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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Ferguson represents a push for Judicial reform

Protests+occurred+all+across+the+nation+as+a+result+of+the+situation+in+Ferguson
Protests occurred all across the nation as a result of the situation in Ferguson

If you’ve turned on the TV, been on Twitter or Facebook, or have just walked through a downtown area, then you probably know what has been going on in Ferguson, Missouri. Darren Wilson, a Ferguson police officer, shot unarmed Michael Brown in early August. I’m sure you all have heard every detail of the story, so there’s no point going over what happened, but I have a few thoughts on the issue. 
First, Darren Wilson should have been indicted — without a doubt. You can show me all the evidence that Brown attacked him and was “a threat,” but the fact is Brown was unarmed and nowhere near Wilson when he was shot. Not to mention he was on the ground with his hands up, a clear sign of surrender. Murder is murder no matter how justified it is, and it’s safe to say that Brown being shot was completely unjustified.
Secondly, this issue is about race, there’s no denying it. Police officers kill black people 21 more times than they do white people. But, while race is a large part of the issue, it falls under the category of human rights. Human rights imply that all humans should be treated fairly and equally, but that is not the case now. Police brutality is rampant in this country and it always has been.
Ranging from the WWI vets’ march on Washington, to the Kent State Massacre, to the Rodney King beatings, police violence isn’t a new thing — especially when it comes to police officers and black people. The protesters argue that “black lives matter,” but that’s the thing: why do they have to argue? Why is it that they have to march down streets and outside of government centers arguing this point? This is something that should have been embedded into our society long before the civil rights movement. And yet it seems as though we’ve barely progressed.
The media’s coverage of the issue doesn’t help either. The media never settles on a middle ground, it’s always one side or the other. With Ferguson it was either “Michael Brown was a saint and Darren Wilson was the leader of the KKK” or “Darren Wilson was a messenger of God and Michael Brown was the Anti-Christ.” With the media spewing their one-sided opinions and the general public too wrapped up in the latest Kim Kardashian butt pictures to generate their own thoughts on the subject, there was, and is, obviously going to be a mishandling of information.
Again, if you’ve turned on the news anytime in the past week you were bound to see the violent riots happening in Ferguson due to the lack of indictment for Wilson. I’ve read multiple accounts from protesters that the people rioting were not the protesters who spent countless nights peacefully protesting. In fact, a lot of the peaceful protesters have said that they have never seen any of those people before! Yet the media calls the people that riot “protesters,” automatically linking the peaceful protesters to the violent ones. That is why social media blew up with actual accounts of what was going on in Ferguson.
On a side note, I honestly believe that the people of Ferguson have a right to be that angry. They fear the people who are meant to protect them and when that issue finally came into light, it was shot down, solidifying the fact that police officers can get away with murder. If officials can’t understand why people are this mad when they are denied their human rights, then it’s clear that there is a fault in the system.
Ultimately, I believe that Ferguson is not only a new era civil rights movement, but also an overall push for reform within the judicial system to ensure that human rights as a whole are more protected. All around the world people are protesting their governments and showing them that they want their rights and Ferguson is just another example of humanity’s push for equality.