Rage in Ferguson: Is racism in America inevitably drawing to a close?



Time and Demographics will Prevent Future Fergusons (La Presse, Canada)


"In the United States, historical context exacerbates the situation. The population continues to struggle with a legacy of racial division, slavery and segregation. … The demonstrations we are seeing will eventually run out of steam. The gulf that exists in the United States promises to eventually fade, particularly since, within decades, the number of visible minorities will supplant those of the White population."


By Pascale Breton



Translated By Martyn Fogg


August 19, 2014


Canada – La Presse – Original Article (Fremch)

The tensions that erupted after the death of Michael Brown, a young Black man shot down by a White policeman, have again highlighted a defect in the American empire: blatant racism, combined with a poverty that afflicts the Afro-American population in particular.


The town of Ferguson, Missouri, has been at the center of the news for more than a week. The intervention of militarized police there is not unusual. One is convinced simply by looking at the widely circulated photo of a policeman dressed in camouflage, perched atop an armored vehicle, aiming his gun at peaceful demonstrators. However, militarization doesn't explain everything.

Ferguson police: A turning point in the post-911 weaponization?


The events in Ferguson are reminiscent of those that occurred in Florida two years ago, when a volunteer patroller George Zimmerman shot and killed a young Afro-American, Trayvon Martin. His acquittal raised the ire of the population.


Closer to home, it is also a reminder of the riots that shook North Montreal after the death of Fredy Villanueva, killed by an officer of the City of Montreal Police [SPVM] in 2008.


The conclusion of Martin Courcy, a psychologist appointed by the SPVM to shed light on the events, was unequivocal. "Racism and systematic harassment by the Montreal police toward minority youth is at the root of social tensions that culminated in a riot," reported Le Devoir.


In the United States, historical context exacerbates the situation. The population continues to struggle with a legacy of racial division, slavery and segregation, as President Barack Obama has said.

Posted By Worldmeets.US


Although segregation was abolished almost 50 years ago, prejudice and discrimination still exist. Added to this, for many Blacks, there is the frustration of being poor in a wealthy society.


The Afro-American population earns less, is more affected by unemployment, and is less educated than the average American. Blacks are also over-represented in the prisons.


At Ferguson, although Afro-Americans account for two thirds of the population, power is in the hands of Whites: only one in the six city councilors is Afro-American. On the police force, there are only 3 Black out of a total of 53 city officers. In their editions yesterday, The Washington Post and The New York Times reported the comments of several citizens who said they had been harassed by the police.


The demonstrations we are seeing will eventually run out of steam. The gulf that exists in the United States promises to eventually fade, particularly since, within decades, the number of visible minorities will supplant those of the White population.


However, the immediate situation calls for a more widespread awareness, particularly on the part of police, because other tragic incidents will inevitably occur elsewhere.


La PresseSuivre @Pascale_Breton



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Posted By Worldmeets.US August 19, 2014, 1:29pm