Issues of race blanket federal discrepancy

by Elpin Keshishzadeh, Opinion Editor

The events of Ferguson have taken the nation by storm and it’s become a popular topic of discussion on every news outlet, late-night TV show and family dinner table. There seems to be an even spread of arguments with subjects of racism taking the lead. Although race is still an imminent issue in this country, the events of Ferguson are bigger than race. It’s not about black and white, it’s about the federal government overstepping its power of authority.

When one suddenly finds themselves in the company of a police officer, the initial feeling isn’t often one of safety. It’s an all-too-familiar feeling of anxiety while all possibilities of wrongdoings are contemplated. That’s not the feeling one should be overcome with in the presence of an individual whose job is to uphold the safety of a nation.

This is all a result of a system that has instilled so much power in the hands of a single person that it’s influence is  abused. ”

A weapon and a badge don’t mean what it used to and it’s time this country takes stronger measures when it comes to trusting individuals with such high stakes of power.

I’ve heard many different arguments in the past week, and most have had an even divide between an officer doing his job and another black kid being a target. It’s not that black and white, so to speak, and if that’s still the only problem we see with the recent events in Ferguson, society as a whole is stuck in an different era.

Darren Wilson’s verdict didn’t shock me in regard to the race factor, because race is only part of the bigger picture, it shocked me because it was a perfect reflection of how regardless of the circumstances, society is more inclined to side with law enforcement — further fueling its false sense of power and dictatorship characteristics.

Truth be told, there are hundreds of cases a year highlighting the same scenario: A cop abusing his or her power on a civilian. The difference? The cases that go unheard don’t involve people of color, hence reducing a sense of urgency and a sensational headline quality for news outlets.

Sure, it can be argued and justified that these events carry a strong race component, but the unfortunate fact is racism won’t be wiped from the face of this earth anytime soon — racist people will always linger. What can be wiped is officers who have been given a ridiculous amount of power without any boundaries or consequences.

In the last year, 27 officers were fatally wounded, a 45 percent decrease from 2012 FBI reports. In comparison, civilian deaths from the past year hovers around 400. According to reports by The Washington Post, independent trackers and journalists “insist the accurate number of people shot and killed by police officers each year is consistently upward of 1,000.”

It’s time all protestors and activists stop pigeon-holing such a disgusting problem. If you want to represent the progression of this country, join together to fix an authority problem, not a race problem. Authority is being overstepped and skin color doesn’t promise immunity anymore.

Enough people have died because of a single person who let power get to his or her head.

The scenario between Michael Brown and Darren Wilson isn’t hard to imagine: A young man taunting an officer, undermining his authority, and it just so happened to be an officer who felt his manhood was being questioned. Regardless of Brown’s behavior, being rude isn’t means for death in this country. It’s not every citizen’s duty to be respectful of authority. It’s the duty of the individual with the badge to maintain rationality. Frankly, no one with the caveman instinct to prove strength should be an officer. No one deserves to die under the watch of an individual whose job is to protect and serve.

Although I stand with the protestors, answering violence with violence isn’t the answer. Vandalizing property isn’t going to change a verdict, it’s going to further drive a racial stereotype that exists in this country whether we like it or not. So many of these cases go unnoticed and unheard that change isn’t a suggestion, but a demand.

The riots of Ferguson have gone to show voices are being heard — whether they’re being acknowledged isn’t as important. With this issue finally getting the attention it deserves, it’s the perfect time to demand change and improvement of a system that’s clearly broken. Don’t get blinded by yet another racial divide.