Our Nation and the Ferguson Decision
The decisions of the grand jury and District Attorney in Ferguson, Missouri, regarding the Michael Brown Case have triggered the righteous indignation of well-meaning and law abiding people, yet once again, all over this nation. This insensitivity and brutal aggression against Black people, especially young African American males, by excessively violent and completely corrupt individuals in both the system of law enforcement and that of jurisprudence have demonstrated once again the hypocrisy of American democracy when it comes to its Black and Brown citizens. But these crimes against humanity are but an outward expression of a system of racial oppression and political fascism grounded in an ever expanding oligarchy of plutocracy and autocracy which is ethically and morally suffocating the spirit and soul of this nation.
Prior to the Civil War there was no pretense surrounding the despotic system of slavery. During the Post-Reconstruction and Pre-Civil Rights periods the cancer of racism, segregation, bigotry, and the ideology of white supremacy infected all our institutions and the social, political, and legal processes that were supposed to protect the rights, humanity, and dignity of citizens. Today, repressive conditions and systems have become the American way, fully exposed to this entire nation and the world. What we are witnessing in the cases of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice (12 years old), John Crawford, and scores of others, is a breakdown of law, order, civility, justice, and respect for human rights by those charged with the duty and responsibility of ensuring and securing such. The lawlessness and disregard for life by some policemen (certainly not all), the dereliction of duty and abrogation of responsibility by some officers of the court (again, not all), and the continuous failure and shame of American jurisprudence have cultivated a state of eroded confidence and disrespect for the flawed and unjust laws, and the corrupt judicial system, relative to justice and the rights of Black and Brown citizens in this nation. Furthermore, it has resulted in a loss of status, prestige, and moral standing of the United States, as the global community of civilized nations witnesses the indefensible illegal and unethical actions of the political, juristic, and moral sentinels of our society.
The world recoils in shock and incredulity at the ease with which our youth are killed, and the certainty with which their killers in uniform are exonerated, seemingly in perpetuity. The actions of such individuals is all too often excused on technicalities, disinformation and fabrication, and through the decisions of corrupt agents within the judicial system. However, none of those involved, from the agents of death to the protectors of killers escape the court of public opinion and judgment, nor do they escape the scrutiny of the Divine Arbiter of all human action and conduct.
The Faculty and Staff in the Department of Pan-African Studies stand in solidarity with all those parents who have lost children needlessly, and under deeply demoralizing, indescribably painful, and egregiously shameful circumstances. Additionally, we are sensitive to, sympathetic, empathetic, and in total unity with those who raise their voices and engage in legitimate and positive protests (guaranteed by the 1st and 14th Amendments of the US Constitution) against what appears to some as state inflicted violence directed at the innocents within our national family. We call upon the sane, rational, and civilized elements of our government to intervene and halt this systematic and continuous violation of the civil and human rights of our people, and all others, in this nation.
George R. Garrison, Ph.D.
Pan African Studies Department
25 November 2014