Ferguson: One Year Later

Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson speaks with Dr. Carl Taylor, a professor of sociology at Michigan State University, and Rachel Lippmann, a reporter from St. Louis Public Radio. They talk about what America has learned and how we have changed since the first protests in Ferguson, Missouri following Michael Brown’s death. The main points:

  •  Tensions in the air: Taylor says that African American communities have experienced a mix of confusion and outrage in the past year after Michael Brown’s death and the rioting that followed. Taylor and Stephen talk about how the Black Lives Matter movement has impacted and been experienced by black people, white people, and the police.
  • A growing divide?: Taylor says that tensions between black communities and the police have existed for many years. He says that even though the killing of Michael Brown has helped to bring these racial conflicts into the public eye, the view we are getting is neither close enough nor slow enough to take in all of the facts. According to Taylor, we see a divide not only between the criminal justice system and the public, but also between those in the community who support the police, and those who support the victim.
  • Trigger-happy: A caller brings up the issue of the possible impact of violent video games on our culture, which could make young police officers more comfortable pulling the trigger. Stephen and Taylor talk about how our culture as a whole is more accepting of violence because of our increased consumption of violent media.
  • Current unrest: Lippmann explains the recent events in Ferguson, which marked the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown’s death. She talks about the planned four days of commemoration that spiraled out of control and led to a shootout and multiple arrests. She says that further protests are expected in response to these events.
  • A moving story: A caller recalls a memory when she saw through the eyes of a black person for the first time in her life. Her story begins with the discovery of a black man in her car and concludes with the realization that their encounter could have ended in the man’s death.

To hear the full discussion click the audio link above.

Image credit: Voice of America

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