There might be someone who asks, “What is Ferguson Missouri? ” “What is there to care about?” Well…. 1st off Ferguson Missouri is a place in the mid western region of the US. What took place is the reason so many major news outlets in the US are now shining a light on a problem deeply engraved in American culture.
On August 9, 2014 an 18-year-old black male named Michael “Mike” Brown and his 22-year-old friend Dorian Johnson visited Ferguson Market and Liquor shortly after noon. The exact details around what happened inside of the store are unclear but there is an ongoing narrative and investigation. A Ferguson police officer responded to a call made by a customer alleging there had been a robbery. Responding to the robbery was a “white male” police officer who shot the young black male “Mike” Brown multiple times and he was “unarmed.” There have been a total of 3 autopsies and a myriad of investigations surrounding this particular incident. So many things took place after this incident that I would need multiple blog posts to go into detail. ( Please see info on Mike Brown or Ferguson MO via search engine of your choice)
If you are a regular visitor to this site, you know that the atmosphere is very open. There’s a glossary literally giving real definitions of race and even discussion surrounding the terms and why they are important. What I’ve come to notice is that people really aren’t interested in the biological factors and definitions. If solving our issues were as easy as teaching someone terms we would no longer have a problem. People want to know about the everyday interactions with family, relationships, friends, co-workers and etc. But why should people who aren’t racially “black or African-American” care about this incident? Why would people who are racially “black or African-American” care? Part of the reason there’s a misunderstanding about “why” is that “mainstream media” does an absolutely poor job of covering the depth and complexities of racism. There’s race, ethnicity, culture, colorism and an eternity of other variables. Most of the time the only incidents that you hear about is when someone who is famous is “intentionally racist.” The fact that there is structural and institutional racism that is the very thread of America is often ignored. There is a systematic approach to covering what “seems” to be important rather than what we should actually be paying attention to. I’ll bet that no one has turned on the news and heard terms like, “structural racism or institutional racism.” Often you’re only going to hear individual occurences of “racial profiling or voter suppression and other personal prejudices. There’s this term “minority” that everyone who is “non-white” has heard to describe themselves. It seems to just toss all the crabs into a bucket except for the “blue” ones.
This individual occurrence, although it’s one of many very unique incidents that happen everyday, allows the world to actually take a look at structural and institutional racism. Individual groups with specific collective interests can then decide how Court rulings will affect them. We need that collectivism. Because this incident has garnered international attention, it’s hard to ignore that there will be lingering conversations and opportunities to focus on the root causes of racism. It effects everyone differently but there are effects. For the people who check “other” as their race, it could be a very unique affect, but it’s almost guaranteed to reach you on a personal level because more than likely you could be “non-white” exclusively.
As this project grows and more collaborations are made I hope to shed a unique light so that we can see where and how the faces of particular demographics are represented.
Please take a look and listen to the narrative from a reliable source that is representative of your values. I’m certain you’ll find that the narrative if reliable will illustrate that structural and institutional racism is far-reaching.