Ferguson From Afar

I am surprised at how much the media is covering the Ferguson case in Australia.   I left the news on last night while reading and must have seen four or five different segments on it.  I also read Officer Wilson’s testimony as well as Browns friend’s testimony as well this morning. 

I am biased against the police from my own personal interactions with them.  Also, the disparity in the accounts seems wide enough that I would have liked to have seen a trial.  But this is all mere speculation.  My dad is a lawyer and he has taught me that unless you have all of the facts one cannot really have more than a biased opinion about a case. 

However, whether Wilson is guilty or not, I completely understand the anger of the black community.  This does not mean that any kind of violence is warranted, only that if you know how the criminal justice system treats minorities, one can see how this case has taken on symbolic underpinnings.  

If you have no idea why people are angry, I highly recommend reading Matt Taibbi’s The Divide for starters.  He goes into depth in this book about how unjust our criminal justice system really is.  Taibbi is an excellent writer who makes great use of language to highlight the absurdity that is part of everyday American life for many.  What many people are put through would not seem out of place in a Kafka novel. 

Hopefully the violence will cease soon, but that a close examination of our criminal justice system will go on for a long time, until we can approach something close to equal justice for all.  

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