My heart breaks and my head fumes. There are so many terrible and terrifying things happening.
I have a some facts, links, and opinions to share and a lot of grief that I, and millions of others, are feeling.
First of all, my heart goes out to friends and family of Mike Brown and to the rightfully sad and angered citizens of the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, and all others affected.
To those in the community, I cannot fully understand your pain, but I, with you, believe there should be justice and want to do my best to help.
The best way I know how to help is to write and to share. I want everyone to know what is happening in OUR country. To OUR citizens.
It is our silent compliance or our strong and protesting voices that will determine the future.
I aim to supply you with some resources to gain information and perspective.
Yes, I have my opinions on the events and I am not afraid to share them, but what is more important to me is that people can look at the facts and evidence and decide for themselves.
So, I will tell you how I feel in this post (towards the end), but please know that my main goal here is for you (and anyone you share this with) to better grasp what’s going on in Missouri right now.
There is death where there need not have been, rights being straight up violated, both peaceful and violent protesting occurring, and a lot of rubber bullets and tear gas from the now-Public Enemy #1, St. Louis Police Department, or STLPD.
Trust me, I know, it is hard to get good, accurate information. I know that people distrust news media and I will admit, as a journalism student, that different outlets have given you many reasons to do so… but I encourage you to persist in seeking information about these events.
This article is one of the most easy-to-follow and informative (yes, it’s biased, I’m letting you know) I have found and I think it highlights a lot of the police brutality and has good videos and pictures to help you truly SEE what’s going on:
Jezebel has a lot of really, really good and different topic-focused articles in relation to what’s happening in Ferguson right now and they are constantly updating and publishing.
Next, the ever-expanding Twitter feed linked to the hashtag #Ferguson:
The continuously updated and extremely helpful live Reddit feed, which is providing links to informative tweets and press releases and quotes from state and national officials:
This is a video of the live stream from yesterday:
Even outside of Brown’s death and the unprovoked attacks on the protesting crowds, there are disturbing and shocking things happening.
I am EXTREMELY upset that news crews trying to cover the protests and riots have been told to and forced to leave by police, tear gassed, and arrested for reasons like “trespassing at a McDonalds.”
These journalists are DOING THEIR JOB and trying to help those of us in other cities and states and countries find out what’s going on. It is their job and their right to report on these events and get the FACTS to the PEOPLE.
I understand that if they fail to comply with orders to disperse from an area or leave an establishment they can be arrested. But it is no secret that the STLPD are pushing the boundaries here and clearly aiming more towards clearing the area of journalists who can showcase their unlawful actions.
Rights are being completely disregarded. Freedom of speech? Freedom of press? Has anybody heard of these???
This entire ‘shutting the media out’ thing is literally making me think of the Hunger Games when the districts start to rebel and President Snow gets the broadcasts shut off so that the other districts don’t see the reality of what’s happening.
He blocks the citizens from watching protests and riots. Covers up the anger and disorder. Allows excessive force. Tries to stop videos and other coverage from leaking. Punishes protestors. Hides the truth.
Isn’t that exactly what we’re seeing here?
There’s the “No Fly Zone” above the Ferguson area, which is claimed to ensure a “safe environment for law enforcement activities.” Still, reporter Lucy McCalmont reminds us that really “law enforcement seeks to restrict access by news media with helicopters.”
It’s absolutely terrifying.
And I’ve been reminded, there’s so much more to it than just what I’ve listed and gone into here. There are bigger issues that are embedded in our society that play a part.
This is an article pointing out the blatant racism and other institutionalized problems that black men and women are still facing today (the author chose “black” instead of “African American” and I am doing so here to respect her terminology):
Again, there are hundreds of articles, pictures, posts, videos, tweets, etc. available at your fingertips if you’re reading this. You’re either on your phone or computer. You literally have access to whatever information has been put out there.
The resources and links I’ve given in this post are just some of the ones that helped me grasp what’s going on and are now helping me stay up-to-date.
I’ll leave you with this… I encourage everyone to stay in the loop, seek other news outlets beyond traditional media, and not be afraid to speak up against what seems wrong and unlawful to you.
You have a voice. Use it.