The Letter Series: Dear Ferguson Officials…

Okay, I get it… You think that just because we have a Black president, that racism in the US is a non-factor and that the reason for any residual hostility must be people’s inability to move or or some genetic predisposition to criminality and violence. Certainly, the fact that you didn’t treat your Black neighbors or coworkers with disrespect must mean that you have completely overcome your ancestral baggage. Your having allowed your son to listen to rap music and your proficiency with slang must mean that you have reached cultural enlightenment. That you would never use ‘the N word’ (in public) should grant you a get away guilt free pass when you’ve essentially waged war against all of the Black people in your city by supporting your Ferguson police department’s misbehavior.

So here’s the real question: Are you happy now?Are you pleased with yourselves? Do you

really think you’ve done a good job protecting and serving the citizens of Ferguson, MO? If any of your answers lean toward the affirmative, you have not been paying attention. Let’s recap:

  • You dehumanize the victim in your first reports of the crime; and yes, it was a crime.
  • You criminalize the victim when you finally reveal the identity of the actual criminal.
  • You ignore the injustices committed by your police department when the people take peaceful action to protest the crime…

… and your failures have multiplied one day after another.

It’s not like we don’t recognize that the problem is both much deeper and goes far beyond racial tension in Ferguson. It is however that if we are to accept that you truly believe that we’re all equal in this land, that you must treat us all as equals. When giving a press conference, you refer to the victim by name. You maintain and respect his or her personhood wholly. You don’t call him a “subject.” You don’t defame his character. You don’t protect the victim’s murderer. Your continued improper handling of the situation there does nothing to support your assertion that you know what you’re doing.

I strongly suggest that you start taking notes from social media, political satirists, and the network news stations like MSNBC. You might learn something. I hope for your future’s sake that you figure out how to fix your fragmented perspective, and do something that the members of your community can be proud of you as public representatives for.

Many thanks,

White Protestors

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