According to CNN (2015), “The Justice Department on Wednesday released a scathing 102-page report revealing systemic racial discrimination against African-Americans at the hands of the Ferguson Police Department and city officials. After an extensive federal civil rights probe, the Justice Department found what it described as “unlawful bias against and stereotypes about African-Americans,” resulting in repeated violations of the First and Fourth Amendments and excessive uses of force.” (cnn.com)
The “Ferguson report” has done nothing except to confirm what I already knew, as did many black men in this country. That is that there is wide spread discrimination within police departments across this country that plays out as disparate treatment toward black men. To me, the $64,000 question is, will this report then lead to meaningful discussions on this issue? Will it result in any positive change if discussions ensue? It is my hope that it does but it is my belief, based on my life’s experiences, that nothing of significance will really change. Once the media attention fades, so will the interest in dealing with the issue of blacks being disproportionately stopped, ticketed, arrested, tasered and shot than people of any other ethnicity. I have seen it over and over again throughout my lifetime. There have been miniscule, unimportant changes to the police department, such as allowing black officers to arrest people of any race. We have also allowed more black people on the force altogether.
However, we obviously still have the same problem, which is proven by this report. There is no reason for me to believe that this time it will be anything different. Yes, this report comes from one town in the Midwest. But, this reflects the situations that pop up all across this country. Because I do not believe that things will change on any level of importance, I will continue to do what I can within my circle of influence to make things better for everyone regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, etc. I encourage all of you to do the same. Teach tolerance, humility. Teach your circle to treat every person as an individual; not based on the color of their skin, or their religious beliefs, but on their personality, their inner being. Use your courage and resources to make a ripple in your pond.