Rights, Responsibilities, Power, Leadership, and the Purpose of Government


We began the semester with a consideration of current events, and all of those events persist today as we prepare for final exams. Everything we have been studying this semester about the structure, function and evolution of our government and political system is a reflected in the dramatic and distressing unfolding of events in Ferguson, MO. We will focus now on the events in Ferguson and similar episodes in New York in order to reflect on the issues being exposed and the role of the rulers and the ruled in addressing this history.

In order to begin to understand what has happened in Ferguson (and elsewhere), you must understand THIS. We will read this together as a class.

Now, to think some more, I recommend:

* Added by request

All three branches are involved here:

All of our essential questions are relevant:

As I read about and watch what is happening: the shooting of Michael Brown by Darren Wilson and the chokehold death of Eric Garner, the lack of indictments by grand juries in each case, and the subsequent demonstrations, I ask myself related questions:

What do YOU want to know? What questions do these events prompt you to ask about the systems in which we all live? about the history that we all share?

In our final exercise as students of American Government, we will try to answer these questions using this protocol and schedule:

Discussion Rubric


for further reflection, TED: Verna Myers


Reflection Prompts: