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That sentence was the beginning of a tweet Washington Post journalist, Wesley Lowery sent out in the early morning hours. The tweet was the harrowing conclusion of a story Lowery told about his experiences on the ground in Ferguson, MO.  It is a story of fear and desperation. It is a story about the people of Ferguson under siege from both law enforcement and outside agitators. It is a story about attacks on the media. It is a story of how all our voices can be silenced.  Here it is.


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By all accounts the subdivision of Canton, the site of Michael Brown's death, was a war zone last night. Law enforcement had put down concrete barricades across the roads trapping residents, media, peaceful protestors, and those who were not. Law enforcement made no distinctions and covered the neighborhood in teargas.  

There is a reason why law enforcement is attacking journalists and photographers. It is a desperate attempt to control the narrative, one that would paint the killing of yet another young black man as justified. It is a narrative that wants to "Thugarize" an entire community in order to validate law enforcement's over reaction and indiscriminate use of force.

Shutting down the media is crucial to that enterprise. Shutting down the media would prevent an in depth, nuanced, examination of the events in Ferguson and what has led up to them. Shutting down the media would leave the people of Ferguson voiceless and prevent pieces like Wesley Lowery's Ferguson protesters: The peaceful, the elders, the looters, and the ‘militants’ from being written.  

 Shutting down the media leaves the good people of Ferguson alone, in fear, and silenced.

This morning, the good people of Ferguson were out cleaning up their streets again and passing out roses.

Without on the ground media we'd never know. Instead the thugarization of a community would continue, unexamined and unchallenged. Instead, the centuries long looting of the dreams and worth of POC will go on. Instead, the Constitutional rights that we take for granted will continue to be subverted.

The hardest truth about Ferguson and the arc of history behind it is not what it reveals about Black America. It is the mirror it holds up to the majority of White Americans. It is the reflection of far too many white American's privileged indifference, selfishness, cowardice, and their costs.

That is the root of what we have been seeing in Ferguson. That is the root at the heart of everything.

What are we leaving for the next generation? Will all the children of this nation be granted the inalienable right to be all that they are? When will all our children be free to grow and thrive, knowing they are valued, that they have worth?

When do we truly begin to love our neighbors as we would want to be loved?

1:02 PM PT: The family of Michael Brown will be burying their child on Monday.

Funeral and Public Memorial for Michael Brown will be Monday by TomP.

We need to do everything possible for as long as it takes to stop this centuries long river of tears.


Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Onomastic on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 12:23 PM PDT.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges, Black Kos community, and White Privilege Working Group.

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