Letter to the Editor

Lack of civility in protests

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The rioting, looting and burning of buildings we witnessed in Ferguson, Missouri, following the grand jury's acquittal of the policeman who shot and killed an unarmed youth are symbolic of two developments:

1. Death of civility in protesting real or perceived injustice, as practiced by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1960s;

2. Bankruptcy of moral leadership in the black community in the United States.

The truth is that even if the police officer was indicted and found not guilty by an impartial court of law, the results would have been the same. In other words, the black community has concluded that the death of a black man in the hands of a white policeman always means that the policeman was wrong, and rioting, looting and burning buildings is right.

The tragedy is that there are no truly sensible black leaders in this country today who have the moral authority to teach these aggrieved people to protest in a civil way. Every so-called leader has justified their criminal behavior by saying he has "understood why they have resorted to this kind of behavior." None has the moral authority to tell them loud and clear, "Rioting, looting and burning buildings is a sign of utter lack of culture and civility. It is criminal and reprehensible. It merely creates hatred for you guys in the entire world. Without world sympathy for your plight, you cannot change anyone. Eye for an eye merely makes everyone blind. Wake up and look at yourself."

K.P.S. KAMATH, Cape Girardeau