Our Thoughts on Ferguson, MO & Michael Brown

So there has been yet another shooting of an unarmed black teenager. As always, we have some thoughts that we’d like to share:

Chris

These tragedies are doing something to me. With all due respect to the dead and his grieving family and friends, I’m beginning to care less and less that these events are occurring. It’s not that I value black life-or Asian, white or Hispanic life- any less, but its beginning to happen so much that I’ve become desensitized to it. It’s like Lebron James, when he makes a great play. At this point, I’m pretty much meh. He’s proven himself to be able to do great things, and the police have proven themselves to shoot unarmed black folks.

Think about it. How many national stories have you heard about unarmed teenagers being shot by law enforcement?

FERGUSON

Now how many times have they not been black kids?

Greg Howard, in a post for Deadspin pointed out several instances where blacks have died, unarmed, at the hands of the police, while Colorado theater shooter or even Gabby Giffords shooter were each taken alive. I’m not advocating that either of these individuals should have been killed by the police, but I do question why this is even something that I have to think about.

I live in Texas where lately people have taken to walking around innocuous establishments like Target with full automatic rifles strapped to their person. I haven’t heard of any office shooting any of them with visible weapons. You could argue that those people are just minding their own business and enjoying their constitutional given rights.

Yeah, like the right to walk down a street?

Marcus

For me, it disheartens me that whenever a black person (usually a black male) is shot by someone white, whether it be an Officer of the Law, security, etc. The community (mainly African-Americans, but not only and always) will march, protest, scream and demand justice. And they are right to. The senseless killing of unarmed young men needs to stop. However, I’m as equally disheartened when there is not equal marching and protesting of the killing of minorities by minorities.  It is as if we feel that the violence perpetrated within in the community, against the community is okay.  I can’t go for that.

And what exacerbates the problem for me is that you have some entertainers (I’ll use Rick Ross, for example), that will make a statement using the name of Trayvon Martin, but yet have a song that glorifies taking out a “snitch.”  It just makes no sense to glorify destroying the community from within, bur rallying when there’s an issue from the outside.

From Rick Ross’s song, B.M.F.:

Always getting money my n***a, crime pays So f*** a n***a, I’m Self Made You a sucker n***a, I’m self-paid This for my broke n***s, this for my rich n***as Got a hundred on a head of a snitch n***a

Erik

I can’t take this anymore. And I think when you look at communities, like Ferguson, you see an entire community of people who have reached a tipping point. At first glance, I was appalled at the idea of some people trying to have a peaceful rally, then rioting and looting started. But, honestly, how big would the story have been if the looting never happened? The story of Eric Garner getting choked out by a police officer in New York became a bottom tier national story, but it didn’t take long for people to forget. I’m not condoning the rioting and looting, but, if nothing else, it grabbed the nation’s attention.

While I understand Marcus’s point about violence within our community, I don’t share the same discomfort that we don’t see similar responses from black people. To me, there is a difference. The reason people get so up-in-arms about Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Eric Garner, Oscar Grant, etc, is because these were black men who were minding their own business. Someone in authority (or perceived authority) viewed them as a threat and ultimately killed them. All the rallies, marches, and demonstrations are an effort to get other people in authority to recognize the problem and to fix it. There is a solution that is outside of our community, but we can work together to find it. When the killing is within our own community, like in Chicago, who’s attention do we need to grab? Who else can help us solve it? The problem is ours, and ours alone. I don’t think that because we don’t see action about the killings in Chicago on a national level doesn’t mean that it’s not taking place.

Dee

I, like Chris, am also desensitized to the hate that plagues our nation. To me, it’s less about profiling that gets me riled up. It’s more about the US pretending that no problem exists. It’s America pretending that all men are created equal, when we clearly aren’t. I respect the Mark Cubans of the world who openly admit to crossing the street when he sees what could be an innocent black man in a hoodie. But admit it, don’t pretend these are isolated incidences. The sad thing is, the only thing that can be done is outward protests. Violence and demonstrative actions seem to be the only thing that’s working in 2014. I encourage rage when it’s for a just cause. The end always justifies the means.

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