Violent Fights for Lacking Rights

We’ve all heard of the murder of black teenager Michael Brown, shot by cop Darren Wilson, causing riots that have honestly gone too far. This was horrid, and the whole thing really could have been avoided.

Selina Fluty, Editor of Student Opinion

Ferguson has turned into a battlefield.

Riots broke out all over the city, leaving a dozen buildings burned, 87 protesters arrested, and ten hospitalized, according to The Huffington Post. Several reporters caught up in the mess of riots and SWAT team members say that it was difficult to breathe with all of the gasses in the air. Smoke bombs, thrown by both sides, tear gas, and rubber bullets were all used in close proximity in one night, after the jury’s decision to give policeman Darren Wilson a paid reprieve from duty after fatally wounding black teenager Michael Brown.

Violence was not the way to handle this. Violence was not how people should have shown they disagree. It’s not a simple ‘This is what everyone else is doing, lemme at it.’ No! That’s not how your thought process should have gone. I don’t truly think that on that night of insanity people knew what they were doing. I don’t think they realized they were throwing the whole city to the dogs.

No child should have to had worried about their dad having to face the riots from working overtime. No mother should have had to worry about a family member near those areas, waiting for a phone call from their loved ones to reassure that they would not be shot that night. No one should have been hospitalized for being a different skin color. Guns that haven’t been touched in years should not have been gazed at for a moment too long. Never, under any circumstances whatsoever, should they have to defend their home from people all too ready to burn it to the floor because of a ruling the defenders didn’t have any say in. Maybe the people fighting for their building’s life didn’t even have any idea about what happened to the cop and the boy. It’s not impossible.

I am ashamed that this is how this protest has turned out. That people are feeling the need to fight. If you disagree with a court ruling, then you don’t have to burn down buildings to show you disagree. There was really no reason to shoot someone because you were mad. The fireworks of that night should not have been the spark from a gun, or a flame taking down a building, or citizens calling 911 in a frantic state. Fights and looting, fires and shootings – it’s not acceptable under any terms.

Fighting for what you believe in is great. You think that Wilson should have been punished more severely? Great, go ahead and protest. But let’s not shoot someone. Let’s not burn down buildings. Let’s not punch people trying to hurry home because they have a different skin color. Have the rioters never heard of peaceful protests? Peaceful protests do the same thing with a better message with just as much power (if not more). Just as much of a voice, but no one gets hurt. Things still change, but no one gets hospitalized.

All over the world, this is what protesters are doing. Hong Kong – people are walking the streets holding signs. New York – people are clogging up streets, holding signs and shouting “Hands up, don’t shoot.” Londoners are protesting into the night. In France people are spreading a message of equality. People who have suffered losses like the Browns are starting to speak out. And there aren’t cars burning (no buildings either), no fistfights, no crazy shooting. We’re making a difference, and not hurting anyone.

Rioters, try to protest peacefully. You can do so much and not have to watch someone bleed to do it.