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November 24, 2014

Ferguson. What can I say about it? Not much, really. I don’t live there, and nothing I say will change the situation. I’m just some dude in Portland reacting to the news. That said, two thoughts immediately come to mind. One is, I’m tired of police officers getting away with murder, particularly the murder of unarmed people of colour, the homeless, and the mentally ill. It happens way too often, and no one is ever held accountable.

The second is, I love all the middle-class white people who don’t have to worry about cops shooting them to death for simply walking down the street criticizing the people who live with this terrorism ever day, and who get justifiably upset when cop after cop gets little more than a paid slap on the wrist for shooting an unarmed person to death in their community. If you were in their position, you’d be a little pissed off, too. Don’t let your relative privilege blind you to the oppression and suffering of others. The whole thing brings to mind something MLK Jr. said in 1968:

[A] riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear 3 of 8 that the plight of the negro poor has worsened over the last twelve or fifteen years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.


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