Mill’s Thoughts about the Violence

A big focus in the news right now has been the shooting of Michael Brown. Ever since this event took place on August 9th, 2014, the media coverage has continued to grow extensively. As the trial finally came to an end on November 24th, the grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. Everyone has questioned whether this case has been properly handled in the justice system. This decision has caused chaos and many protests all over the country. These protests have been both peaceful and violent. Some are outraged not only because a police officer has shot an unarmed civilian but also because they believe law enforcement institutions are failing to protect. All this chaos has even caused Darren Wilson to resign in hopes that it would help calm the people and protect others as well.

Wilson's resignation letter

Wilson’s resignation letter

As the frustration of the public continues to grow, so does the violence. Violent protest efforts include rallies, arrests, riots, shootings, fires, and many other forms of protests. Ferguson, MO is not the only town that has been emotionally reeling from this tragedy. Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, and many other cities have seen expressions of protest.

Protester getting arrested

Protester getting arrested

John Stuart Mill’s book “On Liberty”, discusses many topics such as proper behavior, vices, virtues, social values, and individuality. John Stuart Mill believed that if someone did something you did not approve of or that you disagreed with that it is okay and sometimes beneficial to argue with that person. However, violence should be avoided and should never be used to get your opinion across. Therefore, I believe that, regardless of his possible view on the shooting, Mill would advocate against violence. Mill states that people should have the freedom to express their opinions so he would urge peaceful protests. However, he strictly states that no harm can come to others while expressing an opinion and these protests have caused more harm all over. Things have been destroyed, such as property damaged, people getting hurt, and much more.

An example of peaceful protesting

An example of peaceful protesting

The violence must come to an end. Even Michael Brown’s parents and President Obama have urged protestors to remain peaceful. As said by Mill, it is possible for these protestors to get their opinion to the public without using violence  Everyone has the right to protest and express his or her opinions and feelings. Those having peaceful protests with signs have the right to do that as long as no harm comes to anyone. However, there is a line between acceptable forms of protest. Although people are free to express their thoughts, once harm comes to others, this line has been crossed.

2 thoughts on “Mill’s Thoughts about the Violence

  1. I found your post to be extremely engaging. I agree that no matter what “side” you are on, although I don’t clearly see two sides to this issue, that violence is not the answer to the decision made by the justice system. I also agree with your take on what Mill would argue in this scenario. Under most all circumstances, violence only compounds on itself.

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  2. Very good blog post and well timed. Myself I have found two different sides to logic behind shootings like these. Many are outraged at what they view as racism in the police force and judicial branch, it is a known fact that a black male is much more likely to be stopped by an officer, shot at random, and many other gruesome things. But the point of personal responsibility, and dont break laws, stop the stereotypes starting with yourself. Link to a video that brings up good points.

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