Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Urge President Barack Obama to prioritize human rights when reviewing policing policies
The United States is often times quick to criticize other countries such as China and North Korea for their abuse of human rights. With Ferguson police making headlines, these countries have vehemently criticized the United States for their policing policies. The president and other members of authority need to be reminded that they must uphold human rights, as it would be hypocritical of the United States not to do so.
Michael Brown was a young black youth who was shot by a white police officer. His death spurned protests and vigils in Ferguson, Missouri, where citizens raged about the unethical killing and the policing efforts in the city. Now that Brown has been buried, citizens in the country are demanding a change in policing polices. Citizens are calling specifically for the focus to be on stopping racial profiling and training officers about appropriate responses other than excessive force that can be used in complex situations.
Witnesses in Ferguson described police officers shooting rubber bullets and tear gas onto peaceful protesters. Xinhua, a Chinese state-run news agency that takes a prominent national voice, chastised the Ferguson police for shooting such bullets into the people, whereas other countries have police use riot shields or batons to protect themselves. (China is often denounced by America for abusing the Tibetan people). Russia also condemned the United States, stating that it needed to “clean house” if it wanted to be a “bastion of human rights.”
The United States needs to uphold and support human rights, and that applies especially those who hold positions of authority and power. Remind President Obama and others in power of their obligation to human rights, and ensure that what happens in Ferguson does not occur again.
Dear President Obama,
Countries such as China, Russia, and Iraq have taken to criticizing the United States for its blatant disregard for human rights. The events in Ferguson, Missouri are extremely dark, disturbing, and infuriating. It saddens me that police were so quick to hurt protesters, and it frightens me that the violence has not been stopped. While these countries have policies that are radically different from the United States, they are right to point out our hypocrisy.
The people of the United States have the right to protest without being assaulted, but the Ferguson police force have not granted the people this right. It is a blemish on our country’s human rights record. I am writing to urge you to uphold human rights, and ensure that all those in a position of power do so as well.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Stephen Michaelowicz via Flickr