All races should care about Ferguson case

Jake Tapley

The events in Ferguson, Missouri, may be old news now, but their repercussions are still in full swing.

Just the other day, a Facebook friend of mine – as in, I don’t really know this person at all – shared a status that someone else had posted to their page. I found it to be ignorant and a little offensive.

This person’s status was comparing the Ferguson situation to an instance that happened in a town closer to them where two young black males killed a young white girl and stole her bike.

The status went on about how these young men were horrible people and how this act was not getting the same amount of attention as the Michael Brown case, though certainly still a racial hate crime.

I agree with the first part, but here’s the thing: there is no way to tell that this was a racial hate crime.

The only motive we can make out of the situation, if any, is that they were being young, reckless and possibly wanting her bike.

It seems too commonplace in our society for white people to get offended when black people are seen in the media talking about acts of racism or hate crimes against them and then to try to flip the situation around.

But I don’t think it really works the other way.

White privilege is still a real thing, and the sooner you can acknowledge that, the better.

Now, this obviously doesn’t mean that black people don’t stand a chance or that white people don’t have to try. Human equality (or as near as we can get) is finally starting to become a practice – gradually.

It simply means that maybe Ferguson is a bigger deal because of the deeper implications of a white law enforcement officer gunning down a young black man.

Regardless of the details or specifics, and regardless of where you stand on the matter, just think about it.

On average, young white men and women on our campus probably feel more at ease around security or law enforcement personnel than their black counterparts.

This is white privilege in its most basic form.

So why shouldn’t Ferguson, Missouri, deserve our attention? Why shouldn’t we care?