I heard his story on NPR. His mom raised him to “not see color” etc. And the cops beat the hell out of him when they pulled him over. It took seeing him in jail beaten half to death for her to see that race matters every day.
"I thought that love would conquer all and skin color really didn’t matter. I had to learn the really hard way when they almost killed you."
Who are you getting your Ferguson information from? I'm having problems verifying what's actually happening!
That’s actually what’s taking me so long to update some of my posts; not only is the information surfacing slowly about his case specifically, but I make sure to cross reference at least three sources because some people are just blatantly lying to stir shit up.
Also live feeds keep going down and new ones pop back up but I know some of you are sensitive to video, so
Here’s a list of some twitter handles:
Journalists (All of these are either on the ground in Ferguson as I type this or actively covering events in Ferguson, both Brown’s case and the rallies):
I’m sure I forgot a bunch but here’s a start. I’ll update it periodically and reblog. Some of it is compilations from a bunch of sources, some is original content. Disclaimer: I’m not vouching for any other content on any of these blogs/twitters/instagrams or any that may be posted after this list but as of right now, the information regarding Ferguson and discussions taking place about the rallies/police and Mike Brown’s death seems accurate.
if you want to be included on any of these lists, shoot me a message with your web-address and I’ll check it out
You will find everything I’ve posted under tagged/ferguson, tagged/police-brutality or tagged/michael-brown
Police departments across the country serve as enforcement for White supremacy and the criminalization of Blackness is not reserved for Black men. This is not so much a call for intraracial, gender reciprocity as it is a call of nuanced racial awareness. We must be aware of the ways in which we legitimize that only Black men’s pain matters. We, especially those of us with platforms, must be purposeful in speaking the names of Black women who have been victims of police brutality. We must be cognizant of the devaluation of Black women’s lives and how internalized patriarchy informs our own prioritization of the Black male victim.’
SPEAK UP ABOUT BLACK WOMEN IN THE STRUGGLE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS!
You are Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown, but not Tarika Wilson and Yvette Smith?
Are black women not important enough to be empathized with?
This week I devoted much of my blog to covering the events in Ferguson, Missouri, and the posts of links and photos that I compiled received thousands of likes and re-blogs. I went from having a few hundred followers to well over 1,000, and find myself with a much larger audience.
Hey friends! So I’m working on a video on Mike Brown about what’s going on in Ferguson and am in need of photos. If you’ve taken photos in Ferguson or at a local protest and are ok with me using them in a video, please send me an ask so we can coordinate. And of course, any photos used will be credited back to you and your Tumblr/portfolio. Thanks!
I keep seeing white liberals on social media posting that they can’t believe what is happening in Ferguson, or that they can’t believe this is happening in America. Now I normally wouldn’t care enough about any of that to make any commentary, but they are sending me messages, outraged at what America has become. This America is strange to them. “Are you seeing this?” Yes, I see it. “How is this happening?” Have you all not noticed that I’m Black? Do you genuinely believe that you are sharing confidential information here? Is white supremacy and the abuse of power by the police supposed to be breaking news for me? It’s like they’re saying “us good white people wanted to let you know that there are bad white people out there doing bad things. It’s shocking! Just want to let you know in case you weren’t aware.” They can’t believe it they say.
There are only 3 reasons why they can’t believe that Black people are under siege in the United States and those reasons are as follows;
1. They know nothing about the country they live in. Absolutely nothing.
2. They haven’t actually listened or payed attention to anything Black people have said before.
3. They are deep denial about their country.
This is a country that dropped two bombs via air on Black people in Philadelphia in 1985. When it comes to raids and sieges, all white people know is Waco and maybe Ruby Ridge. They don’t know about MOVE in Philadelphia. Go ask your white liberal friends if they know about MOVE and you will probably be met with blank stares.
Since the inception of the US as a settler nation, Black people have been under siege. Black people being under siege is something many white liberals cannot fathom because they have never been under siege and they don’t know Black history beyond Martin Luther King having a dream and Rosa Parks sitting on a bus. They are comparing Ferguson to war zones outside the US because this doesn’t seem like home. Certainly not the home they know. They can’t fathom it happening in their country. No my friends, this is America. This is your country. This is what it has always been. Violence committed against Black people is as American as apple pie.
