In 1955, the Montgomery Bus Boycott captured America’s attention when civil rights activists, including the leading Martin Luther King, Jr., showed all Americans the effectiveness of nonviolent protests. 59 years later, after the ruling of the Ferguson shooting, black Americans are seen damaging and terrorizing their own city in an attempt to defend their rights, succeeding more in harming their communities than aiding their cause.
Countless acts of violence have transpired in response to Michael Brown’s death and officer Darren Wilson’s acquittal, ranging from robbing businesses to setting buildings on fire. The rage Ferguson protesters feel is understandable as there is evidence of possible prejudice towards the predominantly black community prior to the shooting. Seen in questionable arrests and accusations, it seems that the St. Louis city’s underlying issue of discrimination is nothing new. The incident between Wilson and Brown was only the catalyst for Ferguson’s citizens to react. The case even caught president Barack Obama’s attention; although he doesn’t support the violence, he agrees that “communities of color aren’t just making these problems up.”
Nonetheless, it is still difficult to understand why protesters would turn their frustrations toward the demolition of their own city. These protests are only impacting their community negatively. Moreover, the protesters’ heinous actions taint the image of the black community. Though Ferguson citizens are expressing their opinion on Wilson’s acquittal, many of their actions can be considered misdirected. The lack of reason, control and the extremity of Ferguson protesters may cause people to question the extent of their rationality.