America’s domestic news does not usually bother Russia too much. However, the tragic incident in the town of Ferguson, Missouri, and the subsequent protests of black Americans that have turned into riots are being widely reported in Russia.
During the detention of 18-year-old Michael Brown under still unclear circumstances, Officer Darren Wilson shot Brown several times and killed him. Demonstrators have taken to the streets in their communities to demand “justice for Michael Brown.” The town has been raging for over a week. Amidst this chaos, a number of robberies took place. Police imposed a curfew that failed to last through the first night. Police dispersed protesters with tear gas, shields and batons. Protesters threw stones and Molotov cocktails in response.
This, in fact, is well known to those of our fellow citizens who pay attention to the news from overseas. National TV channels and newspapers are focused mainly on two things: how often police in the United States use weapons and kill African-Americans, and how brutally the police suppress a revolt of the black community. But this is not the whole story. Nonetheless, Ferguson’s lessons deserve to be learned, by us as well, through the mistakes of others.
When the grand jury was convened to decide on the prosecution of Officer Wilson, the city had a quiet night. But that was it. The stream of initial reports that were mostly accusing the police was interrupted by the release of a surveillance video from a local shop. The video clearly shows how, a few minutes before the fatal shooting, Brown robbed the store with his friend.
This has reignited Ferguson once more. Law enforcement officers lost control of the city, despite the arrival of reinforcements from the state police. The governor enlisted the help of the National Guard. Lightly armored vehicles, snipers on rooftops and military-equipped guards with automatic weapons appeared in the city.
But riots did not stop. Followed by television crews, some community activists, black pop stars, and religious figures arrived in the city. By that time, Ferguson locals had already become seriously concerned with the future of their city, and there were people trying to prevent further clashes between police and protesters. However, the city has already been flooded with activists of the so-called Revolutionary Communist Party of the U.S., and the extremists of the group New Black Panthers.
Unfortunately, this explosive mixture was fired up by a priest. Known for his struggle for the rights of blacks, Rev. Al Sharpton declared at a local church that “America is on trial,” and that the “brothers” will no longer tolerate this.
Will no longer tolerate what? The answer to this question seems obvious. Many Russian television stations showed the history of racial unrest in the United States and the “long history” of white police killing black men. It should be said that for the most part this picture matched liberal American media views during the first days of the protests.
However, analysis of the facts and statistics paints a very different picture.
There is no system that approves the massacre of blacks by whites. The country carries out up to 12 million arrests annually, and only about 400,000 of them are for crimes committed with a weapon, which accounts for a little more than 3 percent. The suspect gets killed only in 0.1 percent of cases. Indeed, there are a lot of black men dying on the streets of American cities, but according to the FBI, in 2013, 91 percent of the victims had died at the hands of the same black Americans, and in the vast majority of cases during shootouts. According to the census of 2012, African Americans make up about 13.5 percent of the total population of the United States. However, according to the Ministry of Justice, they account for about half of all violent crimes. In major cities such as New York, Chicago and Boston, blacks perpetrate 60 percent of the crimes. At the same time, African-Americans are the poorest racial group in America.
All told, the United States has a black president and a black attorney general — who, incidentally, was sent to the rebellious district to oversee the investigation, as we would say, on the highest level. Where is inequality and who is on trial?
Here is the most outrageous fact. At the moment of the writing this article, 78 people had been arrested during the riots. Only four of them were residents of Ferguson. The rest, as it turned out, were visiting activists. Therefore, such people as Sharpton, as well as those who profess to be followers of the terrorists from the Black Panthers, should be on trial. Much fault also lies with the liberal media, who began to accuse the policeman without even waiting for the publication of his name.
Of course, the fact that the black community was so quickly and efficiently “on fire” shows that the problem of race in the United States is still not resolved completely, if it ever can be. Once, the Communist Party announced that the Soviet Union completely solved the national question, but experience has shown that that decision was only wishful thinking.
On both sides of the ocean, an appeal to racial and national feelings to provoke violence proves to be more effective in less wealthy and stable communities. The left wing of the Democratic Party tries to win back the points being lost daily. Angry unemployed African-Americans are great electoral material, but hardly anyone really cares about their lives.
Black doctor and social activist Ben Carson urged Americans to forget about propaganda and focus on what’s important: the quality of life and work of citizens. “We only have 320 million people in this country. We’re on a global stage where we are competing with countries with over 1 billion people,” he said.
I would listen to Dr. Carson. There are 140 million people in Russia. And we have already gone through Kondopoga, Pugachev and Biryulevo. Poor quality of life and full access to the economy were the main causes there as well. In Pugachev, people shouted “to evict!” Well, at least so! In Missouri they demand the head of Darren Wilson, literally.
The events in distant Ferguson show us a picture of a perfect storm that occurs instantly, as soon as the breeze blows lightly on the waters of an unstable community, creating a ripple effect. This storm needs to be described in the political textbooks, not just in the United States.
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