ferguson

Anti White Supremacy 101

I pay for my education, so I take it very seriously. I try really hard to learn as much as I can in every class. This semester I took a women and gender studies 101 to fill a requirement. Lets just say I got much more than my moneys worth.

3 Things I Learned in My Women and Genders Studies 101 Class:

1. People of color are not afraid of home intruders.

I thought the last day of class was just going to be a quick wrap up but no, my diligent professor made sure to throw in one last lesson. How dedicated is that?

She began telling us about Oscar Pistorius the South African Paralympic champion, who became the first double legg amputee to participate in the Olympics. In 2013 Pistorius fatally shot his girlfriend through their bathroom door, because he throughout she was an intruder.

Oscar Pistorius- Please note the pigmentation of his skin. (My professor made sure we realized this was the most important fact about him.) Photocreds- Wikipedia

With all of her expertise, my professor went on to explain what caused Pistorius to shoot his girlfriend. She first made sure that everyone in the class was aware Pistorius is a wealthy WHITE male, who lives in an affluent neighborhood. She then when on to say “white fear” caused him to shoot his girlfriend.

Try to stay with me, I know this is a difficult concept. I was confused by this at first too, but don’t worry my amazing professor explained it!

Pistorius claimed he thought the person behind the bathroom door was an intruder. My professor posed the question “what do you think he thought the person behind the door looked like?” After a long pause someone in the class called out “Black!” My professor quickly said “you don’t have to answer it out loud, just consider it….”

Of course my professor wasn’t insinuating that oscar only shot the intruder because he thought it was a person of color was she? and if she was… does that mean if Pistorius was a person of color he wouldn’t have been afraid of an intruder?

My take away from that lesson- only white people are afraid of intruders- because all intruders have to be a person of color, and no people of color are afraid of people breaking into their homes. MAKES PERFECT SENSE RIGHT?!

2. A child called IT

We learned about “political correctness” and sensitivity. We talked about pronouns and how to correctly address people. My professor told us that it is better to ask what pronouns a person would be called. Personally I identify as a straight female and like the pronouns “she and her” to be used for me.

Of course there are going to be situations where it is either inappropriate or too difficult to ask someone what pronouns they like to be called, but no need for worry! My all knowing professor told us the best way to deal with this is to refer to someone as “it”.

She pointed out a perfect example of this. She told my class that in his testimony that Officer Daren Wilson said “it looked like a demon”, and then she went on to say HOW UNACCEPTABLE AND HORRIBLE it was that Officer Wilson called Michael Brown an “it”.

He should have asked what pronoun he wanted to be called…

Oh wait… I decided to look up the piece of testimony so that I could fully understand how awful Officer Wilson is…

Officer Wilson's testimony.

Officer Wilson’s testimony.

Oh! By “it” he was referring to the intense aggressive face.. not Michael Brown. So the lesson isn’t ask people what pronouns they want to be called, the lesson is take things out of context and porput them as truths and mislead people to make your point! Duhhh?!

3. The Single Story

My professor told us that if we didn’t learn anything else, she wanted us to make sure that we understood the concept of “the single story.” She explained this as the idea that history and the media, well society in general portrays everything through the perspective of the white male.

She told us that it is important to destroy the idea of the single story, and instead entertain multiple perspectives from all different kinds of people.

She then went on to teach the entire course saying things like “ALL police officers are white supremacists” and she even had members of the campus protest group THE general body come in and talk to us… but she never had anyone from the administration come in to talk to us.

Hmm seems like if you want to entertain multiple perspectives you should have both sides of the issue talk to your class…

Oh no. I’m sorry! I misinterpreted what she meant by multiple perspectives. By “Multiple” she actually meant perspectives that line up with hers! Silly me, why would I ever think that dissonance could actually be used to teach a college course!

By Kyra Azzato

The Blatant Unapologetic Dishonesty Surrounding Ferguson

I wasn’t planning on writing anything else about Ferguson – I already said my piece about the rioting – but on Monday I was reviewing for final exams when class was interrupted by protestors walking around the building, yelling about the Grand Jury’s decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson.

And then I thought about the blatant lies that are being used to perpetuate a certain narrative about what happened. These are the things that infuriate me about Ferguson:

“Hands up, Don’t Shoot!”

