Retaliate through knowledge


By Janae Harris, Assistant Photo Editor

Mike Brown’s body laid helplessly in the middle of the street in Ferguson, Mo. Social media were the first to report what happened that day. My heart was broken, and so many emotions ran through me as I saw several video clips and live images on social media of many witnesses documenting this horrifying moment.

I was hurt.

Not because this was a young black man who was killed by a white cop, but because this was an innocent young man whose life was taken from him at such a young age.

His life was taken by a man who seemingly had hatred in his heart, who probably felt like he lost when Mike Brown broke free and tried to run away.

Racism plays a big part in the Ferguson case, but what bothers me the most is when others retaliate by destroying their own community.

Most individuals see it as an opportunity to destroy small businesses in their communities and rob and steal from these individuals who are all trying to survive like everyone else in the neighborhood.

Then there are others who want justice to be served in a more peaceful manner. By lighting candles near the area where an individual was killed and where they come together to pray.

This entire Ferguson case is all about color. We’re still defined by the color of our skin, and we still can’t all see each other as human beings. I find it sad that after all these years, we still can’t seem to treat each other equally.

If Mike Brown was killed by another black teenager, would the coverage be so large? If a white man was killed by a black cop in a predominantly white neighborhood, justice would have been immediately served.

Why is it that when a white cop kills a black man it drives black people crazy?

Why is it socially acceptable for us to destroy ourselves and our community, but there’s a huge uproar when a white man does it?

In order for justice to be served, we need to educate ourselves, respect one another and set examples for the next generation on how to treat one another. We need to show the youth how war and gun violence is not the correct answer.

People need to uplift each other and build our communities rather than burning them down — showing the naysayers that people can unite and become powerful by doing what’s right.

How can we find peace and justice when we can’t even find peace among ourselves? The Oscar Grant story, that later turned into a movie, became difficult to watch. The movie did not add in any of the actual protests and rallies that lasted weeks after the incident.

It was awful seeing individuals in Oakland destroy their own town.
Small business owners, who make up Oakland’s downtown community, were afraid that people would loot or destroy their shops in light of the protest for Ferguson.

I send my prayers to the people of Ferguson. Anger and violence is not the answer.

Let’s retaliate through knowledge and with prayer, so that the families of Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, and Mike Brown can finally and truly lay their children to rest