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Updated on Sunday, November 30

#20188

OMG: A really good friend from high school posted an FB status about Ferguson. Essentially, her status said that protesters are in the right and police shouldn't interfere. Perhaps I was wrong to comment on it, but I linked to photos of innocent people who reside in Ferguson whose lives have been turned upside down by the looting and rioting, one of them being the man that Mike Brown stole from and harassed before he was shot. I said that peaceful protesting is fine but the rioting and looting needed to be stopped in Ferguson.

Anyway, her friends jumped in and more comments went back and forth. I ended up voicing my opinion about Mike Brown under heavy flaming. In a nutshell, I said that I think he wasn't the innocent boy the media portrayed him to be while citing forensic evidence from the Grand Jury documents.

I messaged her privately apologizing for turning her status into a debate. Today I received a message from her. She said she has blocked me on Facebook and I will continue to be blocked until she has calmed down because she was angry about what I said. She wants me to reconsider my stance on Mike Brown and that she expected more from me.

I don't really know what to do and I'm still kinda stunned. She's one of the few people I still keep in touch with from high school and I consider her a good friend. I'm also really sad and very disappointed. If you had posted a status like that on FB, surely you expected to hear differing opinions? I voiced mine, she didn't like it, and now she has cut off contact with me indefinitely.

/endrant

I am also very open to hear your opinions on Ferguson.

53 comments

  1. Ferguson is a lot to talk about. But in general, I find it sad how there's many people who aren't capable in voicing their opinions while recognizing other opinions or who just block people off entirely. It feels like this has been becoming more of a norm where you either just insult the person who generalize them to some demonized group.

    So my answer to you is, I don't believe you should change your stance just because your "friend" blocked you. If she considers this situation that important and you as a good friend, she would voice her arguments as to why she thinks the way she does instead of just blocking you. Clearly, it seems she just wants to think a certain way.

    When it comes to Ferguson, I don't want to comment too much on it. I think the media and society are generalizing groups too much. For example, mathNEWS just had their cover stating Michael Brown and others die for being black. It's so much more nuanced than that, some important things being their class/environment. Income forcing you to stay in a impoverished neighborhood where crime is prevalent. It's just dumb that we reduce thing's to a common denominator(math!) to make as many people accept it.

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    1. *Edit - just insult the person OR generalize them to some demonized group.

      Wish omguw had edits.

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    2. @1a, why would you expect to have edits when you are posting anonymously?

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    3. It would be cool to be able to post through an account and chose if we want our user name or number to be shown. Then we could be able to edit while remaining anonymous. It would need to show a edit history or else you could say "GO CANADA" then change it to "GO HITLER" once people started commenting

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  2. Fuck her, she's racist.

    People like her don't care about facts. Literally the only argument on that side is that Mike was black and the cop was white.

    But really though, this is no different than when OJ Simpson was found innocent and all the white people started burning down all the black businesses. Wait...

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    1. Completely agree. People are trying to make this into something it isn't. Would the cop have shot if it were a white person of the same stature? Probably.

      I think it's awful that some people against this ruling decided the best course of action was to riot and take out their frustrations on innocent people. Can't we be a little more civilized?

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    2. @2a "Would the cop have shot if it were a white person of the same stature?"

      Probably not. What about the guy who was waving loaded guns in a children's playground? They had no problem taking him alive.

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  3. I think your friend may have had a vitriolic reaction to your input because she lumped you in with the general body of oblivious "white" (this term includes non-white people who have somehow been able to access the same social privileges as white people) people who are blind to the systemic racial problems in the US of which this incident is merely a symptom. Definitely it is a more nuanced issue than simply 'white-on-black violence', but it doesn't change the result: an unarmed black teenager died by the hand of the white-dominated state. I think the protesters have due cause to be outraged. Perhaps, as you've rightly pointed out, they have gone overboard with their means of voicing their anger, but you might want to be careful not to inadvertently dismiss the legitimacy of the protesters' cause while condemning their socially destructive actions. While the "innocent people" whose lives have been disturbed by the protests do merit sympathy, I don't think it's the way to go to emphasize their loss against the centuries-long everyday prejudices and institutional violence endured by black people in a deeply racist society. Even if you didn't intend it, what you said may have been construed as an attempt to divert the discourse away from the central matter of contention.

    Jon Stewart's response to the issue is both poignant and hilarious: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1084693384891590

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    1. What is wrong with you, exactly? 'Protesters have due cause to be outraged'?

      Some black thug robbed a store then attacked a cop. He caused his own death by attacking someone with a gun. Do you want to know what black privilege is? Actually getting sympathy for it.

      Then his step father incites a riot (but will never be arrested for it, more black privilege), and the resulting chimpout ruins a town.

      I'm not fucking colorblind, but the 'systemic racism' against racism isn't about colour. They behave like animals, but its the white mans fault they destroy their own community? Its certainly the white mans job to clean their mess afterwards.

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    2. 3, you're generalizing people to by stating anyone who doesn't agree with the sentiment of the Ferguson protests is either white or have equivalent white privilege. This is part of the issue creating such black/white reporting and statements by individuals.

