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Commentary: Baltimore riots reveal U.S. fault in social division, legal system again

English.news.cn   2015-04-28 22:55:18

BEIJING, April 28 (Xinhua) -- Riots in streets of Baltimore is another piece of evidence that the United States is now profoundly divided, and its society has become increasingly unstable while its legal system fails to meet the expectation of its citizens.

Racial problem has cut deep in the United States and its law enforcement has played a large part in this because of its notorious history of abusing power against minorities.

What began as a peaceful protest over the mysterious death of a 25-year-old African American Freddie Gray has turned into arson, looting and violent confrontations with police.

This is hardly something new, as the exactly same incident had already happened last November in Ferguson, Missouri.

Even now, five decades after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the historical march from Selma to Montgomery and 150 years after the Union defeated the Confederacy, ending slavery across the United States, the country loving to brand itself as a land of freedom and equality is still looking for a way to bridge the profound division between the white and the minorities, without any promising answer in sight.

It is undeniable that racial discrimination against African Americans or other ethnic minorities, though not as obvious as in the past, still persists in every aspect of the U.S. social lives, including employment, housing, education, and particularly, justice.

Most of the Baltimore rioters are black youths, who live in poor neighborhoods without any chance to enter quality schools or to find decent jobs.

Of course, it would be wrong to defend vandalism, robbery or any other form of crimes, but people should be reminded as well that those young African Americans vented their resentment because they were angry that for better part of their life, they have been deprived of an equal opportunity merely for their skin and their poverty.

The fact is that for a black child born into a poor family, his/her chance is very limited to get good education, find a well-paid job and be accepted by the "mainstream society".

The frustration and dissatisfaction against the established social structure among young black people will impose a threat to the stability of the U.S. society.

In hinder sight, the recent series of incidents of police brutality also point to problems existing in the U.S. legal system and law enforcement, such as disproportionate ratio of white police officers opposed to other ethnic groups and the excessive use of violence in law enforcement.

Similar to what happened in Ferguson and New York, this time in Baltimore the police were reluctant to reveal details of the case, which can only add fuel to the rage against them.

The nonchalance, if not arrogance, of the police is not a wise move during such a public crisis, for turning a deaf ear to the cries of the public can only leave more room for suspicion and hatred to ferment.

When people develop no trust in a system, it will not be respected or obeyed any more. And to make it worse, the U.S. politicians seem to be hardly enthusiastic about fixing the policies that may lead to glaring racial disparities.

Editor: yan
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Commentary: Baltimore riots reveal U.S. fault in social division, legal system again

English.news.cn 2015-04-28 22:55:18

BEIJING, April 28 (Xinhua) -- Riots in streets of Baltimore is another piece of evidence that the United States is now profoundly divided, and its society has become increasingly unstable while its legal system fails to meet the expectation of its citizens.

Racial problem has cut deep in the United States and its law enforcement has played a large part in this because of its notorious history of abusing power against minorities.

What began as a peaceful protest over the mysterious death of a 25-year-old African American Freddie Gray has turned into arson, looting and violent confrontations with police.

This is hardly something new, as the exactly same incident had already happened last November in Ferguson, Missouri.

Even now, five decades after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the historical march from Selma to Montgomery and 150 years after the Union defeated the Confederacy, ending slavery across the United States, the country loving to brand itself as a land of freedom and equality is still looking for a way to bridge the profound division between the white and the minorities, without any promising answer in sight.

It is undeniable that racial discrimination against African Americans or other ethnic minorities, though not as obvious as in the past, still persists in every aspect of the U.S. social lives, including employment, housing, education, and particularly, justice.

Most of the Baltimore rioters are black youths, who live in poor neighborhoods without any chance to enter quality schools or to find decent jobs.

Of course, it would be wrong to defend vandalism, robbery or any other form of crimes, but people should be reminded as well that those young African Americans vented their resentment because they were angry that for better part of their life, they have been deprived of an equal opportunity merely for their skin and their poverty.

The fact is that for a black child born into a poor family, his/her chance is very limited to get good education, find a well-paid job and be accepted by the "mainstream society".

The frustration and dissatisfaction against the established social structure among young black people will impose a threat to the stability of the U.S. society.

In hinder sight, the recent series of incidents of police brutality also point to problems existing in the U.S. legal system and law enforcement, such as disproportionate ratio of white police officers opposed to other ethnic groups and the excessive use of violence in law enforcement.

Similar to what happened in Ferguson and New York, this time in Baltimore the police were reluctant to reveal details of the case, which can only add fuel to the rage against them.

The nonchalance, if not arrogance, of the police is not a wise move during such a public crisis, for turning a deaf ear to the cries of the public can only leave more room for suspicion and hatred to ferment.

When people develop no trust in a system, it will not be respected or obeyed any more. And to make it worse, the U.S. politicians seem to be hardly enthusiastic about fixing the policies that may lead to glaring racial disparities.

[Editor: huaxia]
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