I have been reading the reports of what’s been going on in the last few days in Ferguson, and I don’t have much to say that isn’t getting eloquently said in a lot of other places already. Like this article in which Seattle’s own former police chief raises concerns about Ferguson. Or Jezebel’s writeup on the situation. Or this report and this one from Daily Kos.
I’ve been mulling over what if anything I should say. Or at least I was until this morning, when I saw this link go up on Black Girl Nerds. And I realized that yeah, I had to say something.
Because here’s the thing. I’m very cognizant that I am in a position of privilege here—as a middle-aged white woman in a pretty decent income bracket, I’m pretty unlikely to face the same aggression that’s happening to the citizens of Ferguson this week. But it’s because of that very privilege that I need to speak, and what I want to say is this:
The aggression that the citizens of Ferguson have been facing from their own police force is reprehensible. It has no place in a civilized society. It has no place in America. It is flat-out wrong, period, full stop, end of story.
These people are entirely in the right to demand justice for Mike Brown. There is no excuse for shooting down an unarmed young man. None. NONE. And the very police force that is supposed to be protecting and serving the people of Ferguson are instead treating them no better than oppressed populations in other countries—to the point that I’m now hearing secondhand reports that people in Turkey and Egypt are tweeting offered tips in complete solidarity and earnestness to Ferguson citizens on how to handle tear gas.
I am disgusted. I am appalled. And while I want to be hopeful that reports of a pending federal review of police tactics will actually bear fruit and curb this insanity, I’m not willing to be soothed yet. It is only a small step in the right direction to bring justice to Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, and every other young man who’s been murdered, at the end of the day, because he was black.
I feel helpless that there’s little I can do besides pointing and raising my voice, but this much, at least, I can do.
I’m listening. I’m watching. I care.