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“Hands up, don’t shoot”

Photo Courtesy of the BBC.
Photo Courtesy of the BBC.

Riots supporting Ferguson are popping up around the country because of the grand jury’s decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson after he killed Michael Brown, but is that the proper reaction?

After all, Shawn Parcells, the forensics “expert” who came on national television supporting the “hands up” mantra after assisting in the private autopsy,   had no license or certification, rather, he relied on “personal experience”.

Yes, the racial inequality in places like Ferguson is something that needs to be fixed, and yes, the grand jury’s decision is rare, but it seems like the more evidence that comes out, the more it seems that Michael Brown was at fault here. The official county autopsy report supports Wilson’s story, and Dorian Johnson, the witness who began the  of Brown’s who started the “hands up, don’t shoot” mantra can’t seem to keep his story straight.

There is also really no way to justify setting fire to your hometown and looting local businesses. At some point, it is closer to revenge than justice, and I think that line was crossed.

Whatever the cause, this movement feels like the Occupy Wall Street movement, in which people across the nation supported a cause against an injustice in society.

The problem is, the  government isn’t able to fix race relation problems with legislation. They can reduce police corruption with things like body cameras, but past that, it is difficult to solve the problems people are protesting against around the country.

The methods used in some protests are also unfavorable. For example, what did the students who walked onto the I-5 North on the morning of November 26th accomplish, aside from angering hard working people who were just trying to get to work?

“It’s about taking down the SYSTEM of racial prejudice and oppression that has been festering in this country for decades,” one of the protesters on the I-5 Tyree Landrum said in an open letter. “The goal wasn’t for people to get fired, but to hit the American economy; to stop ‘business as usual.’”

I’m not sure how stopping a freeway in California affects the long-standing racial prejudice in the south, or how the Harvard students walking out of their classes will change what is happening in Ferguson. If it is exposure they are after, Ferguson already has more exposure than any of these protests, and the injustices in the south are a well-documented problem.

So, I don’t get it. I don’t understand why people are protesting over the Michael Brown case. I don’t get why the rioters in Ferguson burned their town, and I don’t know why people around the country are protesting the potentially correct decision not to indict officer Darren Willson.


About Brandon Noyes

This year is Bradon's first year on staff, where he is a writer. He is in Science Olympiad, Speech and Debate, and is on the swim team. Brandon enjoys skiing, sailing, and eating most foods.

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