Kill first, ask questions later: Ferguson protests explained 140 characters at a time
Many people seem to think in 140- (or fewer) character bites these days.
It’s hard to break complex news into 140-character bursts. Much is lost. But I’ll try. I want people to understand. Lives count on it.
Michael Brown and Ferguson are about more than Michael Brown or Ferguson. They are about every black man in every town in the United States.
Months of protesting have followed Michael Brown’s death. But why? He was a “thug.”
Beside, a grand jury found his killer innocent? Strange, since grand juries decide whether charges should be brought, not give verdicts.
Much was terribly wrong with this peculiar grand jury. Prosecutor McCulloch counted on the public not caring about the differences.
McCulloch seems to have counted correctly. The public largely accepted his press conference narrative as truth, then marveled at protestors’ rage. And ignorance.
Many peaceful protests occurred around the country. All were lumped together under the header of the most shocking post-presser pictures.
People assumed shocking recycled pics represented every protest everywhere. People castigated all protestors for the actions of a few.
But national protestors kept on, mostly peacefully. They protested not only for Mike Brown and Ferguson, but Every Black Man, Everywhere.
Everywhere? Really? Yes. NBC’s Melissa-Harris Perry named many unarmed black men (of hundreds) killed by police. At least twice weekly.
In 2014, there have been many like deaths. Ferguson protestors protest ALL such deaths, and those to come if reforms aren’t made.
(They just wanted a trial. That’s it. A proper trial subject to all the rules and laws of trial.)
Eric Garner was choked to death by police for potential sale of untaxed cigarettes.
John Crawford III was fatally shot by police after picking up a for-sale BB gun in Wal-Mart in (open-carry) Utah.
Ezell Ford was shot by two veteran gang officers after they saw him walking and stopped him. Because.
Dante Parker was stopped while riding his bike; police tased him to death under suspicion of burglary.
Tamir Rice, 12 years old, was shot by police while playing with a toy gun. Tamir died after police failed to provide aid.
Darrien Hunt carried a fake sword for his samurai costume. He was shot by police while running for his life.
Michael Brown was shot by police after not moving to the sidewalk when asked. Trial would’ve allowed careful assessment what happened next.
People call Brown et al “thugs” as if any indiscretion found before or after killing justifies that killing. Another thug dead. So what?
(I ache as I wonder, Can people really believe lethal force is justifiable for every alleged infraction?)
Michael Brown is no longer only Michael Brown. He is every U.S. black man killed by police needlessly or in questionable circumstances.
Michael Brown is now symbolic. Protesting his death is protesting kill-first-ask-questions-later/KFAQL police violence against black people.
Protesting Ferguson is protesting more than Ferguson. Protesting Ferguson is protesting a system enabling KFAQL violence.
If you are black in the U.S., police may kill you first and search out your crimes later.
The public will likely support the ex post facto findings based on a tweet’s worth of data.
Ferguson protestors reject KFAQL violence. Not just for Mike Brown, but for their sons. For all sons. For the future.
An important thing you can do to understand current protests is spend one hour reading not news articles, but tweets.
Cars on fire are not representative. See for yourself by perusing countless pictures of peaceful protest at #FergusonProtests.
Listen to the protestors, not media characterization of protestors, nor mine. Listen to them. More than that, hear them. Please hear.