Speak Out For Ferguson

Everyone needs to speak out for Ferguson.

Ferguson MO
Photo Courtesy of lp.org

It affects you.  Yes, even you, white middle-class cis straight able-bodied male from not-Missouri. 

Here's why:

1. Think about the pictures you've seen of the police coming in with tanks and camo and assault rifles, arresting journalists without charges, throwing Cold War-era tear gas at children and peaceful protestors chanting "hands up, don't shoot."

Ferguson police militarized
Photo courtesy of thedailybanter.com


Hands up, don't shoot Ferguson
Photo courtesy of USAToday.com

That is a sign of something that is happening all over the country--the militarization of the police. It is a very real and present danger to everyone, not only minority groups (who are obviously at even more risk).

Farmington militarized police vehicle
Photo courtesy of rawstory.com

tampa militarized police vehicle
It's happening everywhere.  Photo courtesy of benjaminfcarlson.com

Cracked.com just did an article about this issue in June; it was freakishly timely, in fact.  And yes, it is a comedy site, but they do their research REALLY well.  You can totally be funny and well-sourced at the same time, guys.  And Cracked has been responding admirably to the Ferguson situation on their Twitter page (not to mention several of the individual writers' pages) with sarcastic responses to the oppressors and support for the oppressed.  The article is really good and it's worth a read.

2. The internet has given us a unique perspective on this particular situation: it is actively debunking the lies the media feeds us as they come out. We are fed two contrasting stories--what CNN and Fox and the like report, and what the individual reporters on the ground, Amnesty International members, and other witnesses report.

How you frame the story will change the story
Graphic by @ncasenmare

Example--McDonald's wasn't looted, the protestors took cover there and retrieved milk for tear gas victims' eyes. The McDonald's rep confirmed this, and yet the media never took it back. This is scary. Our media is lying to us.

McDonald's states looting allegations are false
Lisa McComb of McDonald's assures no looting occured.


McDonald's "looting" milk for tear gas victims
Photo by Robert Cohen, St. Louis Post-Dispatch and courtesy of @jesseberney

Ferguson McDonald's guarded
Photo courtesy of @Alexanderbolton

3. This also brings up the issue of net neutrality. They are trying to pass laws that would allow internet providers to give preference to sites that can pay more--meaning the internet would no longer be a place for voices to be heard. It's important to pay attention to this, because Ferguson is an excellent example of how necessary those voices are.

Example: Twitter's map of geotagged tweets about Ferguson, showing how the news spread.

4. Last, but not least:

First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)

Please share this, and retweet, repost and talk about Ferguson today.  Go to Twitter and search #Ferguson.  Read what people are saying.  Perk up your ears and listen. 

Wouldn't you want the world to do the same for you?


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