This level of savagery is foreign to white liberals because they don’t encounter openly hostile and aggressive law enforcement as a default. They don’t have to deal with the indignity and dehumanization of barbaric policing and then get told that them being targeted for abuse is the law (i.e. stop and frisk, broken windows, Rockefeller drug laws etc). They’re not accosted by officers with K9 units. They’re not dealing with aerial outposts of police surveillance in their communities. It’s not their blood flowing on the streets. Pictures of dead white bodies murdered by the police and white vigilantes isn’t a reality that gets shared on social media. Their dead bodies aren’t used by opportunistic media outlets looking to garner traffic and clicks for profit. Their dead bodies aren’t consumed by an eager audience looking to take a bite out of the latest ‘strange fruit’ that fell off the poplar tree. Cops are not barging into their homes and destroying everything in sight. It’s not their naked grandmothers being dragged out of their homes. It’s certainly not their 7 year old daughters getting shot and murdered as they sleep like Aiyana Jones, nor is it their teenage sons being taken to remote marshes, forced to strip, beaten to a bloody pulp and then abandoned nude, like Rayshawn Moreno.
Do they think these cops became this aggressive, violent and militarized overnight? They evolved into the beasts you see by enacting brutality on Black people. Evolved is the wrong word here. They’ve always been like this. They just have better equipment at their disposal. Gone are the water cannons and fire hoses. They now have rubber and wooden bullets, tear gas and sound cannons that cause permanent hearing loss.
The looting narrative is dead. Anti-Black racists can’t spin this with the classic Black criminality boogieman. The police are assaulting residential neighborhoods. The tide turned for white liberals after journalists started getting assaulted. Then it got real. It wasn’t real before when it was only Black bodies. Black suffering is meant for consumption and profit, not for enacting justice. Anti-Black racists wanted to conflate the issue with a handful of looters, as if the entire Black community in Ferguson were looters.
The question that should now be posed is that if journalists are getting arrested, physically assaulted, pelted with rubber and wooden bullets and even getting shot at with tear gas; if this is how the police is acting when everyone is watching, how do you think the police acts towards Black people when no one is watching? How do you think their policing in Black communities is conducted? Please note, after shooting journalists directly with tear gas, the police took their cameras. See here.
All this is happening in Ferguson because Black people dared to demand that the cop who murdered 18 year old Michael Brown be held accountable. They have to fight for mere accountability. Justice is not a given, they have to literally take to the streets and brave a police force that looks like an occupying military presence, complete with weaponry for warfare.
Ask yourselves white liberals, how often do white people have to galvanize entire communities and protest to get someone charged with murdering a white person? This is what Black people have to do time and time again.
Anyone who “can’t believe” what is happening in Ferguson is someone who is ahistorical and ignorant about the relationship the US has with Black people. We live in a country where the first air strikes delivered on US soil was on Black people in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Their communities were destroyed. Incendiary bombs and explosives were dropped on them by white law enforcement via World War I planes. I repeat, they dropped bombs on Black people in residential neighborhoods. I made no mention of the ground attacks, just the aerial assaults. So by all means, after you feign shock at what is happening in Ferguson, crack open a book (written by a Black historian) and see what your country has been doing and getting away with for time immemorial.
We are living through and watching Ferguson in real time, and this will be history. Like with previous sieges and assaults on Black communities, the grandchildren of today’s white liberals who know nothing about MOVE in Philly or Black Wall Street in Tulsa or Rosewood or the Colfax riot or the Wilmington insurrection or any of the numerous state sponsored and funded assaults on Black communities will feign shock and disbelief when Black people are again assaulted and they will say “I can’t believe this is happening in America”. These are the same white people who are outraged at wiretaps and declare that “the government is invading their privacy”. They will say “this country is turning into a police state”. They will say that when this country had the FBI’s Cointelpro. Surveillance is something that is shocking to them. It’s shocking because they don’t know about Cointelpro and what it did to Black people and Black progress. Black people have lived under siege and under surveillance. This might be new for you, but it’s not new for Black people.
In the future when the young Black protesters of today’s Ferguson will be old, the young white liberals, much like their forbears who have never heard of MOVE, will know nothing of Ferguson. White people have the privilege of not needing to know. Ferguson will be another ugly chapter in the annals of US history that will not be part of a school curriculum outside of a Black studies class.
Black people will soldier on. They are survivors. The very existence of Black people in the US and the Americas is a tale of survival. Bless them. Bless us.
No you misunderstood me. That's the problem with the internet. I just mean there's no justice in people who try to pull the race card and say it all ends there as if it is a scapegoat for their own little inner trip ups which is so shallow and superficial. I don't accept racism to hamper me in my dreams or anything at all but I don't force people to accept me by race but by character and shallow minded people are not worth my time.
I still don’t get what you’re trying to say, but ok.
