Opinion

Don’t base your Ferguson opinion on your own race

by Antonia Salisbury

Opinion Editor

Since the grand jury released the verdict against Darren Wilson’s indictment in the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, MO, there has been a huge divide in public opinion regarding the case. Many people find that the case reflects a monumental failure of the American justice system; others think that the grand jury interpreted evidence from the case to the best of its ability. There are also those who prefer not to choose either side in this heated debate due to a lack of conclusive information or personal knowledge. Nonetheless, the majority of people believe that the most significant issue brought to light during the Ferguson case is that of racism’s presence in the U.S. government.

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The notion that one must consider his or her own race in questioning the morality of a situation is alarming and illogical. Publications varying from personal blogs to academically renowned newspapers have released articles informing different ethnicities about what their opinion should be based on their race. For example, Time magazine released an article titled “Why Ferguson Should Matter to Asian-Americans.” While the article points out many prevalent issues regarding African-American and Asian-American relations and the importance of heritage, the premise of the article is disturbing. I believe that it is wrong to formulate an opinion about Ferguson based on your own race rather than upon an unbiased interpretation of public evidence relating to the trial.

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Though there are many people who are directly affected by the events in Ferguson and who are personally or racially linked to the situation, there are also those who formulate their opinions based on their own racial biases. This is not to say that everyone who feels strongly about Ferguson is racist, but many people from all ethnicities strictly base their opinion on the race of those involved. Even in the realm of people who believe that Ferguson is a judicial atrocity and who were in favor of Wilson’s indictment, I have come across several people who actually know nothing about the case. Instead, they see themselves as social justice warriors gunning for the underdogs. On the other hand, the Christian Science Monitor released statistics detailing that approximately twice as many African Americans were in favor of indictment than Caucasians were. In the case of both African-Americans and Caucasians alike, this can be attributed to racism. Though racism is more often experienced from Whites to Blacks and though this is a more prevalent issue in the U.S., racism does exist in the opposite direction.

Essentially, in considering your own race over the facts provided in a case, you are, by definition, making a racist decision. So, when developing an opinion of the Ferguson case, remove yourself from the situation, and analyze the facts from an unbiased point of view.

Categories: Opinion, Web Exclusive

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