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The streets of Ferguson still burn with rage as they prepare for to lay Michael Brown’s body to rest. Residents are furious that their African-American president has not shown his face during this time of tragedy. Many have said they understand Obama is the leader of the free world and has a lot of pertinent issues going on, but still feel he should have shown up by now because he definitely understands the pain of being black in America.
Others have spoken out about it as well saying over half of the state voted for Barak and now that they need him he is not there. They stood together and represented him and now it is his turn to return the favor. Celebrities such as Sean Combs released a YouTube video stating, “Obama needs to get on a plane right now and help his people.” The streets are filled with rage as residents continuously scream,
F**k Obama, we need him and what has he done? What has he changed? He hasn’t done s**t and hasn’t come to help!
Overall it seems Americans are not as angry with President Obama’s response to Ferguson as they were former President George Bush’s response the Los Angeles riots in 1992. Those riots originated after a white policeman was acquitted in the bloody beating of Rodney King. The mostly Caucasian officers were recorded beating King after they were forced to endure a high-speed police chase. King, who later died, made history as many African-American poured out support for this unjust act.
The uproar caused by the “Rodney King” beating included a chain of riots, lootings, arsons and overall civil unrest which took place in Los Angeles County. These were the largest riots seen in the United States since the 1960s and the worst in terms of death toll after the New York City draft riots in 1863.
The riot was first started in South Central Los Angeles and then eventually spread out into other areas over a six-day period within the Los Angeles metropolitan area. On April 29, immediately following the four Los Angeles Police officers were acquitted of assault and use of excessive force, the riots began. Thousands of people throughout the metropolitan area in Los Angeles rioted over six days following the announcement of the verdict.
For African-Americans in general, it seems since that time not much, if anything has changed. Black men are still being harassed, beat and even killed at the hands of white law enforcement with no signs of change in the near future. Ferguson, a town which many had never heard of, suddenly turned into a war zone complete with military forces confirming that racial tension and pain is very much alive and well.
For others outside of the African-American culture to say this is not a racial issue at its roots shows nothing but ignorance. It is remarks such as these which continue to fuel the anger that many Ferguson residents are experiencing. Being black in America has been a problem since the slave ships; to hear others say, “These folks need a purpose; they just need something to do” after a tragedy such as this ignites an emotional uprising.
This is the very reason Ferguson streets burned with rage after feeling ignored by their African-American president. Obama has been touched with the pain that exists for many of these residents. The racial comments that continue to run through the media surrounding his color and heritage are a reflection of what is still very prominent in the minds of many concerning the African-American race. These residents are left feeling slighted by the man they voted for and continuously mishandled by those designed to protect them.
President Obama was highly criticized when he spoke up concerning Trayvon Martin and as a result may have been reluctant to fully address this incident. One can only imagine why he has not shown up for these people of color but chose to send Eric Holder in his stead. One thing is certain, as the town of Ferguson prepares to celebrate Michael Brown’s life, residents are furious that their African-American president has not shown his face during this tragic time.
* WARNING EXPLICIT LANGUAGE
Opinion By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)