I am a Canadian white girl who lives in relative privilege. I graduated with honours from my high school, I am about to attend a successful university with a scholarship, and I have never been made out to be a monster by my local police force. I do not know what it feels like to be oppressed by the very people that promise daily to protect myself, and my community. I do not know what it feels like to be generalized by the colour of my skin, generalized to be a drug addict, a violent animal, or any less of a human being. Despite that, I feel the need to speak.
I am about to attend university for journalism, and I have never been more disgusted by journalists than I am today. In Ferguson, Missouri, 17 year old Mike Brown was shot several times, and killed, by members of the Ferguson Police Department. He was unarmed. Currently, peaceful protestors are lining the streets of Ferguson, outraged and terrified at the fact that a teenage boy, one of their own, was brutally slaughtered by people that claim to be a divining force of good. Those protestors are being assaulted with tear gas, with rubber bullets, and with the fists and feet of the police themselves. Still, they refuse to stand down. The Ferguson Police Department are calling them animals, beasts, even “feral.”
The American police system is known worldwide for their violent, and racist, tendencies. Something needs to change, and soon. There is absolutely no call for this. If anyone is feral, if anyone is an animal or a beast it is the people holding the guns, and the people that are refusing to use their power to help the people of Ferguson.
The people of Gaza are using social media outlets like Twitter to send tips to the people of Ferguson- tips on how to deal with tear gas. These people are in a war torn country, barely surviving themselves, and they take the time to help people that aren’t even in their own country, because they are more empathetic to the American people than Americans themselves. It says something when the Palestinians, a people that unsavoury Americans have constantly berated with racism and treated like terrorists, are pouring out their hearts to the people of Ferguson, because they understand what it’s like to be betrayed by the people that claim to have their best interests at heart.
There is nothing good, or right about this situation. The Ferguson Chief of Police has a Confederate flag hung in his home- shown by the Anonymous hackers in a fit of righteous fury. Anonymous has also issued this press release, wherein they promise the Ferguson Police Department that they are “watching [them] very closely.” The press release ends with the renowned Anonymous tagline: We Are Anonymous – We Are Legion – We Will Not Forgive – We Will Not Forget. (The Anonymous website for Ferguson can be found here.)
The slaughter of Mike Brown will not be forgiven, or forgotten. Not by the Internet, not by the world, and surely not by the people of Ferguson. If you are able, please show your support for Mike Brown and his family, ensure that your voice is present, even if it is just a blank shout into the void of misery and fury that is surrounding this tragedy. Ultimately, this situation is less about Mike Brown, and more about the tolerance of the people of America dwindling into dust and blowing away with each rubber bullet fired, each bout of tear gas- each brutal murder of young, black children.
The racism and terror that the American police system is spreading ends here.