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Cervantes: Ferguson’s aftershock

BY CHRISTOPHER CERVANTES | NOVEMBER 18, 2014 5:00 AM

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News can be quite transient. There are times in which a headline will be eye-catching, and dominate the day, then disappear just as quickly as it comes. But then there are incidents that will stick with you and shape your life as the days turn to weeks and the weeks turn to months. Looking back on this year, there are several of these occurrences that fall into the latter category.

The second I heard about what was happening in Ferguson, I had a hunch that this was going to stay in the spotlight for quite some time. And I was right. It seems that every week there is an update of the court proceedings or some big scandal that is associated with the case.

It appears that I am not the only person who is stuck on Ferguson. A Texas teacher was fired last week because of a comment she made on Twitter regarding the happenings of Ferguson.

The  hostile comment contained cursing and a racial slur.

Her School Board unanimously voted for her to be suspended from her position. Now, it seems that people are more abuzz at this incident than Ferguson (for the time being at least). The claims range from applauding the School Board to criticizing it for firing a woman who merely expressed her opinion.

I’m going to be frank. The board members made the right call.

Yes, she expressed her opinion, but the language that she used was unbecoming of a teacher. This type of crass expression not only reflects on her person but on the entire School District. I am all for freedom of speech, but when it is detrimental to one’s employer, it has every right to avoid the inevitable PR nightmare. If she had only left out the explicit vocabulary and overly combative tone, I’m sure that this would not have been a problem.

The real long-term concerns, though, do not include a woman being fired. What I truly believe is the most important issue is how we have all been falling apart at the seams because of what has happened. Every debate on Ferguson has dissolved into an argument over race and intolerance. I’m not saying that it didn’t play a role in the incident, but the aftermath and arguing over it is going to destroy to us domestically. We have enough trouble in the world as it is, and we do not need to be turning on ourselves.

The Ferguson incident is still unresolved. Mark my words, by the time it all comes to a close, people will be at each others’ throats. Instead of this hate and anger that is focused on our neighbors, we should focus on how to repair the racial relations that have been broken down.

If we are unable to do this, if we are unable to rectify this situation, then I truly fear what will become of us as a country.


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