Anthropologists on Ferguson

Understandably, there’s been a lot of talk about the Michael Brown case in Ferguson as of late, including on this blog. The protesting and soul-searching has only intensified as the Eric Garner case has been added to the mix. That got me thinking, surely people who study these kinds of cases have something a little more insightful to add to the discussion than the laypeople who suddenly all have an authoritative opinion about race relations in America they must share. The blog Anthropoliteia shared some reactions that anthropologists/criminologists had on Twitter.

The thing is that none of these experts knew what exactly to do either. As the post says:

“Which is not to say that everything in the case is terribly ambiguous. Quite the opposite: another young black man has been the victim of a deadly and unaccountable state violence in front of our very eyes. I suppose the disorientation lay in how to move forward, and for that I have no strong answers.”

They did point out some crucial things. How people brought to court are almost always indicted, with the exception of police. How Darren Wilson’s testimony just didn’t add up. I guess the best even the most experienced of us can do, is to keep an open mind and commit ourselves to change.