"Ferguson Police Just Executed My Unarmed Son!!!"
That was the heartbreaking message Louis Head wrote on a piece of cardboard and held up for the community to see after his stepson, Michael Brown, was shot down by a cop in the streets of Ferguson, Mo., on August 9.
The death of the 18 year old ignited the bitter outrage of a community that says police brutality directed at Black men is all-too-common in this majority-African American suburb outside St. Louis, leading to angry protests two nights in a row.
Mainstream media outlets focused on the damage done to property during the demonstrations, but for millions of people around the country, horror at the police execution of another unarmed Black youth—and the sense that it’s time something is done about police violence—were the dominant feelings.
According to the police version of events, a shop owner reported that someone allegedly matching Brown’s description shoplifted from their store. Later, an officer—who still had not been named when this report written—stopped Brown and a friend as they walked down a street, say the cops, and Brown attempted to push the officer into his car and tried grab for the officer’s gun.
Police say one shot was fired from the officer’s gun during the struggle. Then, after the unarmed Brown fled, the cop fired several shots at Brown, fatally wounding the teen.
Witnesses tell a completely different story. Dorian Johnson, who was walking with Michael Brown, and Piaget Crenshaw, a bystander who witnessed the shooting, told Fox 2 News that after confronting Brown and Johnson for walking in the street, the officer began assaulting Brown by choking him, and trying to pull Brown into his squad car. His weapon fired at least once at this point.
When both teens ran, the officer then fired a second shot. Johnson told reporters at the scene, “[The officer] shot again and once my friend felt that shot, he turned around and put his hands in the air and started to get down, and the officer still approached with his weapon drawn and fired several more shots.”
"We weren’t causing no harm to nobody," Johnson said. "We had no weapons on us at all."
Brown’s family and friends learned of his death because his lifeless body laid in the streetfor some four hours while police “investigated”—or tried to get their stories straight about a case of cold-blooded murder, to judge from the eyewitness accounts.
As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported, Brown’s friends “saw photos of him lying in the street on Canfield Drive where his body remained for hours. Some joined the crowds of mourners and protesters who had gathered there since the shooting in protest of how Brown had died: Black, unarmed and from multiple gunshots.”
The death of yet another young Black man at the hands of police caused community outrage to boil over in the days following the killing—though this happened only after what many call a deliberate police provocation.
Black residents who gathered for a vigil on the evening of Brown’s death in front of the police station were met with a heavy-handed response. Dozens of police had been called in from the surrounding towns, and they were dressed in riot gear, many holding shotguns. The crowd chanted, “The people, united, will never be defeated,” and some residents held up their hands to show police that they were unarmed, shouting, “Don’t shoot me” at the cops.
Anger in the community built, not only in response to the official police story about Brown’s death, but to the media portrayals of Brown—who was to begin his first day of college on Monday.
As TheRoot.com noted, many media outlets chose to use a picture of an unsmiling Brown flashing a peace sign, which some labeled a “gang sign.” As Yesha Callahan put it:
You’d be hard-pressed to find mainstream media showing Brown at his high school graduation or with members of his family. Ironically, all of those photos exist courtesy of Brown’s Facebook page. Unfortunately, because of Ferguson police, we’ll never be able to see a photo of Brown attending his first day of college today.
The following night, August 10, hundreds of protesters gathered for another candlelight vigil. When some took to the streets, chanting “No justice, no peace,” they were confronted by hundreds of police in riot gear, armed with attack dogs.
It was widely reported that Black residents began chanting, “Kill the police!” before engaging in what the media generally termed a “riot,” including the looting of some local stores. But many people who said they participated in the demonstration took to social media to insist that protesters actually were chanting not “Kill the police,” but “No justice, no peace!” Many also stated that protesters were deliberately provoked by the heavy police presence.
At some point, some protesters reportedly began looting and spray-painting several stores, with one convenience store set on fire. Police eventually used tear gas to disperse them.
C.S. Lewis (via bornofanatombomb)
I like being a childish grown-up.
For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes (Matthew 5). But, often with tears in their eyes, they demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course, that’s Moses, not Jesus. I haven’t heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, be posted anywhere.
"Blessed are the merciful" in a courtroom? "Blessed are the peacemakers" in the Pentagon? Give me a break!
|—||Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country (via h2ointowine)|
This speech from last night’s episode of LOUIE is extraordinary, and probably not like anything you’ve ever seen on television. You should watch it.
Grant Morrison during a panel at the Edinburgh Book Festival (via operationfailure)
#i mean superman is wish fulfillment too but for two jewish guys wanting to help people they couldn’t as opposed to like#taking out the privilege of the rich thru violence against the poor#it depends on how you want to define wish fulfillment#but it is true: superman is a working class hero and batman is not
forever reblog, especially with those tags
Funny because I just argued about this point about Batman only a few short days with a guy who, otherwise, is intelligent and well spoken. Yet, this idea that Clark is an “othered” figure was totally lost on him.
