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Race And Our “Oh This Again” Attitude

Changing our laws is like changing our clothes. The outside changes, but the inside doesn’t.

The protest at the University of Missouri is another beautiful opportunity to grow as a community.

On Monday amid civil rights protests on campus, both the school chancellor and the head of the University of Missouri System vacated their administrative positions.

Mizzou’s campus has become the stage for civic discussion and movement, and refreshingly so. But still, many disapprove of the intentions behind the protesters’ movement. We don’t have to look very hard to find those who are displaying an “Oh-this-again?” attitude.

Collectively, we watched the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, as many took to the streets and some took to looting. We witnessed altercations between law enforcement and Eric Garner in New York, Freddie Gray in Baltimore, and Walter Scott in South Carolina.

Regardless of which position you take on these individual cases, the community reactions can’t be ignored.

Thankfully, these situations weren’t ignored. They became famous. Unfortunately, much of the attention they’ve gained has been of disapproval. With every recurrence of racial unrest comes a healthy dose of the “oh-this-again?” attitude.

I’m not fabricating the “oh-this-again” attitude out of thin air.

Someone said it to me as we sat scrolling through our Facebook feeds. His reaction didn’t surprise me, but my reaction surprised him.

“Oh, this again?” he lamented. He couldn’t comprehend why they were protesting again. “Can you believe it, man?” I replied as I shook my head. “Can you believe that we haven’t solved much since Ferguson? Can you believe we haven’t solved much since New York, Baltimore, or South Carolina?”

What we’re seeing is a pattern, not a phenomenon.