August 21, 2014
Two Deaths, Two Protests
After watching Ferguson burn for almost two weeks, it is interesting to see how a different community responds to similar circumstances.
On August 11th, just two days after the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, an unarmed 20-year-old was shot dead in Salt Lake City. Dillon Taylor was killed by a police officer as he exited a convenience store.
The cases are eerily similar. Both victims were unarmed. Both victims had questionable backgrounds. Both were killed by
a seemingly alleged over-zealous police officers. In both cases, protests followed.
And there are some differences that shouldn't be relevant. In the Brown case, the victim was black and the officer was white. In the Taylor case, the victim was white and the officer was black.
The biggest differences, however, that should be relevant, are the protests that followed. In Salt Lake City, protesters did not loot and destroy businesses. Protesters did not attack the police. President Obama did not call the death of Taylor "heartbreaking and tragic." Attorney General Eric Holder did not send teams of DOJ investigators to make certain Taylor's civil rights were not violated. The media hasn't swarmed Salt Lake City to report the alleged injustices the local community faces from a militarized, "racist" police force. Protesters are not calling for the death of the officer involved. The Governor is not demanding "vigorous prosecution" before the facts of the case have come out.
But the biggest difference of all, it seems, is that white victims don't matter and black victims do. While protesters in Ferguson will adamantly disagree with that, the response from our leaders and our media prove otherwise.