John Inazu, JD, PhD, associate professor of law
We all know the slogans meant to express empathy and solidarity: “We are Columbine.” “We are all New Yorkers.” “I am Trayvon Martin.” The “We are Ferguson” messages have already begun, and we will likely see more.
The well-intended connections seldom work. Most of us are not Columbine because most of us did not lose children in our community in a high school mass shooting. We are not all New Yorkers because only some of us experienced the aftermath of 9/11 at Ground Zero. I am not Trayvon Martin because I am not a black male.
Are we Ferguson? That’s a harder question.
Ferguson has a median household income of $36,645 and an unemployment rate topping 13%. And as the world now knows, Ferguson’s overwhelmingly white police force arrests blacks at a pace nearly four times higher than whites. On the other hand, although you wouldn’t know it from most of the news coverage, Ferguson is also one of the most racially integrated municipalities in Missouri. It includes not only working-class blacks and white professionals, but also black professionals and working-class whites. And many of Ferguson’s residents bridge racial and socioeconomic lines in their neighborhoods.
With all of its complexities, Ferguson does not sound like my world.
Read full article on CNN.com