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The long journey forward

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With the tension in Ferguson, Mo. easing for the moment, now is a good time to look at some of the underlying factors that moved the citizens of Ferguson to vent their frustration, in the wake of the Michael Brown shooting. The people of Ferguson like many people of color in the U.S., are fed up with the presumption of guilt until proven innocent. Being a native of the south myself, and growing up during the seventies, I saw more than my share of bigotry and racism.

That is what makes the protests in Ferguson now so disappointing. This demonstration shows just how little progress has been made over the last forty plus years, in some parts of the country, regarding race relations. The media for better or for worse has been a big factor in hopefully showing people, particularly the younger generations that is our responsibility to speak up and show everyone that changes have to be made. But the changes in attitude have to be made by all parties.

We as people of color cannot continue to view police officers as the enemy. To say that they have a thankless job, is an understatement at best. Knowing that your life is on the line every time that you punch in, can and has made many individuals in law enforcement go over the edge.

Now no one can say if that was the case for Officer Wilson at the time of the shooting. Only time and a court of law can answer that question.

But I truly hope that the people of Ferguson, Mo. sit down at some point with the police force and talk, vent if necessary and start to put some of those old black and white issues in the past where they belong.

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