I think we should just not accept being the scapegoat of things. People pick at people they think are the weakest link and that's not ok for people who aren't a weak link! I personally don't ever use my race for anything at all and never hit rough patches in life. I get things done and burn bad bridges.
Ignoring racism is not the way to overcome it. Speaking out against injustice is not “accepting being the scapegoat”. Being oppressed does not mean you’re a “weak link”. The fact that you haven’t experienced racism or been denied opportunities or basic human rights because of your race is privilege that too many people are not afforded. With that being said, you should probably refrain from giving advice on a subject in which you are not qualified to speak.
White people are always telling us that our internet activism is pointless and why don't we do something about racism, then when we take the streets to protest, they call us barbaric and call us animals and send riot police and shoot at us and harass us and physically abuse us. And people wonder why we use tumblr as a safe space to share our thoughts...
hey guys, i know a lot of people have shared the suicide prevention lifeline number which is really great, but i wanted to remind everyone of this website that does the same, except it’s online. i’m sure there are people who might be more comfortable…
Young Black female actress Keke Palmer sent a series of tweets that she probably views as compassionate and a clear voice on the recent extrajudicial execution of Michael Brown. I do not doubt that she genuinely cares about Michael Brown and his family. Nothing about her personality has conveyed callousness at a very basic level, and believe me, I have seen some fellow Black people convey a level of callousness that reveals the true cost of internalized racism and anti-Blackness on our lives.
However, these tweets of hers are still dangerous, even when dressed up in benevolence, mentions of love and Christian theism. Her tweets reflect a common theme (what Pharrell called “new Black”) where the experience of “old” Blackness is flattened into one of “arbitrary” rage without history or context, into “random” bitterness without the reality of oppression in our lives as a factor, and most dangerously so, one of the politics of respectability, the lie that individual emotion and positive affirmations can dismantle structural oppression and one that does not allow the space for nuanced emotions beyond benevolence and “peace” in response to the genocidal violence of anti-Blackness. It is essentially certain Black celebrities engaging in victim blaming (and on Twitter, I discussed why Black people do this, in general).
When Keke tweets "I feel bad for those that choose to believe they’re doomed. You’re doomed because you believe so." it stands in stark contrast to Michael Brown’s mother Lesley McSpadden who stated this: "You know how hard it was for me to get him to stay in school and graduate? You know how many Black men graduate? Not many. Because you bring them down to this type of level (she lowered her hands in the video) and they feel like they don’t got nothin’ to live for anyway.”
Keke Palmer’s affirmation that simply believing something different eradicates the fact that Black men are extrajudicially killed on a 28 hour clock is victim blaming. Even if her intent is something else. The impact is what it is. Certainly Keke is young, privileged via class status and now somewhat disconnected from some of the very same things that her fans themselves experience, even though she still would experience racism and anti-Blackness, as class status doesn’t completely eclipse these. However, the fact that Pharrell, Don Lemon, Morgan Freeman and a plethora of other Black celebrities engage in these statements/actions where protection of career means denial of Black history and current Black experiences to instead applaud everything from affirmations to exceptionalism clearly reveals that her tweets are not completely caused by youth and lack of information/connection. It’s about a calculated ignorance that some Black people have to engage in to protect their careers and sadly other Black celebrities genuinely believe.
Since so many celebrities engage in “positive affirmation” talk (because of exceptionalism and the nature of their wealth, especially since so many Black celebrities are just one generation removed from poverty) via individualism (fostered by imperialist White supremacist capitalist patriarchy; diametrically opposed to most Black culture of community and connection) instead of acknowledging structural oppression and its impact on millions of non-famous Black lives, it’s clearly not solely about naivety and age. It’s about internalized racism, exceptionalism, and victim blaming, whether Keke Palmer does it at age 20 or Morgan Freeman does it at age 77. Consider the fact that Janelle Monae is 28 and she acknowledges the reality of racism. Consider the fact that Cicely Tyson is 80 and she acknowledges the reality of racism. This also happens. It’s possible to do so and still have a career.
When Keke tweets “If you want to end racism, you start by not generalizing/grouping people with the thought that they all believe the same things” she creates false equalization between the violence against Black bodies because of generalizations, stereotypes, archetypes and controlling images of Black people with Whites’ discomfort with benefitting from anti-Blackness, White supremacy and White privilege, whether they feel that they are “racist” or not. She sets this up as if there is a structural repercussion for generalizing Whites. Racism is not “insults” back and forth that “goes both ways.” It remains structural. And Whiteness is where that power is concentrated. When Black parents generalize the police, they want to protect their children. When the police (and even non-White cops have to uphold White supremacy and anti-Blackness as the police functions as the violent local arm of the State) generalize Black people, we die.
