Written by Alexis Macklin, Sholpan Zhaksybaeva and Krista Kull
Edited by Alexis Macklin
On Aug. 9, 2014, Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot 18-year-old Michael Brown. The death of the young black man in the small Missouri town sparked a racial controversy across the United States. Whether or not Darren was righteous in his actions, the country could not stop debating race.
READ MORE ON THE CASE HERE:
American media focused on this controversy, even the simple news coverage of the Michael Brown case could not escape words like “black”, “white”, “racism” and “inequality”. The case sparked protests and riots around the country and the anger did not cease over time. Pres. Obama addressed the racial tensions in his 2015 State of the Union address.
“We may have different takes on the events of Ferguson and New York. But surely we can understand a father who fears his son can’t walk home without being harassed,” Obama said, as quoted in the National Journal. “Surely, we can understand the wife who won’t rest until the police officer she married walks through the front door at the end of his shift.”
The social unrest sparked research from news outlets into studies about racial tensions between civilians and the police force. Slate.com reported that young black males were 21 times more likely to be shot by police officers than young white males.
Americans looked to both the past and future for answers to solve the racism. Many opinion articles from a span of news outlets discussed the comparison between Ferguson and the Civil Rights Era and what Ferguson meant for the future of America.
While Americans worried about the social unrest the Ferguson case would bring, other communities across the globe were not interested.
News about Ferguson case was not on the top of interest of Kazakhstan or Estonian society. Racial issues are not a reality for Kazakhstan where tensions may exist only in interethnic and international relationships. One may take into account that in Kazakhstan there are more than 120 nationalities living, and during Soviet period a lot of ideological efforts were made to build some kind of peace between nations under the slogan “Equal rights for all nations”.
Although today there are conflicts between nations after the collapse of the Soviet Union (Kazakh-Russian; Kazakh-Uigur; Chechen- Kazakh), the culture and ideology that were developed during the Soviet regime still helps to keep the situation under control.
There is one case of Kazakhstan news coverage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LE33F0gGFtE#t=13
Estonia echoed Kazakhstan’s response to the Ferguson case by only publishing minimal coverage that was republished by American news outlets. There were no public debates or protests, just minimal coverage so the community was aware.
The Ferguson case has become a rallying cry in the United States, but this social unrest of racism may not be important to the global community. America is the melting pot of many different races and ethnicities so miscommunication between cultures and discrimination is common. Racism in the United States is an on-going battle for different groups of minorities and no single solution can completely demolish centuries of racism.