Sorry To Get Serious For A Second

This site is meant to be a fun place for us all to hang out and enjoy ourselves, and I have no intention of changing that. But as you’re probably already aware, the situation in Ferguson, MO right now is utterly disgraceful, and it feels wrong not to mention it. Here is a good assemblage of information, including numerous eyewitness tweets, pictures, and video. Vox and the various Gawker Media sites have also been doing some solid reporting, and The Toast just put up some more links.

Now we’ll get back to our regularly scheduled programming of cute videos and fondly mocking celebrities. Let’s all do what we can to make this garbage planet of ours a little better today.

ETA: This site has a list of cities that are holding National Moment Of Silence events to tonight (thanks, catweazle).

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19 Responses to Sorry To Get Serious For A Second

  1. old man fatima says:

    Holy cow. I am Canadian and have a house full of guests so haven’t had time to read a paper. I had no idea any of this was even happening. This is insanity!

  2. artdorkgirl says:

    This is just a shame. I’ve been following it very closely and am at a complete loss to understand how this can happen.

  3. marlasinger says:

    What the hell?

  4. Sota says:

    I may leave for my underground bunker now. Don’t worry guys, I will make sure to have internet there so that we can all still talk everyday. UGH.

  5. catweazle says:

    There’s a National Moment of Silence tonight; this site has info on which cities have events organized for it: http://www.popularresistance.org/tonight-national-moment-of-silence-against-police-violence/

  6. This whole thing is sickening. I hate that police in this country think that they’re justified in shooting first, asking questions later. And the military gear they’re wearing is ridiculous, just an intimidation tactic. The purpose of the police is to protect the community, not fight against it. If they actually gave a damn about the people protesting they’d be dressed normally and using mediators to solve the problem.

    • Also, I went to the Chicago Moth Grand Slam a few months ago. One of the storytellers was a former Chicago cop who was at Cabrini Green during the riots after MLK’s assassination. I wish I could find the story somewhere, because it’s beautiful. Basically, he realized that only about 500 people out of the 15,000 Cabrini Green residents were rioting and violent. His job was to protect those 15,000 people rather than assuming that every African American he met was a threat. I wish more people thought like that man.

    • nastyemu says:

      One of the local news stations had someone in the field broadcasting a live stream last night. It was really disturbing. They were firing tear gas and rubber bullets into crowds of people in a residential neighborhood. They weren’t even protesting or anything. Just gathered in their neighborhood. It was really awful.

    • mikaelajm says:

      it’s truly awful, and I’m glad there is some broad mobilization (like the link posted, and this bail/legal aid fundraising link: http://antistatestl.noblogs.org/post/2014/08/11/bail-and-legal-fund-for-those-arrested-during-ferguson-anti-police-demonstrations/). I also think it’s important to recognize that these horrible events are not new. This is a permanent condition of our fucked-up country. The struggles of the MOVE group in Philly, The Watts riots and the LA riots, the Attica uprising, the history of the National Guard, etc. etc. Not to mention stop and frisk, Rockefeller drug laws, mandatory minimums, ad infinitum. This is the most recent highly visible manifestation of a deeply embedded, structural problem. Structure — not event. When you’re genuinely shocked that this could happen here/now, you aren’t paying close enough attention. It can, it does, and it’s not going away until people understand that.

      I hope that the moment of mobilization will crystallize into a more sustained examination of the anti-blackness that permeates American society and the many ways in which blackness is criminalized and this kind of violence has been normalized in our country.

      (I don’t claim to know a lot about this stuff myself and I hope I don’t come across as pedantic or antagonistic. I’ve been doing some reading about the prison-industrial complex and related issues for my academic work. There is a lot more I need to learn.)

  7. I agree the best word is sickening. Every thing I hear is just more and more terrifying.

  8. msmessica says:

    Well, President Obama just got done giving his statement and it was…it was just a heap of garbage you guys. He actually said the phrase, “there is no excuse for violence against the police.” There isn’t one documented case of violence against the police in Ferguson right now.

    I’m dumbfounded frankly.

    • Erika says:

      He should call out the National Guard to get the police under control, but I won’t hold my breath.

  9. martinmegz says:

    Thank you for this post. To me this feels like a major event in our country that must be discussed because we have to make it known that we do not condone the behavior of the Ferguson/STL County police. I mean, I watch the Bachelor every Monday and love every minute of it, I’m hardly a social agitator. But I’m outraged seeing the police arresting and assaulting reporters, ordering peaceful crowds to disperse, throwing tear gas and shooting rubber bullets into crowds that are not being violent or unlawful.

    My coworkers are maddeningly unconcerned with this situation. One girl just told me, “Well, anyone can suspend civil rights anywhere” as a way of telling me that I’m overreacting. YEAH THAT’S WHY I’M MAD, DUMMY. Everything I read about Ferguson makes me angry: what’s actually happening on the ground and the implications for society at large. And I can’t do shit else but talk about it and hope that if enough people speak out then we can stave off the erosion of civil rights just a little longer.

  10. Casey says:

    It’s extremely sad, and also galling to see basically a mechanized army facing off against the poorest of the poor in our own country. We usually only do that in other countries, you guys! Seriously though, it’s weeks like this that make me wish we could blow on the cartridge and hit reset a few times.

  11. Mintie says:

    I’ve been following this story pretty closely as it has spiralled out of control. The number of deaths recently/semi-recently has been completely appalling (Eric Garner, Rekia Boyd, Oscar Grant, Ramarley Graham, Amadou Diallo and others – I’m sure I’ve missed a bunch). Thanks for making the post.

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