In case you are having trouble understanding Ferguson and the race issue sweeping America right now, let me catch you up. Here is a plain and simple explanation of the issues and current events at hand, using the metaphor of a Donut.
The current population of Donutland is just over 316 million Donuts. About 13% of the Donut Citizens in Donutland are Jelly Donuts. Last night, a decision was made in a now-famous case involving a Powdered Donut-officer’s murder of a young Jelly Donut. The decision to not indict the Powdered Donut-officer sparked outrage and protest across Donutland. The Jelly Donut kid was fatally shot 12 times and was unarmed, but alas, the Grand Donut Jury found the Donut-officer to have aptly used self-defense, and he was not charged in the murder of the Jelly Donut.
The Donut-officer explained in his testimony that he was in danger, and regardless of what kind of Donut this was, Powdered or Jelly, he felt threatened enough to fatally shoot the Jelly Donut. He did not think to injure or disable the Donut kid, perhaps by shooting him in the leg. Instead he decided to kill the allegedly threatening Donut. Now, this Donut-officer is obviously a terrible enforcer of Donut-law. It’s painful and heartbreaking and it destroyed a family; but that isn’t the full issue that gave way to the Donutland-wide protests.
Millions of Donuts took to Twitter last night to express their rage and disappointment in Donutland, their home that is meant to be protected by Donut-officers like this one. Under Donut-law, it is said that all Donuts are created equal and thus must be treated equally, regardless of being a Powdered Donut, a Jelly Donut, a Frosted Donut, A Sprinkled Donut, or a Cronut. However, actions speak louder than words, and this is not the first case Donutland has seen in its recent history where a Powdered Donut-officer has killed a Jelly Donut kid, then claimed “self-defense,” and saw no punishment for his actions.
Donuts are mad. Donut-Hill isn’t listening to its Donut Citizens. Within the first two hours of the announcement of the Donut-officers’ trial results last night, 3.5 MILLION Donuts tweeted their shock and outrage. Actually, there wasn’t much shock; many Donuts foresaw the results of this investigation and were frustrated by their seeming lack of voice in Donutland. The St. Louis county Donut-prosecutor stated that the fate of the Donut-officer must be decided by the law and by the Grand Donut Jury, and not by “public outcry.” Obviously the Donut-officer had the right to a fair trial, OBVIOUSLY. However, the Donut-prosecutor cannot discredit the millions of unsatisfied Donut citizens enraged by the outcome of the trial, or the fact that this death even happened in the first place.
Thousands of Donuts took to the streets last night in protest of the Grand Donut Jury’s decision: most peaceful, but some not. Today, there are peaceful protests and marches in numerous Donut-states and major Donut cities like Los Donuteles, Donut of Columbia, New York Donut, St. Donut, as well as outside Donut-schools and Donut-institutions spreading across Donutland. The one message blaring throughout the streets: Jelly Donut Lives matter.
Now, I think we all know I’m talking about black people and white people and can move on without the ludicrous Donut analogy.
It’s bewildering that despite the 3.5 million tweets that were sent in the 2 hours following the announcement, the media was more interested in reporting on the small crimes being committed in the heat of widespread rage. However, the violent crimes being committed in these riots are, in the grand scheme of things, miniscule side effects of an uproarious movement. There were equal sized, if not larger riots when Joe Paterno was fired from Penn State. The couple of cars on fire and the few stores that were looted last night are not the story here: The story is the thousands peacefully protesting, demanding equal treatment. There are millions of people crying out for help and legislators are ignoring them.
On that note, if you were a friend, parent or loved one of a kid who was killed, wouldn’t that spark outrage in you? Violence is never the answer, but recognize that the same form of violence triggered by the murder of an 18-year old American kid was also triggered by just a football scandal: How do those things even hold the samegravity? Mike Brown was killed and will never be able to tell his side of the story, but the officer, Darren Wilson, isn’t being fined, barely even reprimanded, let alone punished for his terrible judgment in the job he is paid to be doing; protectingAmerican lives.
Acknowledging that there is a huge variety of citizens in this country is the first and foremost basic step to accepting and embracing America’s diverse culture. It’s not enough for white people to say “all lives matter.” What needs to be said and reinforced is “BLACK lives matter.” African-Americans are SCREAMING for someone to listen to them. They’re saying there is a race issue in this country. They’re saying they feel threatened by the police force instead of feeling protected, but white-dominated Capitol Hill isn’t listening. White people’s refusal to acknowledge the existence of white privilege stands in the way. In fact, the only people claiming there isn’t a race issue in our country are those unaffected by it: white people.
Caucasians need to understand that in The United States, being born white earns them a different and better lifestyle than many black people are even afforded. Black people are being ignored and uncared for and the white people who refuse to acknowledge their privilege are preventing this from changing. When black people say they feel underrepresented, feel threatened by those who are supposed to protect them, and are statistically jailed and criminalized more often than white people for the same crimes, all of us need to listen to them. Saying this privilege doesn’t exist in America isn’thelping. We can’t deny or discredit the feelings of these people who are being brave enough to speak up and stand up for each other. Millions of people are saying this is real and this is happening, so that means it is.
This isn’t even about whether or not the decision in the Mike Brown case was right or wrong; this is about acknowledging the bigger issue at hand in order to prevent this from happening ever again. The sad part is: it will happen again, and that is precisely why people are protesting. The tiny riots are absolutely nothing compared to the activism spreading across the country right now.
It’s time to stop negating what is being said by millions of our fellow citizens, black, white and all races. No more undermining fellow Americans’ feelings and valid experiences. No more unjustified black murders by white police officers. No more unheard words that don’t spark change. We can’t let black people be ignored or feel like they don’t carry as much weight in America as white people do.
Donut-Hill, you need to start listening to your Donuts! No more nullifying your Jelly Donuts! Jelly Donut Lives MATTER.