Is Ferguson Anomalous?


Clarissa Rile Hayward, PhD, associate professor of political science in Arts & Sciences

Last weekend in Ferguson, Missouri, an unarmed black teenager was shot and killed by a white police officer. Over the course of the week, protesters — mostly African Americans from this majority-black community — were threatened and tear-gassed by the local police, most of whom are white. Throughout the nation, there was a widespread sense of outrage at such bold-faced racial injustice.

Were the events in Ferguson anomalous? Were they a departure from the shared values of “equality” and “reverence for the dignity of every single man, woman, and child” that President Obama, in his statement Thursday afternoon, claimed Americans share?

Or were they evidence that racist beliefs and attitudes have not changed as dramatically as many think: that, rather than equality and the dignity of all, many racially privileged Americans continue to endorse inequality and racial hierarchy?

Read full article in Washington Post

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