“This idea that every time a black person does something, they automatically become a ‘thug worthy of their own death?’ We don’t own drug crimes. We’re not the only ones that sell and do drugs all the time, we’re not the only ones who steal, we’re not the only ones who talk crazy to cops. There’s a complete double standard and a complete different experience that a certain element of this country has the privilege of being treated as human beings. And the rest of us are not being treated like human beings. Period. And that needs to be discussed, that is the story…we’re not making this up.”7 Cynical Ways Police and Media have smeared Micheal Brown and the Black People of Ferguson
The unrest and protests following Brown’s killing have put the militarization of local police forces in the national spotlight, especially as police who look like soldiers are facing down protesters on Ferguson’s streets. But the most important issue that’s not getting widely discussed transcends the horrible specifics of Michael Brown’s death: the continuing trend of police officers shooting and killing black men, instead of using other tactics to deal with confrontations.Thank you social media for being the kind of media we wish we had, instead of the media we have.
(On Tuesday, St. Louis police shot and killed another man, apparently wielding a knife, several miles from Ferguson.)
We ARE the media. We are in the middle of the second Information Revolution. The people with satellite uplinks and klieg lights will still have their place. But they will not be the main witnesses. All of us can hold power to account. And we must, if we are to have any kind of decent life.
Mike Brown should never have been killed. His young life was snuffed out for no good reason. But the reaction to his murder is proof that humans still strive for justice, still strive for freedom, despite what those in authority will.
Walter Cronkite narrated the Civil Rights struggle for middle American homes in the Sixties. Today, it could be me. It could be you. And that is power.