Monday, August 11, 2014

Racism In the Us Is Fucking Terrible

[TRIGGER WARNING: RACISM, GUN VIOLENCE, POLICE BRUTALITY]

As highlighted by YET ANOTHER unarmed black man - 18-year-old Michael Brown - gunned down by the police after doing something that, according to witnesses, was entirely non-threatening. But of course, once again, witness accounts somehow don't even come close to matching up with the police officers' account of what happened.

This has happened so. Many. Times. And almost always to black men and women. There are long lists of young black individuals who were shot and killed for no good reason, by police and by random racist white people who didn't like what they were doing.

But the racism doesn't stop there, if you're somehow not convinced. The reactions to these racist shootings within the black community are routinely demonized. When people protested in Ferguson, it was widely represented as a riot, with media outlets highlighting shots of property destruction and calling it looting. Some then reported that protesters were chanting "kill the police," when actual video footage shows people chanting "killer cops have got to go."
Then there's the issue of the photos that always seem to get presented by the news media of black youth who are gunned down. They always manage to find the pictures of the murdered individual doing something like smoking, holding up a middle finger, or doing anything that could possibly be considered "thuggish." I don't know how you can explain this trend other than a racist desire to justify the murder.

This tactic has spawned a particularly fantastic hashtag on Twitter, #IfTheyGunnedMeDown. People of color are posting contrasting photos of themselves - one doing something deemed socially inappropriate or bad in some way, and another of them graduating, or spending time with family, or dressing for job interviews or important presentations. They then ask, which would the media use if what happened to Michael Brown happened to them?


Everyone has pictures of themselves doing something like flipping off the camera. Including white people. And everyone, including each of the black individuals who have been gunned down, have at least neutral pictures. Any news outlet that claims to be unbiased but chooses the former should be fucking ashamed.

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