Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Key To Handling Ferguson

I'm sure that you already know that there have been recent demonstrations in the tiny city of Ferguson, Missouri. More protest came when another 18-year-old was killed by police only weeks after the murder of Michael Brown. Seventeen protesters were arrested on the 12th of October, and many others were subdued with pepper spray. it was reported that riot police told the crowd to leave, but some 50 protesters linked their arms together heeding the police warning and intentionally walked past a police barricade. The activity gets more unpredictable by the day.

So, how are we going to resolve the matter in Ferguson, Missouri?  I believe that President Obama has said a word or two; and I suppose that Reverend Al Sharpton voiced his opinion, and even Jesse Jackson made some sort of attempt at making himself heard. But, the key to handling the problems in Ferguson, and in all other parts of the country where police brutality exists, is simply keeping the mental and physical aspects of protesting alive. The people are sticking together on this one. This isn't some fad where it's cool to take a selfie on the same street where Michael Brown was killed. This isn't Occupy where we show up on Friday then go back to work on Monday with our "We Were There" t-shirts.  The marches are real, the voices are loud, and the demonstrations will not stop unless careless acts of violence towards young black people ends.

Do I have a problem seeing an elderly Cornell West getting arrested by Ferguson police in his attempt at being relevant?  No.  Do I have an issue with the report that Jesse Jackson was booed in Ferguson after requesting monetary donations during the demonstrations?  Nope.  Did I find it unnecessary when reporter Don Lemon was repeatedly checked by his own people during his Ferguson interviews simply because it was a much needed act?  Not at all. What about Chris Brown's appearance, or J. Cole's, or any of the other so-called celebrities? No. No. And no. We need attention in Ferguson today, and we need attention in Ferguson tomorrow.

Something enormous is going on in that town, and quite honestly, it doesn't matter if the young black males who were killed were stealing a drink from a convenience store or walking home from bible study. The goal is to show the world that it is not acceptable for black teenagers to be killed by police; and it has become very obvious that black people in Ferguson have grown tired of being a witness.  So once again, what is the key to handling the situation in Ferguson?  It's simple: you can show up, you can tweet about it, you can repost news feeds, you can challenge celebrities on social media, you can talk about it in class, you can remind someone that there's a fight going on, you can even share this page. Whatever it is that you can do then do it.  This matter may be a current event, however it is certainly not a fad. The people of Ferguson are all in on this one. It's a city where over 70 percent of the population is black. What else are they going to do, leave the fight?  

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