By Michelle Seiler-Tucker, Special for USDR
Two Ferguson police officers resigned after the release of a Justice Department report that sited racist e-mail exchanges involving members of the city’s police force and local court officials; and likewise, Court Clerk Mary Ann Twitty was fired Wednesday due to similar issues. The emails depicted several malicious jokes that were based on offensive stereotypes. This happened shortly before a weekend that honored the 50th anniversary of the civil rights march on Selma, which led to a change in voting laws. Selma is represents a darker time in US history, where 50 years later the nation’s first black president delivered a speech on the same bridge among recent ugly months full of racially controversial events yet again.
The headlines have not stopped, either. On Friday, an unarmed black 19-year-old was shot and killed by a police officer in Madison, WI. The law enforcement office says that they received a call that the teen was reckless jumping in front of traffic after attacking another person and that when their officer confronted the teen he was only shot after the 18 year old struck out at the officer. The shooting sparked mass protests in Madison this weekend, but luckily this go round the protesters came in peace and vocal heartbreak—not so much rage, anger and hatred.
There is obviously something despairingly broken throughout this nation. A viral video full of racial slurs has also led a fraternity in Oklahoma to be shut down. While the masses like to pretend that racism was done away with segregation laws, the permeating cultural stigmas of racial inequality seem to linger throughout various communities in the US—the majorities are those with higher poverty rates. The truth is that racism has not yet been erased, and it’s only the evolution of technology that has been able to make this ongoing concern irrevocably clear. This country’s problems are conflicts that run deep, and the heart of the issue is the underlying commonality of class disparity that is an ever growing issue our nation is facing. The reality of the situation is that more blacks than whites are trapped in poverty. Despite the American dream ideal that a person and become and make of themselves whatever they want to in this nation, the likelihood that a person succeeds still depends vastly on what their childhood consisted of. Those who lack the nurturing environments and support systems as children are more likely to grow up ignorant with mindsets and thought forms that go against what is acceptable by society norms and values. There is no easy answer, but I do believe that a solution can be found in the youth of this nation. As the leading authority on buying, selling and fixing businesses, I know that it is the small business owners who are the economic backbone of this country. We need to raise children who can one day take over these roles. We need to break bad stereotypes and once again empower each other to acknowledge that it is our differences between each other that make us better, and that it is the inability to understand these differences which creates the divide.