Like millions of Americans I spent a good part of last night glued to CNN so I could watch the mayhem that was taking place in Ferguson, Missouri. Ironically, as a former professor of Education in St. Louis I used to work with teachers from that city. We often discussed prejudice and poverty which was all too common in Ferguson. In all honesty, prejudice against blacks was just normal in St. Louis. Heck, when I first arrived in the sixties Jews could not even purchase homes in certain suburban areas around St.Louis. So, the night unfolded, well armed police wandered the streets pushing back black skinned men, women and children. They were out protesting, this I understand. But, it was never clear to me what was the goal of protests last night? I saw them in New York, Boston, Philadelphia and other places, people marching down the street, blocking highways in order to protest.
The essence of a protest is to accomplish something. I felt last night the protesters were engaged in an act of emotional anger. I am NOT criticizing their protests. But at some point Americans society must move from protests in the streets to actions in our legislatures about laws. I doubt if most protesting had any laws in mind they wanted to have passed. How about a few simple laws?
1. Police are trained to fire at the legs of potential offenders.
2. Then again, police are trained to initially focus on using words to calm down a potential child warrior or young black dude in the streets.