Rioting not best way to handle Missouri Grand Jury decision

So, a Grand Jury in St. Louis County, Mo., decided not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson who fatally shot an unarmed
African-American teeanager, Michael Brown, and as a result, members of the Ferguson, Mo., African-American community decided to riot and burn down a huge chunk of their own neighborhood.

Ugly. And stupid. Not to mention illegal.

We acknowledge without reservation that black people in this country are too often perceived to be guilty of something, thus too often killed, by police officers. There have been several such incidents in recent months and it isn’t surprising that black Americans feel that they are treated not only as second-class citizens, but as citizens who are presumed to be guilty.

We don’t believe the majority of white police officers feel that way, but some do because, like the rest of society, police officers are merely human and carry with them, as do we all, our prejudices and biases and assumptions into their jobs.

Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans … they all assume that white Americans often assume the worst of them and too often they are right.

But rioting, looting and burning are hardly the way to deal with this. In the end, it will change nothing except to harden the assumptions of many white Americans that black Americans are lawless. ‘Hey, look at what happened in Ferguson because a Grand Jury made a decision.’

We heard one protester say on the radio last week that the rioting wouldn’t have happened had the Grand Jury indicted Wilson.

Really? So, unless a legal entity does precisely what you want you’re going to riot? Then it would be all right if white Missiourians had rioted if the Grand Jury had indicted Wilson?

Black Americans have a legitimate grievance, sometimes, perhaps often, but rioting and burning don’t help their case.