About Ferguson…

I’ve tried to stay silent on the ‪#‎Ferguson‬ situation but given the amount of ignorance I’ve seen in the last few days, I feel compelled to say something.

1) If you are going to express your anger at the protests, please refrain from using coded language such as “thugs, criminals, ignorant hooligans” and the like. Your bigotry is showing.

2) Please think before you speak. Bringing up “black-on-black” violence is a weak attempt at derailing. The issue at hand is the history of black Americans and law enforcement. Like one of the cardinal rules of academic essays, please stay on topic.

3) This is what I know so far. An unarmed black teen was shot and killed by a police officer. Officials say there was a struggle. Witnesses say he complied with orders and was shot anyway. Investigation is still pending.

There’s also a ton of speculation. I’ve heard that the crowd was peaceful until police threw tear gas and such. I’ve seen pictures of huge blocks of wood under the guise of “rubber bullets.” I read that the police chief just wants a resolution. I also saw his wife’s Facebook post about black people being “feral and violent” and living off of welfare. I’ve heard about the rioting. I’ve also seen pictures and heard about people being assaulted. I’ve read reports of journalists being arrested and/or kicked out of the area. There is so much going on right now.

I’ve also seen people try to argue that this is a case of black people taking this out of proportion and making it all about race. I ask this- given American history, how can you so easily dismiss the possibility of a racist motive?
I suppose it would be simple enough if you didn’t know what it was like to be black. If your history wasn’t delegated to a monthly celebration of the same 5 figures and special elective college courses.

If 90% of TV and films didn’t include more than one of you because then, it would be a “black” specialty project for a target audience (and a gamble). If your demographic spent the MOST on the billion dollar beauty industry and most mainstream cosmetic lines didn’t stop their colors at caramel or only offer you light, medium and dark with little variation.

If when one person commits a crime, they didn’t become the poster child for your entire race. If you or anyone you know have never been systematically dehumanized and considered lesser just because of the color of your skin.

This is the attitude they are facing.
This is the attitude they are facing.

If unarmed individuals like Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Ezell Ford and countless others couldn’t be killed because of paranoia thus not maintaining the idea that black people are “suspicious” and their lives expendable.

Then yes, it’s very easy to dismiss Ferguson. But I’d advise you to educate yourself on the FULL history of black Americans before you type your coded language on social media accounts.


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