Expert weighs in on Jacksonville race relations

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The violence seen in Ferguson, Missouri certainly hasn't spilled into the First Coast. But, we are seeing the affects of peaceful protests around the nation.

Just this weekend, nearly 100 people protested in Jacksonville.

The unrest in Ferguson is bringing talks about race-relations to the forefront.

Related: After Brown autopsy, mom wants officer arrested

National Guard deployed to Ferguson

'Hands up. Don't shoot' rally held in Jacksonville

Ferguson police identify officer in Michael Brown shooting

"It is reminiscent of the riots in LA. It very much reminds me of the death of Trayvon Martin and also of Jordan Davis," said Jeffrianne Wilder, who is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of North Florida. She is a race relations expert.

"This is just one more unfortunate incident that reinforces the national crisis that we have regarding racial profiling and the deaths of way too many African-American males and at times females," she said.

Some of Wilder's relatives marched for civil rights in the 1960s, she said watching Ferguson, shows how far this particular community has to go in reconciling some of those racial differences.

Differences she said can be felt here in the South, on the First Coast, which she has called home for 6 years.

She said what is going on in Ferguson could happen in Jacksonville, or anywhere. She pointed to the upcoming trials of Michael Dunn and Marissa Alexander.

"We've got deep seeded issues that we haven't fully dealt with here," she said. "It allows us to be proactive and prevent similar types of violence from happening right here."

We don't know all the facts in Michael Brown's death, but Wilder said this is a time for everyone to start, or keep talking about how to move beyond racial tension.

"It cannot be relegated to one particular community. It's not an isolated event. This is about citizenship and humanity and we all need to be concerned," she said.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment