The Great Divide

The Rev. Al Sharpton speats at a voting rally at Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012. Sharpton's visit was a preview of his scheduled march and rally next month, to raise awareness for the upcoming anniversary of

The Rev. Al Sharpton speats at a voting rally at Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012. Sharpton's visit was a preview of his scheduled march and rally next month, to raise awareness for the upcoming anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," the seminal event that led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. (AP Photo/David Tulis)

In the last month, Ferguson, Missouri has faced great difficulty in maintaining the safety of its streets due to the controversial killing of the 18-year old young black male named Michael Brown. This controversy was spurred by the undetermined cause for his death. What is fully understood was that he was unarmed and shot six times by a white police officer during what is believed to be a robbery of a convenient store. However, the American media and the local police force developed completely opposite stories. The police force claims that the young man physically assaulted the police officer, justifying his actions in opening fire on the man. The people of Ferguson interpreted the take down as a race issue, in which the blacks were discriminated against by whites. This victim mentality has provoked a wave of rage with mobs of blacks gathering to form a riot against the local police force.

News of the rioting has been amplified by the media, intensifying the issue nationwide. Black leaders such as Al Sharpton, leader of the NAACP, have stepped up to the main stage of the issue in order to promote the spirit and vitality of the black community. The whole question about the incident is not necessarily on what exactly happened, but why has this crime case caused ensuing riots and has caught the whole nation’s attention for several weeks?

This whole scenario can be compared to a similar case, the 1992 Los Angeles Riots or also known as the Rodney King Riots. The riots in Los Angeles started after the people saw a video tape of multiple white police officers beating a black man named Rodney King during a high-speed police pursuit. Thousands of people throughout the metropolitan area in Los Angeles rioted over six days.

The main difference between the Ferguson riots and the LA riots was that the consequences in this riot were far much worse than Ferguson riots, with over 2000 injuries and 50 deaths. However, the main similarity between this riot and the Ferguson riots was that both caught the nation’s attention and created racial unrest. In both instances, the case of the crime is not fully explicit, but the black community assumes that the underlying theme was because of race.

Sharpton has only instigated the situation, causing more violence in the black community. He describes this period as a “defining moment for this country”, an exaggeration that refers back to the civil rights era when blacks were struggling to achieve their independence.

The key element that must be recognized by the American public is that the liberal media and the black community has categorized the shooting as primarily a race issue. Instead of just giving in to a victim mentality, black Americans need to fully rationalize the incident and think again on what really happened. Americans should be not pulling out the race card just because there was tragedy that happened between two different races. Clearly in this country, there isn’t any apparent racism that needs to be dealt with. The United States of America has struggled through many hardships to become the most diverse and the least racist nation in the world. In the last 40 years there has not been any laws that has discriminated any race, gender, or religion.