1. Join a peaceful protest.
They’re happening all around the country tonight, including at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, around 7 p.m. Eastern.
2. Recognize that Michael Brown’s death was not an isolated incident.
In 2012, more than 300 black people were executed by police, security guards, or vigilantes. In the last month, three other unarmed African-American men—Eric Garner in New York, John Crawford III in Beavercreek, Ohio, and Ezell Ford in Los Angeles—have been killed by police. Those are the ones we know about.
3. Stop saying “This can’t be happening in America.”
I understand the impulse, I really do. But that impulse only comes to those who are insulated and isolated from how America treats poor people and people of color every day. Langston Hughes wrote “America never was America to me” in 1935. If you didn’t quite understand that poem in your junior high or high-school lit classes, read it again, while you think about what’s happening in Ferguson. Let it sink in.
4. STFU about looting.
And call out your friends and family members who won’t. It’s been five days since Michael Brown was murdered. On one of those days, some furious, grieving citizens caused some property damage. Nine have been arrested. Every other day since then, police with more gear than American soldiers going into battle have been occupying the neighborhood where Brown died, attacking peaceful protestors with tear gas and rubber bullets. They’ve tear-gassed a state senator and Al-Jazeera reporters, and arrested an alderman. They’ve demanded that reporters leave the area and arrested two who didn’t move fast enough. “Disproportionate” doesn’t begin to describe it. If you look at all that and still think it’s important to talk about looting for “balance,” you should know that you sound like a racist asshole.
5. Look Around You.
If you live in an urban environment, you’re in a position to bear witness and document inappropriate and abusive police behavior. If you see an African-American neighbor being detained by police, wait to see what happens. Get your phone out. Download the ACLU’s “Police Tape” app, and if you see something that looks off, take a video that will upload directly to their servers, in case your phone is confiscated. Whatever police may tell you, this is your legal right.
7. Educate yourself about the systematic inequality that leads to civil unrest.
The St. Louis American ran a powerful editorial today that fleshes out the history of Ferguson. When you finish reading that, go somewhere quiet for a bit and settle down with Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “The Case for Reparations.” Don’t stop there.
8. Put pressure on your elected representatives.
Institutional abuse of African-American citizens is happening all over the country, and it demands a federal response. Talk to your senators and congresspeople about enacting policies to protect citizens from their protectors. While you’re at it, maybe suggest they work to limit the amount of military weaponry police can inherit from the armed forces.
9. Listen to your African-American friends when they try to tell you why this hurts.
If you don’t have any African-American friends, you might want to think about why that is.
10. Okay, go ahead and tweet.
And Facebook. Tumblr. Instagram. Vine. Amplify the voices of people on the ground, and help counteract the damaging narratives being propagated by some mainstream media organizations. It’s the very least we can do.Written by Kate Harding
Some tweets about #NMOS14 and people all over standing in solidarity with #Ferguson
Michael Brown remembered as a ‘gentle giant’ (St. Louis Post- Dispatch)
Michael Brown posted a haunting message on Facebook last week as he prepared to enter a new phase in his life: college. “if i leave this earth today,” he wrote to a friend, “atleast youll know i care about others more then i cared about my damn self.”
Dozens arrested during protests over Ferguson police shooting (Al Jazeera America)
At least 50 were arrested in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, according to police and local media, after a second night of protests over the death of an unarmed African-American teenager shot to death by a police officer.
Police use tear gas in Ferguson, people jam church for moment of silence (St. Louis Post- Dispatch)
Tension stayed high and raw Monday as the St. Louis region waited for answers in the fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager by a municipal police officer.
Police use tear gas on crowd in Ferguson, Mo., protesting teen’s death (Washington Post)
For a third night, summer rage pitted the people of Ferguson against those sworn to protect them. On Saturday, officers shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown. On Sunday, resident protests turned to riots, marked by looting and the burning of several local stores.
Fifteen arrests were made. St. Louis city alderman Antonio French posted a series of videos and pictures on Twitter documenting the police response. Young people were seen holding their hands up in the same manner that some witnesses have suggested Brown was at the time of the shooting.
