No Peace Without Equality

The frightening upward spiral of violence in the United States is increasing at alarming speed. After far too many black victims in recent weeks and months, now two white police officers have been shot during a demonstration in Ferguson, Missouri. The fear is that they will not be the last victims. The atmosphere there is poisoned. Many now want to turn the motto chanted by demonstrators, “No Justice – No Peace,” into action. The fault lies in the structural racism that still exists even 150 years after the abolition of slavery and 50 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Those marked the official end of racial discrimination, but de facto discrimination remains virulent, as evidenced by the recent devastating report of systematic police brutality in Ferguson.

Americans cannot surrender to racism. Police personnel have to learn that they’re not engaged in a war against one segment of the population. In addition to that, cases of police brutality have to be punished in a court of law. Finally, politicians and citizens alike have to strive to eliminate social inequalities wherever they exist. If none of that succeeds, the Los Angeles riots of 1992 threaten to happen again. In that incident, four police officers abused African American Rodney King.

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