The shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri has led to the use of tear gas and rubber bullets as part of a brutal military occupation. There are riots and protests occurring in the suburb of Missouri, as citizens are outraged that an unarmed boy who was found to be shoplifting was shot down seven times by officer Darren Wilson on August 9th.

The situation brings to light the need for stricter gun laws; sanctions need to be placed on civilians and police officers, as this blatant abuse of power is increasing racial tension. Some citizens have gone so far as to begin looting, but shop owners are protecting themselves and their livelihoods, taking on the roles that are usually given to police officers.

Social media have played an enormous role in spreading the word about what is happening in Missouri. Journalists that are reporting from Ferguson have been arrested by the police, clearly indicating the mass animosity in the suburb; Wesley Lowery from the Washington Post is live-tweeting the events as they happen.

The civilians that are educating everyone are risking their own lives to bring awareness of the discrimination and injustice that is occurring in Ferguson. This issue has developed rapidly, with citizens living in Gaza advising the people of Missouri on what to do when faced with tear gas and rubber bullets. This incites a very real type of irony; the very individuals who live their lives in fear that they won’t make it another day due to the Israeli attacks, are now giving advice to Americans who face brutal military action. And this is completely shocking and deplorable.

The main issue that the shooting has brought is the discourse of race. In an area that is 67 percent black, while being controlled by a predominantly white police force, the inconsistency in racial power is clearly visible. In a country where racism is alive and well, the shooting has shown the value of a black person to that of a white one.

The Ku Klux Klan are currently raising money for the police officer that shot Michael Brown, increasing racial tension in not only Ferguson Missouri, but the entire country. President Obama has had a press conference which proved disappointing to  many Americans. Obama’s presidential support has predominantly come from young black people, who saw him as a new hope or ‘change’, but the lack of responsiveness has left many questioning their initial vote.

The protests are also for the number of unarmed black teens that have been shot down by white individuals in recent years. These protests show solidarity for Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, and others that have been subjugated to unjustified deaths.

In the case of Renisha McBride, a Detroit white man who shot an unarmed black teenager on his porch on the basis of self-defence, he has now been found guilty and sentenced to jail for second degree murder. The win was a surprise for some Americans, as the American judicial system does not always work in favour of those that share different amounts of melanin.

The situation in Ferguson has not yet been resolved, as US Governor, Jay Nixon, of the state of Missouri has now declared a state of emergency in the suburb of Ferguson.


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