“I saw the barrel of the gun pointed at my friend,” said Dorian Johnson, 22. “Then I saw the fire come out of the barrel.” He added that “what began as an order by a police officer to ‘get the f— onto the sidewalk’ quickly escalated into a physical altercation and then, gunfire.”
The FBI is opening an investigation into the shooting of unarmed Missouri teenager Mike Brown by a police officer in suburban St. Louis, officials said on Monday.
The last moments of Michael Brown’s life were filled with shock, fear and terror, says a witness who stood just feet away as a police officer shot and killed the unarmed teen. “I saw the barrel of the gun pointed at my friend,” said Dorian Johnson, 22. “Then I saw the fire come out of the barrel.”
The people of Ferguson are angry. Outraged. The officer’s story is dubious. Any black kid with sense knows it is futile to reach into an officer’s vehicle and take his gun. That story is only plausible to people who believe that black people are animals, that black men go looking for cops to pick fights with. Absurdity. Eyewitness accounts like these make far more sense.
As a black person in America, it’s getting exhausting to still have to explain, in the year 2014, your right to exist in this country. To explain that you are a human being whose value sits no lower than anyone else’s. To explain our basic humanity. And perhaps worst of all, to explain exactly why we are outraged.
The vicious slaying of Mike Brown by Ferguson, Mo., police has once again shown that the narrative the media paints surrounding black people in America more often than not includes depicting us as violent thugs with gang and drug affiliations. It’s safe to say that Brown has become a victim of what I like to refer to as the “Trayvon Martin effect” in the media.
Michael Brown’s Death Didn’t Happen in a Vacuum (ColorLines)
Residents of Ferguson, Missouri, the black St. Louis suburb where Brown lived and died, confronted police officers on Sunday in a scene that’s since been described by the national media as one that quickly devolved into “looting.” In photos, black residents stood in front of police with their hands up to show that they were unarmed. They chanted the slogans we’ve all become too used to over the years: “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!”
Did they say, “Kill the police?!” As long as that’s the way you heard it, they did. And that is what AP will wire out to every mainstream news outlet who can be bothered to report the death of another unarmed black son on a Saturday night. Their truth is not our truth.
The St. Louis suburb of Ferguson where the working-class, majority-black population has been clashing with law enforcement for the last three days has 53 commissioned police officers. According to the city’s police chief, three of them are black.
When We Are Young (Crunk Feminist Collective)
When we are young, often too young to fully understand the anxiety in their voices and the fear in their eyes, many of us listen to our parents tell us how to behave when, not if, we are stopped by the police.
Missouri teen Michael Brown was unarmed when police gunned him down. We don’t need to keep talking about his college plans to communicate that his killing was dead wrong.
Michael Brown and Anti-Black Violence (The Feminist Wire)
Black life matters. Yet the police and their media support team have already begun to execute their standard playbook in the aftermath of yet another slain black youth.
National Moment of Silence Will Remember Victims of Police Brutality (Feminist Majority Foundation)
This Thursday, a National Moment of Silence will be held in cities across the country to remember the lives lost and impacted by police brutality. In the wake of two deadly police-involved shootings in less than a week, online activist Feminista Jones and individual Twitter followers were able to coordinate the event in a single day.
How social media helped facilitate a national moment of silence to honor victims of police brutality, show solidarity with their families, and allow communities to come together in a moment of mourning and support.
police are actually taking away and dismantling cameras from reporters so they cant film what is happening
Tonight, cops tear has crowd BEFORE curfew. #ferguson #mikebrown
fangirl challenge: 1/5 television shows
We’re not good friends. Most of us never found the time to get to know you, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t noticed you. We don’t talk about it much, but it’s no secret that Sunnydale High isn’t really like other high schools. A lot of weird stuff happens here. But, whenever there was a problem or something creepy happened, you seemed to show up and stop it. Most of the people here have been saved by you, or helped by you at one time or another. We’re proud to say that the Class of ‘99 has the lowest mortality rate of any graduating class in Sunnydale history. And we know at least part of that is because of you. So the senior class, offers its thanks, and gives you, uh, this. It’s from all of us, and it has written here, “Buffy Summers, Class Protector”.