“Justice too long delayed is justice denied:” Civil rights, oppression and a lesson learned

Hello Gentlemen and Ladies,

I am writing you in regards to the article: “Protests in Missouri unfair to local businesses.” Written by: Tanner Streicher. Although this article title is great, the deliverance was wrong. Yes, the local businesses are being treated unfair by the rioting. However, this article does not focus on how the rioting has affected the businesses at all. The title does not project what the article entails. This article was turned into a race issue made off of personal opinion. I am an African-American mother who is raising young women to believe in people and the world is capable of change.

I have taken an interest in your paper mainly because my daughter became a student at your school fall of 2010. I was very proud of her being hired on with your paper last year. I have enjoyed the articles as well as other positive things that happen at EWU campus.

In this article, there were several things that caught my eye and appalled me. When writing you are never to write to insult an audience or show prejudice to a race, gender, religion, culture, sexual orientation, etc. There is a way to argue to inform and not argue to insult. Mr. Streicher needs to learn cultural differences in logical arguments. This article was very offensive and ill informed. It was written with personal opinion that shows lack of evidence, character or facts. It also upsets me that this article was not proof read by someone who would catch the disrespect and require editing to be done. This is learned in English 101/102.

First, let’s start with the constant comments of “they.” This could have been corrected with stating: Protestors or demonstrators or even African-American protesters. The entire comment of paragraph six is offensive and written to disrespect not to inform. If Mr. Streicher would have taken the time to learn something about the African-American history, he would understand the difference between civil rights and oppressed communities. The question Mr. Streicher asks, “Why the ‘black community’ has its own set of problems?” That is something that maybe if a few questions were asked, or even researched events that have happened in “black communities” he would understand. It is proven that poverty stricken African-American neighborhoods are in need of much help and reconstruction. This question was insulting and degrading. We as a community don’t jump on board every time there is an injustice of an African-American claiming foul play or corruption. We understand as with any ethnicity that wrong is wrong. We understand as a culture that we have to teach our youth to present themselves with respect to earn respect.

Mr. Streicher comments, “In reality, they are treated the same, or even better in most cases, as white Americans.” He continues, “In the past 20 years African-Americans have been treated very well in the U.S.” How did he come up with this statement? This is his opinion because he did not grow up in an African-American neighborhood or have been in the situation that African-Americans have been in. He is taking for granted because he has not seen, heard or experienced injustice that it has not happened. We as African-Americans are still fighting to be seen, heard and respected.

Next, the last two paragraphs closing the article: “This tragedy has been used to push an agenda for the leaders in the African-American community is wrong,” and “Looking at all aspects of the tragedy and figuring out a way to change the community for the better and not play the blame game as if we are children.” All I can say is how dare he make a statement like this. Did he research that, Iyanla Vanzant, an African-American inspiration speaker, lawyer, spiritual speaker, life coach and author went to Ferguson and spoke to the community encouraging peace and change. She met with police and leaders of the community to help find a resolution. She spoke to the community for days, praying and educating them the correct way to solve the misfortune that occurred. Did it occur to Mr. Streicher that other avenues were occurring within the community? Peace talks, patience, standing down, protest peacefully. Judging the whole community because of the actions of a few who just want to do violence is unjust. Does Mr. Streicher know that there were other races in protest against the crime that happened? It was not just the African-American community as it was portrayed in the media. There were numerous Caucasian-Americans, Asians and Hispanics. For Mr. Streicher to insinuate that every bad event that happens within the African-American community is a reason to make an agenda for the leaders of the African-American community to step in and heighten such tragedies is ridiculous.

In closing, I believe in the words that Martin Luther King, Jr. stated in his Letter from a Birmingham jail: “Justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

I hope in the future of this paper that nothing as amateur and insulting as this will be published again.


Shakira Fernandez