I support the people nonviolently protesting the deaths of Eric Garner in Staten Island, N.Y., and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. It’s so uncommon for a killing to be protested, it intrigues me the extremely rare times it happens. According to the FBI, there were 14,827 homicides in the United States in 2012, one homicide every 35 minutes. Yet, sadly, I can’t think of a murder that year that sparked a protest receiving national news coverage.
So why, in 2014 – when there have already been a comparable number of homicides to 2012 – have there been massive protests over two alleged homicides? The main reason is that policemen are the presumed culprits, and the people of Ferguson and Staten Island believe they won’t be punished. If they are, it won’t be for murder, as the people of those two places believe they should.
Though it would be tragic if the police involved in the deaths actually are guilty of murder but acquitted, it bothers me to no end there are more than 10,000 homicides each year in the United States, yet more than 99.9 percent of them barely cause anyone to raise an eyebrow. In fact, normally, when someone is murdered in this country, the only people who give a hoot about it are the victim’s family and the law. Why?
I see the power of the nonviolent protests over the deaths of Garner and Brown, and they’re probably going to bring the justice that people want. However, how civilized is our nation when it’s only outraged by maybe two killings out of thousands each year? All humans are equally important. Why are all murders not remotely of equal importance? How much time would murder have left if we rallied against each one with the same level of determination as Brown’s and Garner’s?