things.

This fact is brought to attention yet again due to the recent riots in Ferguson, Missouri. If you ask the average person about why people of color distrust “the man” you will get a fusillade of answers relating to police brutality.

It’s easy to see why one might come to that conclusion. After all, Darren Wilson the officer responsible for the shooting of 17 year old Michael Brown earlier this month was once apart of a police department disbanded due to accusations of poor race relations.

More recently Dan Page, a police officer and former veteran involved in policing the riots in Missouri, was put on administrative leave after a video of him spouting off offensive comments about women, Muslims and our “undocumented” president Barack Obama among others to a group of fellow servicemen leaked onto YouTube.

Of course fear for social safety is only part of the issue.

Beyond the police there are other law officials collecting obscene amounts of money through arresting and ticketing people for nonviolent crimes. Blacks make up 67 percent of Ferguson’s population while whites make up only 29 percent and it just so happens that 86 percent of the traffic stops are black drivers. Only 12.7 percent of the people stopped are white.

According to an article on, the city’s courts raked in 2.6 million dollars in court fees and fines. It was the second highest source of income of the 20 million the city collected in revenue.

Nationwide, 60 percent of prison residents are people of color. As stated by a report done by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), approximately 3,728 people will spend the rest of their lives behind bars for non-violent crimes. The most disheartening fact of all is that 65 percent of these offenders sentenced to life without parole are black and 16 percent are Latino.

Some individuals will chalk it up to the luck of the draw. They think incarceration just happens to be a side effect of poverty and not race. This way of thinking is parented not just by whites but also by other races that think systematic racial discrimination is no longer a trend in a supposedly progressive society.

Majority rules though, and in situations anticipated by unjust treatment, people are bound to grow tired of biased practices enacted by those who are supposed to uphold a general sense of morality. There is bound to be retribution for these crimes and that retribution can take form in the ways of rioting, civil protest, and outright thievery.

Stealing in the midst of an uproar does nothing to endorse the point of citizens. If anything it deters the meaningfulness of peaceful demonstration. However, looters are a typical side effect of chaos. They are by no means the worst of a bad situation. They saw an opportunity and they took it-no pun intended.

And sure rioting isn’t the most mature way to go about rallying justice but it’s understandable. However unhelpful it is in the grand scheme of things, it feels like victory to have rattled the people around the world.

It seems like the citizens are finding a physical way to vent their frustrations after putting up with unwarranted punitive measures by authoritative figures that find justification in selfishly bullying the unfortunate. The public is pushing back.