The riots in Ferguson City, MO are dying down, according to Reuters. The people have probably gone back and looked at the footage police released about the fateful day when Michael Brown was shot by the city policeman.
The flames of rage might be dying down but that’s not the same for me. I am separated by 5 hours, 300 miles from my family and they are in some county out there in Missouri.
I have been assured they are safe; they are not in the same neighborhood as the riots and they probably do not even know what’s going on there. Where they are, they are not watching TV and listening to strange talking heads on TV spewing all this gibberish.
But the whole thing has brought me full center. I can do nothing much, couldn’t really have done much if they were smack in the center of that theater. The rage we saw on the screens as Ferguson’s young men and women went to war with the National Guard was frightening. It brought back memories of some disturbing happenings back home, especially when politicians decide to tussle it out in the public, destroying the peace.
What do you do when you are new to the place and are only trying to fit in?
Immigrants from Africa are mostly clueless about the issues at play in the race relations of America. Because they have come from countries where oppression is a constant in their lives, they many times do not understand what the natives of the land mean when they fight the system.
Ferguson was the same script and a different cast. This play has been staged before in so many other theaters. Everything is at once familiar and at the same time strange. Ugandans in the USA never come to the fore when these things are happening, probably because they have seen it played so many times in their lives back home.
Here, a young black man is shot and the whole city is brought to its knees. Voices that must be heard are heard and the tough questions are asked. There are those who will say the system is rigged in favor of those who control the airwaves but anyone who has seen the video of the events that led to the death of Brown will have to stop and think.
This is a great learning opportunity. Human rights are fought for all over the world, not only in Uganda where I come from. There are people who wield power n their truncheons and nightsticks and then pack the rest of that power in their heavy guns on their hips.
it is also a time to realize that the narrative can be stolen very easily. Even when a case should be open-and shut, you need to wait a bit because just as you turn your eyes away, everything might change.
America is always going to be a strange place to live in. From the different requirements one needs to survive to the different ways one can cope in this cruel, cruel country, the learning curve continues to rise, not ye even close to the apex.
Welcome to reality.