By now, you’ve heard the news. There will be no indictment for Officer Wilson, the man who shot Michael Brown. Shortly after this announcement was made, there was rioting and violence in Ferguson, among numerous arrests. In the wake of all this information, America has been wondering: what do we do now? After deep thought, the answer is obvious: we need another Martin Luther King.
Before talking about why that is an obvious solution, we talk about the rioters themselves. First off, separate the “rioters” from the “protestors”. Yes, there were certainly some protestors who took part in the riots. But I have serious doubts that there were people out there “Looting for Michael Brown”. Like in any situation, there were a few that took advantage of the chaos. Without a unified agreement of action, cop cars were flipped, fires were started and arrests began.
For those protestors who did riot, it’s important to understand their anger. My first reaction to the news last night was to speak about their feelings: this isn’t all about a life sentence for Officer Wilson. It’s about seeing justice enacted fairly for all people. It’s about rebuilding a bridge of trust that has been absolutely shattered. It’s about someone, anyone, stepping forward and saying, “Sorry that this happened to you.” But this feelings are not being articulated. Instead, they are being lumped together (mostly by the media) into unrest about a verdict. So every time a headline comes out of Ferguson, all America will see is rage, instead of a message.
For those two reasons, we need another leader like Martin Luther King Jr. Someone with strong charisma and magnetic charm. An individual that knows how to elevate people who feel as if they can do little to change the world. A person that can speak for so many other people. This person would unite the masses from across the nation. On days like this, we would look toward our leader with heavy hearts and ask what should be done next. That person would step up and give a statement. Not only would that statement help to soothe the disappointment, but encourage all to keep fighting, albeit non-violently.
It’s not that the protestors and supporters can’t be trusted on their own. Or that the movement for justice isn’t strong. But imagine how much stronger it could be. Think back to Occupy Wall Street. Although tons of people were involved, it eventually faded from daily consciousness. They may have had numbers, but no direction and no defined spokesperson. This movement will also fade into obscurity-unless someone steps up to guide it.
In the wake of injustice, there will always be a risk of violence. Whether you believe that the officer was innocent or guilty, there’s no debating that an injustice was done to Michael Brown and his family. The people who chose to riot last night believed that destruction was the only answer to his passing. But I choose to believe that there can be another answer. Another way. Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed of equality for all. Because of what he was able to do, a hope remains etched in my heart that a day will come where everyone in this country gets a fair chance and is judged the same way. It’s long overdue for these dreams and hopes to become a reality.
If you believe that too, then my only question to you is:
How are you with large crowds?