Falling into Ferguson at the symposium

This year’s fall symposium was a very informative and important forum where professors from Black Hawk College discussed the knowledge they have about certain news stories.

Sarah Morrison, who is a professor of sociology at Black Hawk College, gave a presentation on her understanding of what is happening in Ferguson. Michael Brown, who was 17 years old at the time of his death, was walking down a street with one of his friends when a police officer approached the young men. The end result was Brown getting fatally shot by the police officer and controversy was ignited.

Brown was unarmed when he was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson. There has been a lot of racial tension in the St. Louis suburb during the aftermath of the shooting. Professor Morrison was very informative in explaining the demographics of Ferguson, where one third of the population is African-American. 22 percent of people living in Ferguson are below the Federal poverty line.

Many people believe that Brown was the victim of racial targeting. Others at the forum were questioning if this situation was important enough to attract national media attention, and some even say the story has been overhyped. One of the spectators in the audience explained her experience with the Ferguson area as her daughter attends the University of Missouri at St. Louis.

The woman explained how she observed peaceful protesting when she was in the St. Louis area. She explained that she witnessed no acts of violent protesting. Professor Morrison did show some images of some violent protesting such as people breaking windows of small businesses and yelling in the street. People everywhere in America should take the time to be more informed about what is happening in Ferguson.

Professor Morrison also talked about “White Flight” where the facts and statistics proved the facts right in front of my face – it is very segregated in St. Louis and all of Missouri. Segregation seems to be progressively getting worse in the area and it needs to be addressed. Demographics showed certain areas where Caucasians have moved out of areas that have become populated by more African Americans.

This could be happening for whatever reason and I got the feeling that something needs to be said, and the issue should be immediately addressed. Unfortunately, Michael Brown will forever be remembered for a negative reason, but hopefully segregation will be the focus of an area that needs to be improved in Missouri and racism of all kind put to an end.