Tuesday, August 11, 2015

#FergusonTaughtMe

The anniversary of Michael Brown's death was Sunday and people on various social media were sharing memories, reminders, and some making use of the #FergusonTaughtMe.  While I've talked about it a bit here, and certainly my Twitter followers aware, Ferguson taught me that my country was okay with gassing protesters.  That the militarization of local police forces had not kept pace with training.  That rather than working with police officers to teach them to end things peacefully, police training was putting an emphasis on ending things, on protecting police officer's lives at the expense of citizens.  That the slanted view of certain mainstream media sources was both untenable for me, and rapidly outpaced by social media. 
Ferguson woke me up.  The challenge of reaching a certain level of, ahem, maturity is finding that there are things that make you unhappy, but not always as outraged.  There are things I cannot believe we still haven't fixed, and things I wasn't sure I'd live long enough to see fixed. I learned I had previously untapped stores of outrage, of sadness, and of not-in-my-freaking-country-ness.  As with many of the things we've been talking about here on the blog of late, this is a giant cultural, systemic problem that will not untangle easily.  But that doesn't at all mean we don't try.

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