Ferguson and the Festering Wounds of Structural Inequality: A Quest for Awareness and Understanding

by jvaragona

Wonderfully thoughtful piece by former classmate of mine, Dr. Adam Butz, on what has led to where we are now in Ferguson.

Adam M. Butz, Ph.D.

On Saturday, August 9, unarmed African American teenager, Mike Brown, was fatally shot by a police officer in Ferguson, MO, a suburb of North St. Louis.   The details regarding the initial altercation remain fuzzy but the tragedy appears to have been set in motion by overly aggressive policing (“get the fu*k on the sidewalk”).  The grotesque nature of the execution included multiple deadly shots in the back as the suspect fled the scene… Unarmed… Brown’s untimely death has sparked outrage and non-violent protests among bewildered residents looking for answers, accountability and justice.

Unfortunately, some episodic looting among opportunistic neer-do-wells has also broken out (seemingly unrelated to the legitimate protests).  Nothing excuses the unlawful looting in Ferguson but the underlying grievance of Mike Brown’s family and frustrations of the local community are justified.  Many whites – and sadly many of my own family and friends – will focus myopically on riot…

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