After former Ferguson Missouri police officer Darren Wilson walked free after killing unarmed teenager Michael Brown, the city broke out in a rash of protests and violent riots. Stores were burned people were injured. The Experience believes that rioting and looting only discredit the efforts of those trying to make a difference when it comes to civil rights.
President Barack Obama told the citizens to be safe because “We’re a nation built on peace.” If you, however, have a basic knowledge of history you know this is incorrect.
We’re a nation built on racial tension, massacre and deceit but things seldom change for the better when people are inactive instead of proactive, which is why peaceful protesting is the solution for getting things done.
After the Ferguson protests formed, other groups started marches and similar protests in the name of every unarmed person of color killed under the cover of authority in other citites. Rappers Macklemore and Q-Tip marched with protesters and the Rams showed support with the “hands up, don’t shoot” gesture. There was even a small demonstration in the quad on the LMC campus. These movements continued into the holidays with the Stop the Parade and Blackout Black Friday protests, even though some big name cable companies tried to censor protests and sites like Tumblr began removing “inflammatory” content.
It couldn’t be a more perfect time to rally for human rights. Native Americans are remembering the brutal 1637 Thanksgiving massacre when more than 700 people were killed, enslaved and raped. Tension in America is at a peak resulting from new cases such as the Tamir Rice and Eric Garner cases also involve suspicious circumstances involving authority memebers.
Peaceful protesting has been shown to be effective, especially in the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. These days it also makes a bit of a difference. Monday, President Obama promised a group of students and protesters that he would spend $263 million to re-train police offices overhaul their use of military weapons and to supply officers with 50,000 body cameras.
We have a long ways to go in terms of race, gender and financial equality but other than voting, peaceful protests are the only way to get things done.