Selma can be compared to Ferguson at the junction of the fact that the issue remains, race relation, systematic discrimination of color people in the justice system. Though, progress has been made since Selma, there are still silent structures that work against people of color.
For instance, Malcolm Gladwell quoted in the Blink, a report by Human Rights Watch, which states: “Nationwide, the rate of drug admissions to state prison for black men is thirteen times greater than the rate for white men. In ten states black men are sent to state prison on drug charges at rates that are 26 to 57 times greater than those of white men in the same state. In IIIinois, for example, the state with the highest rate of black male drug offender admissions to prison, a black man is 57 times more likely to be sent to prison on drug charges than a white man.”
According to Gladwell, he gave a talk at the Harvard Law School to a group he refers to as some of America’s brightest young minds, and there seem to be a general consensus, or to put it exactly as he wrote, “a little disagreement with the idea of doing something to reduce the shameful disparity in the way we treat people in the legal system based on the color of their skin.”
He thus proposed that courtrooms put up screens, or that an accused be in another room entirely, answering questions by emails or through the use of an intermediary. “And I think that all evidence and testimony in a trail that tips the jury off to the age or race or gender of the defendant ought to be edited out,” writes Gladwell.
So yes, I would compare Selma and Ferguson at the junction of the fact that people of color are still disadvantaged, still not on the same level with white Americans when it comes to equal social justice.
Like President Obama stated in his interview with ABC news, the ability to videotape and upload clashes had heighten the awareness, though he was quick to point out that progress has been made.
Therefore, though I agree with President Obama that progress has been made since Selma, but with Galdwell’s and other reports, I can safely say; Selma and Ferguson have similar issue, it has been there, and is still there, the us of technology is helping to expose it.
My point of departure though, is the violent trend Ferguson protest took.
In Selma, the fight for social justice was never violent; though they were maltreated and brutalized on many occasions, they never retaliated with violence, unlike Ferguson, which was characterized by violence, looting and destruction.
As Allentown Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald put it, the message of Ferguson protest would have been more in line with Martin Luther King teachings on nonviolent resistance, and resonate with the rest if it had not turned violent.