Does Protesting Really Work?

I was inspired by a fine rant on Facebook from Jason Hall(go on there and search for him) and it made me tear into this subject. What is it about protests that makes people think they are changing things for the better? Disagree all you want but has something happened at a protest that has produced positive results on a terrible situation? If so, please provide the name and date.

This all started when Michael Brown was shot and killed by Darren Wilson, a police officer on duty. Everyone instantly(before reading any real facts about the incident) jumped to their conclusions and joined their side of the race wars. What happened to Brown was tragic(depending on whose account you read) but the idea of rioting, looting and turning a city into a black hole on the United States map couldn’t have been the logical answer to the injustice. What did that say about our city that whenever something bad happens, people don’t attempt to stop the crimes yet only increase it. I want to know what happened to my city and how it got so dark.

Soon enough, baseball games had protesters outside in the streets because that’s right, people going to see America’s National Past time will love to see people shouting and getting in their way. That’s great. Or, let’s stand next to I-70 and try to block traffic because every single protester there knows EXACTLY what happened between Brown and Wilson. Let’s just say that Wilson did mess up and pull the trigger and was wrong; Does that really mean torch the city, shout at others and neglect the justice system? No. That isn’t the right way. People write their own rules when it comes to protesting or responding to tragedy.

This week, another black kid was killed by a white cop, and before somebody could elaborate on the incident, sides were quickly joined. It didn’t matter that the victim shot bullets at the officer, who was off duty. That wouldn’t fit right into their story. It happened in South City, right off Shaw avenue. This is right where I grew up and where I live now.  I don’t feel the least bit sorry for the victim but I won’t jump to the side of the protesters for the cop either because I don’t know all the details I don’t know what really happened between these two people before one of them perished. How am I to come here or to some location and judge something when all the details may never be known? The witnesses that come forward are great but who knows if they are telling the truth? How much trust is there in this world to believe a word others tell you?

Instead, I will step back and look at the way our society are conducting themselves. I will look at all the violence in my city and wonder if this is a place I want my son to grow up in. St. Louis is high on the crime list and these past few months confirm that it isn’t getting better. It’s getting worse. I won’t cry for the cops because I have ran into a few rough ones in my days but I do know they are horribly underpaid and overworked. I won’t respect the people who voted in the politicians and are mad now when those elected officials aren’t doing anything positive to help the situation. I will just stand here and look at my city with sad eyes. This is happening all around the world and around the planet. Forget oil or water. Peace is a fleeting thing and that doesn’t bode well for anyone’s future, especially my son and his future children.

Before you jump out to your next protest rally, remember there are a lot of horrible things happening around the planet that people are aware of and know all the details. These two crimes are unfortunate but are two inside an entire box of Pandora’s greatest hits. That isn’t lessening the drama of two deaths but broadening the scope on bigger issues. Poverty, unemployment and the all encompassing scope of crime. People killing each other. Every day. All around the world. That is the issue. DO you have enough people to protest that? All death. A few weeks after Brown’s death, a cop was shot and killed in Utah, but nothing was heard of that. Last month, a cop was killed in Rochester, New York chasing a criminal but nothing made National news. These days, it all depends not who was shot but what color their skin was. Ask me and all of it makes me sick.

It makes want to get into a damn space ship and fly off into the future or another dimension and find a safer place to live. A place where I don’t have to think twice about going out for a run. A place I can watch my son play in the street and not wonder if something bad may find him right across the street. A place where my everyday anxiety about my family’s safety isn’t at a high. Does that place exist or am I stuck in this world I live in?

I’ve quoted this before and will do it again.

Ernest Hemingway once said, “The world is a beautiful place and worth fighting for.” As always, I believe only in the second part.

Come back to me, peaceful world. That is what everybody wants at the end of the day. Why do I think it is impossible to attain right now?

Thanks for listening and follow my everyday beats on twitter, @buffa82.

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Author: D. Buffa

A regular guy who feels a journalistic hunger to tell the news. I blog because its wired into my brain to write what I think in print. I offer an opinion. A solo tour here. Take regular stories and offer my spin on them. Sports, film, television, music, fatherhood, culture, food, and so on. Commentary on everything. A St. Louis native and Little Rock resident who wants to write just to keep the hands fresh and ready.

2 thoughts on “Does Protesting Really Work?”

  1. The protestors are total hypocrites, their complaint is that Michael Brown died without due process yet that is exactly what they want to skip in arresting, charging and trying Darron Wilson. That is what the Grand Jury is for.

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