This is a slogan that protestors across the country have taken up, referring to the witness allegation that Mike Brown was shot while his hands were raised above his head in a sign of surrender. The official autopsy tears down this claim, as well as another lie being passed around by protestors that Brown was shot in the back as he fled.

To add to that point, the witnesses who told police that Brown was shot in the back, and that Darren Wilson stood over him and shot him again to finish him off were clearly trying to vilify Wilson, and cover for their friend. They should be arrested for obstruction of justice.

Rough sketch from the autopsy performed on Mike Brown

Rough sketch from the autopsy performed on Mike Brown

Yet protestors still use the slogan, “Hands up, don’t shoot,” in complete contradiction to the evidence. The St. Louis Rams players opened their most recent game against the Oakland Raiders with a “Hands up, don’t shoot,” protest, aggravating police who are working overtime to protect the stadium.

The fact that people are keeping up this huge lie on the national stage, simply because it gets attention and fits narrative they are trying to sell is disgraceful.

“Officer Darren Wilson Shot an Unarmed Teen”

You probably recognize this statement from the write in to almost every story covering Ferguson since August. It’s irresponsible to lead with that statement for two reasons. Firstly, teen is a deliberately misleading word choice: most people use “teen” to mean grade school age. Most people use “young adult” to mean high school age. At 18 years old, Brown was a legal adult. Painting him as a child to win sympathy is wrong.

Secondly, an unarmed person does not remain unarmed if they are trying to take someone else’s gun.

Publishing Officer Darren Wilson’s Address

Wanted poster offering $5,000 for Officer Darren Wilson's location, and $1,000 for each of his family members, posted by "protestors." Photo Credit: youngcons.com

Wanted poster offering $5,000 for Officer Darren Wilson’s location, and $1,000 for each of his family members, posted by “protestors.”
Photo Credit: youngcons.com

A gang in Ferguson put out a $5,000 bounty for Wilson’s address, and an additional $1,000 for each close family member. So it seems to me that publishing this information, when people are out for blood, is a grossly irresponsible thing to do. Yet the New York Times thought it would be appropriate. In doing so they put Darren Wilson and his family in danger.

The “Black Lives Matter,” Chant

Of course they do. All lives matter. I don’t hear anyone arguing they don’t.

My biggest issue with protestors who use this tactic is they are trying to change the parameters of the issue. It’s no longer about whether Officer Wilson acted in self defense – it devolves into, “If you disagree with us, you must think that black lives don’t matter.”

Here’s the thing: disagreeing with the Ferguson protestors does not mean I value the lives of one race more than another; it means I value forensic and physical evidence over conflicting and disproven witness testimony.

Do None of Them Have Jobs?

Someone will have to tell me what generous employer has given all those protestors and rioters four months off work. Protests are fine, but not when they interfere with the livelihood of other Americans. I believe this man sums it up best.

Tyree Landum was worried that he would loose his job when protestors blocking the highway, keeping him from getting to work. He has a right to be that mad.

Media Downplaying or Justifying the Rioting

While 10 businesses and a church burned to the ground in Ferguson, and more were looted, Time published a piece talking all about how rioting is actually pretty great. (Try telling that to the business owners who can’t feed their families because they lost everything.) They’re probably right, I’m sure those protestors really do mean well.

Totally unrelated note, here’s a video of Mike Brown’s stepfather yelling at the crowd to “Burn this B**** down:”

But again, probably totally good intentions.

Pro-tip, if you really want to convince the media that you’re looting because of how upset you are, you probably shouldn’t be smiling as you run out of the store with your stolen merchandise. Just a thought.

I’m Preparing For Finals

Sorry to be a little selfish here, but studying for finals is stressful; I don’t like exam week. I also don’t like being called a racist. That being said, I really don’t like being called a racist while I’m trying to study for exam week, by protestors who are marching around campus buildings in circles.

Please let the rest of us do our work in peace, and if you are going to protest, don’t lie. Thanks.