This is why it doesn’t just make me angry but actually makes me uncomfortable when dudebros get super excited about Batman beating the shit out of Superman.
The last 3 live action adaptations of Superman—-all of which found huge audiences—-have particularly focused on this idea that Clark Kent grows up feeling othered. (In one of those adapations, Clark Kent was actually played by an actor who is bi-racial and was abandoned by his father at a young age btw.)
In several of these adapations, Clark Kent learning to accept his body and accept his heritage balanced with his intense love and identification as a human is not only a right of passage but the driving force of his identity and self-discovery. The fact that a lot of this self-discovery also often includes a human female who accepts him fully and without fear or persecution for his “otherness” is vital and important. Superman is not supposed to be “wish fufillment” for all of your white, male privileged bullshit, guys. He’s also not supposed to be wish fufillment for those of you that believe that if you had Superman’s physical power and looks you would obviously use them to bang the hottest girl in the world AKA Wonder Woman. He’s not supposed to be wish fufillment for your shallow, macho BULLSHIT. He was wish fufillment for two Jewish men who longed to be accepted in a world torn with bigotry and oppression and longed for the love of a human working woman that worked one desk over.
So when I see people talking about how “awesome” it would be for Batman to come into Superman’s movie and “beat the shit out of him”….I’m not just annoyed with you. I’m not just angry at you. You actually make me uncomfortable. Your thoughts about fictional icons and myths make me uncomfortable. I’m uncomfortable with you taking a unique and special male icon that actually is meant to challenge oppression and bogging him down with your god forsaken privilege.
1. all of this is wonderful and good and ghostorballoons actually enlightened me to the fact that superman’s original basis was the strong man, who is pretty important in jewish american iconography so even taking away his “stupid underwear” as so many people have wanted to do for so long (and succeeded) is actually an effort to remove superman from his roots as a jewish figure.
2. who played superman that was biracial?
Dean Cain. His background looks mostly flavors of White, but his paternal grandfather is Japanese. He was born in 1966 as Dean George Tanaka, but his wikipedia page says his mother married film director Christopher Cain in 1969, so… (Also Christopher Cain adopted Dean and his brother)
Also Superman himself is adopted and an illegal alien. Let’s not forget that. He accepts both his birth family and his adopted family as family and doesn’t make one family more important or “real” than the other. He has both parents and they love each other and their son very much. It’s not the typical adoption story that we tell, where the birth family is called the “real parents” and either the child or the adopted family is vilified.
A boy sprawled next to me on the bus, elbows out, knee pointing sharp into my thigh.
He frowned at me when I uncrossed my legs, unfolded my hands
and splayed out like boys are taught to: all big, loose limbs.
I made sure to jab him in the side with my pretty little sharp purse.
At first he opened his mouth like I expected him to, but instead of speaking up he sat there, quiet, and took it for the whole bus ride.
Like a girl.
Once, a boy said my anger was cute, and he laughed,
and I remember thinking that I should sit there and take it,
because it isn’t ladylike to cause a scene and girls aren’t supposed to raise their voices.
But then he laughed again and all I saw
was my pretty little sharp nails digging into his cheek
before drawing back and making a horribly unladylike fist.
(my teacher informed me later that there is no ladylike way of making a fist.)
When we were both in the principal’s office twenty minutes later
him with a bloody mouth and cheek, me with skinned knuckles,
I tried to explain in words that I didn’t have yet
that I was tired of having my emotions not taken seriously
just because I’m a girl.
Girls are taught: be small, so boys can be big.
Don’t take up any more space than absolutely necessary.
Be small and smooth with soft edges
and hold in the howling when they touch you and it hurts:
the sandpaper scrape of their body hair that we would be shamed for having,
the greedy hands that press too hard and too often take without asking permission.
Girls are taught: be quiet and unimposing and oh so small
when they heckle you with their big voices from the window of a car,
because it’s rude to scream curse words back at them, and they’d just laugh anyway.
We’re taught to pin on smiles for the boys who jeer at us on the street
who see us as convenient bodies instead of people.
Girls are taught: hush, be hairless and small and soft,
so we sit there and take it and hold in the howling,
pretend to be obedient lapdogs instead of the wolves we are.
We pin pretty little sharp smiles on our faces instead of opening our mouths,
because if we do we get accused of silly women emotions
blowing everything out of proportion with our PMS, we get
condescending pet names and not-so-discreet eyerolls.
Once, I got told I punched like a girl.
I told him, Good. I hope my pretty little sharp rings leave scars.
|—||'My Perfume Doubles As Mace,' theappleppielifestyle. (via queenofeden)|
The Government Shutdown explained in the best way.
This is a mini-rant to get something off my chest. I realize I am judgmental.
American schools, in general, aren’t very good. You can easily graduate, having gotten decent grades, with huge gaps in what I would consider general knowledge about science, history, and the broader world. That’s not…