Hate does not bring progress

Talia Alvarez, Staff Writer

As 2014 came to an end, chants such as “black lives matter” and “I can’t breath” were screamed by thousands of angry protesters around the U.S. as they looted and destroyed their own cities in the name of equality.

The now infamous grand jury decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9, 2014, spurred highly publicized riots and protests starting in Ferguson, Missouri, where Brown was shot, and spread to  many cities including Washington D.C., Boston and New York, according
to CNN.

According to KTVU News, the court’s ruling has brought to light feelings of racial inequality as well as a wide-spanning belief that police use excessive force and brutality, especially when the perpetrator is not white. These allegations are not completely unfounded.

According to Reuters, a 2013 Missouri state attorney general’s report found that, in Ferguson, more than 85 percent of motorists pulled over in the city are black and the arrest rate among blacks is double that of white residents, so there is obviously some truth to the accusations. That being said, the retaliation for the Ferguson case has damaged many U.S. cities where protests were held.

According to the New York Times, there have been over 400 arrests made around the U.S. for violence during the riots. Messages such as “f— the police” were spray painted on walls and cop cars, buildings were set on fire, businesses were looted for weeks and gunshots were fired after the controversial verdict.

After surveying all of the damage caused by the riots, the question that come to mind is why all of the hate? Because we live in a free country and exercise our first amendment rights daily, U.S. citizens will always hold the right to protest. But violence is not what great leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. would have wanted. Was this protest a real cry for help or was it simply an easy form of revenge?

Not only have the riots spun out of control, but protestors and followers of the movement have now turned their anger toward the law enforcement that helps protect the people of our nation, officers who place their lives in danger every day.

Tension between law enforcement and regular citizens only rose after the Dec. 20, 2014, shooting of two uniformed police officers in Brooklyn by Ismaayil Brinsley as they simply sat in their marked police car in what the New York Post described as “…a crazed gunman’s assassination-style mission to avenge Eric Garner and Michael Brown.” Sadly, there have been cries of approval for this tragedy as people approve of this vigilante justice. Simply type in Ismaayil Brinsley to Twitter or Instagram to see posts of support for the police slaying.

According to Yahoo News, the National Order of Fraternal Police is asking for violent crimes against police officers to be considered a hate crime, which will ensure harsher punishment. The new law aims to protect law enforcement officials from being targeted simply because of their uniform.

An attack based on the motive of appearance should be considered a hate crime, it is not right to end a life simply because of their occupation and only good can come of this new law.

We have all heard the expression “an eye for an eye” and we all know that sort of thinking never solves anything. Solving murder with murder is never a solution and hate will never bring peace to the mind.