When Keke tweets "Why do we hate each other, harm each other, kill each other? We are brothers and sisters y’all. All colors! Peace is the answer." in response to the cops executing Michael Brown, she, like so many people alludes to the violent conflation of intraracial crime (which every race has, not solely Black people) with anti-Blackness causing extrajudicial execution as modern day lynching. When Whites, non-Black people of colour and unfortunately some Black people who have internalized racism and believe that the politics of respectability can protect us repeat or allude to the violent lie, derailment and misnomer (“Black on Black crime” is a misnomer and epistemic violence) that Black people “don’t care about intraracial crime,” this is derailment and dehumanization via false equalization. (And we have to stop thinking about oppression in terms of “hate” anyway; it requires no such individualized thing, only power and resources to lord over those who do not have them.)
While “peace” sounds nice, I am sure that Michael Brown’s mother wanted her child to return home in peace. The denial of the space to grieve (and one of the five stages of grief is actually anger, by the way) means psychologicalwarfare against Black people who remain. Because of anti-Blackness, even death is not the final act for Black people, where victims are degraded post-mortem and Black people who remain are regularly denied the ability to actually grieve while the murderers and the State rarely are held accountable. Suggesting that the response/answer to violence against Black children is simply behaving peacefully despite evidence to the contrary of this as effective, Keke and anyone who agrees with her indirectly denies the breadth of the humanity of Black people.
Her tweets definitely hurt and angered many Black people on Twitter (though some sadly shared her non-nuanced view). However, I do worry that at times Black celebrities are positioned as the “real” problem over the White shooters. Over White supremacy. Over anti-Blackness. And while they most certainly are harming other Black people with respectability politics and affirmations/projections based on internalized racism, I never want to reach the point where I’m holding them accountable outside of the context that makes this calculated ignorance of theirs necessary in the first place. As I alluded to on Twitter:
The stuff Keke is tweeting is short-sighted because that’s kinda common with celebs who yes, still face racism, but their reality is still a bubble. No, not every celeb is going to engage structural violence beyond citing the bible or engage oppression structurally and not via individualized affirmations. The victim blaming and facile nature of “affirmation” culture because of exceptionalism of Black celebrity has them thinking progress is boiler late.
But let’s not be ahistorical. There were Black celebs of the past who spoke out and some said nonsense or kept their head down. Same as today. Don’t romanticize the Civil Rights Movement era as if “all” Black people spoke out. Couldn’t. Many Black people were terrified and spoke in terms of the politics of respectability, nonsense or were silent altogether. And we have to always contextualize our activism in the presence of anti-Blackness. Are we more angry at Black celebs or anti-Blackness/racism? Realize in fact it’s really the same anti-Blackness that makes us hold Black people accountable for “ending” racism and moreso than Whiteness. And it’s a slippery slope when we start holding fellow Black people responsible for racism itself. Be careful.
Also, some of the anger at Black celebs speaking nonsense on race is about White Gaze fear. How their nonsense is placed over the truth that we know. The reality is anti-Blackness aligns with any explanation that shrinks its impact, even if no Black celeb was nonsensical about it.
It absolutely hurts when Black celebrities with massive platforms use them in ways that harms or triggers fellow Black people, especially when the violence that we experience is so fresh and raw at this moment after the execution of Michael Brown and so many other Black people, including Black women, Black LGBTQIA people in general, and especially Black trans women (who face astronomical violence) and Black sex workers. And while we easily rally behind cishet Black men when they are harmed, that same care and concern—by celebrity and non-famous Black persons alike—is needed for all Black people.
While some Black celebrities are never going to be activists, I wish they would stop trying to be “pacifists” (and regularly misspeak on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s work, only taking parts that fulfill memes used to silence us and not more of the breadth of his perspective) through the flattening of Black experience with appeals to the ahistorical nature of White supremacy. They can show compassion to those who are hurt without the politics of respectability, tone policing and victim blaming. And while there may be a cost to their careers for not indulging anti-Blackness and violence, they have to be willing to draw a line to where a certain level of triggering excuses, false equalizations and ahistorical explanations won’t be used against Black people and deemed compassion.
Celebrities like Keke and all of the others I named who share her view? Maybe just reach out and connect versus trying to educate on what they either don’t know or cannot say. And maybe as they do this, non-famous Black people can both stop expecting celebrities to lead movements and examine our anger at them when in reality their behavior does not eclipse the system that usually creates the reasons why they disappoint us in the first place.