The Torch of Freedom Only Smolders Now

Ferguson, Missouri has a little more than 20,000 residents. A young black man was shot there by a white policeman. There have been almost 10 days of unrest. It is also worth noting that more than 67 percent of Ferguson’s population is African-American. Among the city’s 57 police officers, only three are black. The unemployment rate among blacks is almost twice as high as that among whites. Ferguson is more than just a case of a possibly out of control operation and bad crisis management.

One incident in Ferguson is bringing to light the problems of an entire country, particularly fear, mistrust and social inequality. Ferguson is a logical consequence of the developments of past years: an increasingly impoverished population without social protection, a justice system that severely punishes even the smallest crimes, and reduced rights to freedom. On top of that, an armed-to-the-teeth police force shows up at seemingly random times. The latter has been confirmed by reports according to which people have detained without explanation. It almost seems as if the torch of freedom is only smoldering now.

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