Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google Plus YouTube

Finding Tailored Financial Advice for the LGBT Community

Charitable | Articles | Advisers

spinner

LGBT Parallels to Racial Tensions in Ferguson

On 09 August, a white police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black male in Ferguson, Missouri, United States. The incident was witnessed by several, including a friend who was walking with him at the time of the incident. The public response has largely been one of outrage, while the police response has been to dramatically increase its presence in the region. The resulting situation has seen the area suffer both the chaos of modern warzones and the confines of martial law.

The current situation in Ferguson reflects longstanding racial tensions that have plagued the area. In the US, but in other countries as well, police searches and shootings have unfairly targeted African-American populations. Police in the UK have not fared any better under scrutiny. In Ferguson, a racial profiling study revealed that in 2013 African Americans made up 86% of all police stops, 91% of all police searches, and 92% of all arrests. In contrast, of the 53 members of the local police force, 48 are white. Neither of these numbers accurately reflects the racial distribution of Ferguson, whose population is 63% black and less than 34% white.

Official responses in the days following Michael Brown’s death have been equally disproportionate. Police presence in the area dramatically increased apparently overnight, and numerous reporters and bloggers have reported the use of SWAT teams, tear gas, and rubber bullets, even where witnesses and supporters gathered for peaceful protests. Representatives from news media outlets have reported difficulties when engaging with police, while local police authorities have been tight-lipped about sharing crucial information about the incident. The shockingly severe police response corresponds with the disparity between historical data of racially-driven arrest profiling. Horrific as the situation in Ferguson is, police response is only the culmination of longstanding racial oppression that creates a no-win situation for the African-American population.

Michael Brown’s murder and the ensuing police response are trademarks of unfair power distribution that has festered and ingrained itself over time. But the horror of the past few days is much starker when considering that many, many minorities face the same systematic oppression every day. And not just in countries with notoriously bad track records of human rights violations – the incident in Ferguson, in a country perceived as being among the forefront of human rights, gives the lie. Among these minorities, LGBT communities have historically suffered many equally violent confrontations, but for many the oppressive mindset is far more insidious. In an unsafe environment, open LGBT people are often forced to hide or deny parts of their identity, while others struggle with the coming-out process altogether when the alternatives are either repression or persecution.

Even undramatic power imbalances can lead to demonisation, misconception, and general oppression of minority groups. Active awareness and self-evaluation at all levels is necessary to remedy existing difficulties, and professional environments are not exempt from this requirement. At Ferguson, the answer has to be in assessment and the severe shaking-down of blind authority. Luckily, wheels might already be set in motion for this change. For LGBT communities, whole infrastructures must adapt to the specific and varied needs of its members. For our part, here at LGBT Finance we have found highly skilled and talented financial advisers who are sensitive to the needs of LGBT communities and have pledged to create safe environments for their LGBT clients. We are also working to increase the number of advisers we have on board, as well as to promote awareness of the need for change overall, and at professional levels in particular.

Help us to enact the changes needed to meet the needs of this powerful, vibrant, and brilliant social group. On 09 August, a white police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black male in Ferguson, Missouri, United States. The incident was witnessed by several, including a friend who was walking with him at the time of the incident. The public response has largely been one of outrage, while the police response has been to dramatically increase its presence in the region. The resulting situation has seen the area suffer both the chaos of modern warzones and the confines of martial law.

The current situation in Ferguson reflects longstanding racial tensions that have plagued the area. In the US, but in other countries as well, police searches and shootings have unfairly targeted African-American populations. Police in the UK have not fared any better under scrutiny. In Ferguson, a racial profiling study revealed that in 2013 African Americans made up 86% of all police stops, 91% of all police searches, and 92% of all arrests. In contrast, of the 53 members of the local police force, 48 are white. Neither of these numbers accurately reflects the racial distribution of Ferguson, whose population is 63% black and less than 34% white.

Official responses in the days following Michael Brown’s death have been equally disproportionate. Police presence in the area dramatically increased apparently overnight, and numerous reporters and bloggers have reported the use of SWAT teams, tear gas, and rubber bullets, even where witnesses and supporters gathered for peaceful protests. Representatives from news media outlets have reported difficulties when engaging with police, while local police authorities have been tight-lipped about sharing crucial information about the incident. The shockingly severe police response corresponds with the disparity between historical data of racially-driven arrest profiling. Horrific as the situation in Ferguson is, police response is only the culmination of longstanding racial oppression that creates a no-win situation for the African-American population.

Michael Brown’s murder and the ensuing police response are trademarks of unfair power distribution that has festered and ingrained itself over time. But the horror of the past few days is much starker when considering that many, many minorities face the same systematic oppression every day. And not just in countries with notoriously bad track records of human rights violations – the incident in Ferguson, in a country perceived as being among the forefront of human rights, gives the lie. Among these minorities, LGBT communities have historically suffered many equally violent confrontations, but for many the oppressive mindset is far more insidious. In an unsafe environment, open LGBT people are often forced to hide or deny parts of their identity, while others struggle with the coming-out process altogether when the alternatives are either repression or persecution.

Even undramatic power imbalances can lead to demonisation, misconception, and general oppression of minority groups. Active awareness and self-evaluation at all levels is necessary to remedy existing difficulties, and professional environments are not exempt from this requirement. At Ferguson, the answer has to be in assessment and the severe shaking-down of blind authority. Luckily, wheels might already be set in motion for this change. For LGBT communities, whole infrastructures must adapt to the specific and varied needs of its members. For our part, here at LGBT.co.uk we have found highly skilled and talented financial advisers who are sensitive to the needs of LGBT communities and have pledged to create safe environments for their LGBT clients. We are also working to increase the number of advisers we have on board, as well as to promote awareness of the need for change overall, and at professional levels in particular.

Help us to enact changes that meet the needs of this powerful, vibrant, and brilliant social group. LGBT.co.uk's IFA database breaks new ground on providing financial and investment advice specifically tailored for same-sex married couples, LGBT professionals, and more. Help us lead change in the professional world for LGBT visibility and equality.

Additional Reading

  • LGBT Books

    There's thousands of LGBT books out there - ever wondered which ones to get your nose into?
  • LGBT legal history

    Read about the legal history of persecution and discimination of the LGBT community with lgbt.co.uk website.
  • LGBT Advice & Support

    Want to get some LGBT advice or to find some support for various issues? With groups, online sites and community help groups listed, we can help you find what you need.
  • The Best LGBT Cocktails

    The top ten LGBT cocktails of all time
  • LGBT Cruises

    Ask yourself whether an LGBT cruise is right for you? Want to get stuck in the ocean with like-minded people?

Latest Finance Articles

Latest Articles

© Copyright LGBT Finance Limited, 10 Melville St. Edinburgh, EH3 7NS