-By Cole Ellenbogen

5 Signs Your Peaceful Protest May Actually Be an Angry Mob

Peaceful protests are an essential part of democracy, but emotions can run high, and sometimes things can go south pretty quickly. If you ever find yourself wondering, “Am I a part of a violent and possibly illegal clash with police?” you can refer to these 5 signs that you might actually be a culpable participant in an angry mob. I recommend brushing up on these in advance if you’re planning on being in Ferguson, Missouri when the Darren Wilson Grand Jury verdict is announced.

1. MOLOTOV COCKTAILS:

Sometimes people get angry with authority, and take to the streets in protest. It’s all fun and games until someone puts down their picket sign – or more recently, pieces of paper with witty slogans designed for internet photo compilations – and pick up one of these bad boys.

An anti-government protestor throws a molotov cocktail toward security. Photo credit: thevelvetrocket.com

An anti-government protestor throws a molotov cocktail toward security.
Photo Credit: thevelvetrocket.com

You’ll be able to know that Molotovs – or Petrol Bombs if you’re European – are in play if you see the telltale fire that accompanies them. They’re often used against riot police when push comes to shove. If these things are being thrown around, your protest has probably turned into a riot.

2. ARMED ASSAULT AND ROBERY OF FELLOW PROTESTORS

Unity is key in a protest, especially if you want to keep things civil. If one group of protestors is selling T-shirts to spread awareness of your cause, this is a good! Signs and clothing are excellent ways of peacefully getting the word out about your plight.

Group of pro Michael Brown protestors selling shirts in a parking lot, before a second group led by Lesley McSpadden, mother of Michael brown, allegedly assaulted and robbed their sales outpost.  Photo Credit: mr. conservative.com

Group of pro-Michael Brown protestors selling shirts in a parking lot, before a second group led by Lesley McSpadden, mother of the late Michael Brown, allegedly assaulted and robbed their sales outpost.
Photo Credit: mr. conservative.com

But even something as innocent as a T-shirt sale could get dicey. If you’re part of a splinter-protest group that appears to be assaulting the T-shirt sellers and stealing their merchandise as result of a trade-mark dispute, you’re probably in an angry mob.

3. PILLAGING/LOOTING OF THE COMMUNITY

A public vigil is a great way to unite a community. Pillaging is a great way to divide it! There could be looting in progress if you see groups of people breaking through glass storefronts, or masked persons running from stores carrying merchandise – this one can be tricky, be sure you stop and ask to see if they have a receipt.

A looter flees the seen of a Ferguson store after a candle-lit vigil. Photo Credit: ABC News

A looter flees the seen of a Ferguson store after a candle-lit vigil.
Photo Credit: ABC News

If the person does not have a receipt, they’re either forgetful, or a looter! This is a possible sign that the peaceful protest has deteriorated into an angry mob. If you are unable to get away from the mob, and absolutely have to participate in the looting, avoid places like gun stores, or ones that have NRA stickers on the windows. You’ll know a place is safe to rob if it has this sign either in the window, or on the property:

A poster advertising that there will be no armed resistance on the premises

A poster advertising that there will be no armed resistance on the premises.

4. PUTTING OUT A PUBLIC BOUNTY FOR A POLICE OFFICER AND HIS FAMILY

If signs like this appear around your town, such as the ones that a group called RbG Black Rebels have plastered all over Ferguson, be alert!

Wanted poster offering $5,000 for Officer Darren Wilson's location, and $1,000 for each of his family members, posted by "protestors." Photo Credit: youngcons.com

Wanted poster offering $5,000 for Officer Darren Wilson’s location, and $1,000 for each of his family members, posted by “protestors.”
Photo Credit: youngcons.com

While they provide an excellent opportunity for you and your friends to earn some easy cash, they’re also a decent indicator that a lynch mob of vigilantes (and not the good kind) is forming, and you should do your darnedest to stay away.

5. TORCHING OF BUILDINGS, RELATED OR UNRELATED TO YOUR GRIEVANCE

Arson is typically frowned upon by most, and has no place in a peaceful protest. One sign that arson is in progress is smoke coming from buildings.

There are a few buzzwords to listen for to make sure it really is mob-arson, such as: “Burn it down,” or “Burn that mother ****** down.”

__________

Protests are important to America: it’s part of how we can exercise free speech, and make others aware of major issues. But opportunistic mob-violence tears apart communities, and distracts from the issues at hand.

By Cole Ellenbogen