That's what SHE said: Reflections on #Ferguson



First They Came For The Black People, And I Did Not Speak Out | Matt Stauffer
It’s because this is what we expect. It fits our narrative of the world. Black people in urban settings fighting the police? Look at the kid they shot. His pants were sagging. He was walking in the middle of the street. Look at the interview with that guy who’s protesting–he was speaking in Ebonics. Probably didn’t even finish high school. Look! They’re looting. This is why they can’t have nice things. So when the police don military garb, we watch it happen like we watch Israel firing on Palestine. “I wish this weren’t necessary,” we say, shaking our heads like a parent who’s telling a child “I’m not going to enjoy this” as they prepare to spank their child. But it is necessary, of course. These people.


I believe that racism exists in the inexplicable sense of fear, unsafety and gnawing anxiety that white people, be they officers with guns or just general folks moving about their lives, have when they encounter black people. I believe racism exists in that sense of mistrust, the extra precautions white people take when they encounter black people. I believe all these emotions have emerged from a lifetime of media consumption subtly communicating that black people are criminal, a lifetime of seeing most people in power look just like you, a lifetime of being the majority population. And I believe this subconscious sense of having lost control (of the universe) exists for white people, at a heightened level since the election of Barack Obama and the continued explosion of the non-white population.


In Which I Have A Few Things To Tell You About Ferguson | Sarah Bessey
We need to be listening to African-Americans and other minorities – in our lives, on Twitter, in the news, in education, in poetry, in art, in literature, in politics. Listen. When people tell me that America is not for black people, I want to listen to why. When people tell me that there is a case for reparations, I want to listen to why. When First Nations tell me that they will be Idle No More, well, then me, too.


America Is Not For Black People | Deadspin
By all accounts, Brown was One Of The Good Ones. But laying all this out, explaining all the ways in which he didn’t deserve to die like a dog in the street, is in itself disgraceful. Arguing whether Brown was a good kid or not is functionally arguing over whether he specifically deserved to die, a way of acknowledging that some black men ought to be executed. To even acknowledge this line of debate is to start a larger argument about the worth, the very personhood, of a black man in America. It’s to engage in a cost-benefit analysis, weigh probabilities, and gauge the precise odds that Brown’s life was worth nothing against the threat he posed to the life of the man who killed him. It’s to deny that there are structural reasons why Brown was shot dead while James Eagan Holmes—who on July 20, 2012, walked into a movie theater and fired rounds into an audience, killing 12 and wounding 70 more—was taken alive.



Because it was a lesson he learned the night that some random drunkards decided that terrorizing two pedestrians in a car, swerving toward them again and again, would be fun—would have no legal consequences because the cops wouldn’t care, would have no moral consequences because the victims didn’t matter. A lesson he learned every time he was pulled over for a speeding ticket, or pulled aside by the store detective and asked to turn out his pockets, or quietly scoffed at and eyerolled at by a customer service rep for his accent. That lesson was: This Is Not Your Country.


Things To Stop Being Distracted By When A Black Person Gets Murdered By Police
I wish I didn’t have to tell some of you that victim-blaming when a Black person is murdered by police is a huge no. That it doesn’t matter if they were on the honor roll, or smoked weed sometimes, or were going to college, or what brand of hoodie they wore, or even if they spent time in jail at some point. That the right to walk down the street without being a target for murder by the police isn’t a right one should have to prove themselves worthy of. That we should all just have that right by virtue of being human beings.


White Fear: The Single Greatest Killer Of Black People In The US | Water Cooler Conversations
Many (white) people believe it only exists between people because they choose to ignore its tentacle-like influences on public media, popular culture, education, immigration policy, and social welfare programs. They use their fear to justify their senseless aggression toward black and brown bodies. Then they sit as judge and jury indicting black teens for eating snacks, smoking weed one time, or running fast. Meanwhile, white teenaged boys live fruitful lives after mowing down entire groups of people while under the influence of stolen alcohol because they suffer from ‘affluenza.’ A drunk white murderer is worth more than a dead black honor student. Such is the function of white fear.



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