      Also the problem being more nuanced DOES change the result. Have you not realized you just stated it's more complicated then simply reduced it to RACE? It is just how it wants to be seen. There is also the part we simply do not have all the facts which makes it easy to reach assumptions. Reducing not only to race but the fact as the black teenager being unarmed makes him not dangerous is not being completely truthful. If, and I say if because only the courts know the evidence right now, he did actually try to take the cops gun away from him then does that not make him dangerous at the very least? I am not passing judgment though.

      Also, Jon Stewart and you are assuming the facts that weren't reported. Though to be fair, so is the media which has failed terribly but the media is doing it purposely of course. I also like how you quote innocent people that have been negatively impacted by the protests. Things don't need to be reduced down to such simplicity to be talked about.

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    3. > only the courts know

      Nope they released all the documents to the public. Hint: Brown was a 6 foot 300 pound thug. What do you think happened.

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    4. @3a - Way to derail the discussion with blatant racism and ad hominems...

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    5. 3d

      What? So a fact becomes racism when it makes black people look bad?

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    6. @3e - I hope you're trolling. 3a used terms like "chimpout", compared black people to "animals", and is wilfully ignorant to white people's complicity in the history of slavery, racial violence, and economic/political/social marginalization that has a huge bearing on the current state of affairs. And s/he is presenting "facts" in a way that completely wipes the white man's hands clean of any wrongdoing in the Ferguson incident and lays the blame SOLELY on the black person despite everyone's pleas for nuance and fair presentation of events.

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    7. 3f, yes 3a's response is terrible. 3 isn't exactly asking for nuance and fair presentation of events either though. He or She is clearly for the opposite, reducing it to a black/white fueled killing.

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    8. 3b - I think you present a fair critique of my points. However, even taken into consideration the possible circumstantial factors that may have pushed the police officer's hand, I'd still maintain that the Ferguson incident cannot be disentangled from the history of race relations in the United States (see my comment in 3f). It's impossible to duly analyze events like this in a vacuum, especially when racial profiling is really a thing and disproportionate police violence on black people occurs on a regular basis. This isn't some reverse-racism thing where white people should feel personal guilt for the injustices perpetrated by their ancestors, but at the very least they should acknowledge that history and its very real implications for society today instead of trying to pretend as if it had never occurred.

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    9. I won't pretend it never occurred if you don't pretend Michael Brown did nothing wrong

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    10. ^But that's the thing! I highly, highly doubt that this whole debacle is about Michael Brown IN PARTICULAR (although his death is consequential because life is intrinsically valuable, police officers should be held to a high standard of accountability, we have to try to piece together the events so that justice can be served whether that be in Brown's favour or the cop's, etc.). The shooting is only the catalyst that provoked the black community and its allies to express their pent-up frustration over the long-term racial injustices that they've had to face. Again, some of them have gone overboard and there are no excuses for that, but their complaints are well founded and we should take them seriously.

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    11. So let me get this straight. Blacks think that there is undeserved racism, and its my fault.

      They are using Michael Brown (a thug who deserved what he got) as an example. There is no injustice here. Is this what these perceived 'racial injustices' actually are? Maybe the reason lots of black people are in jail isnt because of racism, maybe its because lots of black people act like Mike Brown.

      How about the idea that the cops aren't automatically the bad guys here just because of their skin colour?

      Heres another crazy thought: The reason I cant respect this movement isn't because of the black skin colour, maybe its because they burned down white businesses in honour of some gangbanger.

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    12. Hopefully ferguson has a good girl waiting for him to get outta "prison".

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    13. Ferguson is a fuckin hoodrat.

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  4. Did u really come all the way from uw just to say that? What a fail. Don't worry there will be plenty of opportunity for ferguson to get fucked up the ass by the popo. Is he gonna get cuffed?

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  5. Wanna strike a deal fanny boy?

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  6. Why are u still at the crime scene? regretting it?

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  7. She sounds like a whiny little bitch. Ignore her until she gets over it, forget about her if she doesn't.

    Whatever you do, don't even think about apologizing. You did nothing wrong, and to apologize for anything is to tell her that she was right to do what she did. Good luck ever having her respect again after that.

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    1. ^ agreeeddddd

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    2. ^hubba hubba

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    3. I would unfriend her, and block her. Not because of her opinion on the Ferguson shitstorm, but because of her attitude about others having different opinions.

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  8. The fact that there is a lack of any true independent oversight of police in the state of Missouri (along the lines of Ontario's Special Investigation Unit or BC's Independent Investigations Office) and that Grand Juries very rarely vote to indict anyone (and are even less likely to indict a police officer) is the catalyst for this reaction.

    The fact is that this case is extremely connected to systemic racism in American society, and there were multiple bizarre decisions made by the Grand Jury in reasoning not to indict.

    Throw in the fact that the KKK and neo-Nazis were getting behind the cop, and that he's now profited about $1 million from event (in fundraising and payments from news organizations for interviews)...

    That's a metric fuck ton of outrage right there.

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    1. I agree oversight of cops or more like just better ways for them to have personal accountability is needed.

      However, I think this case has become a topic of racism largely so because that is how it was wanted to be portrayed. The cop has no control of who supports his actions or how they portray his actions, he only has his argument. So, I don't know why you throw the KKK and neo-Nazis.

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  9. I agree with you, OP. It seems like people are just seeing White on Black violence, and aren't looking at this case objectively. This young man definitely did do something wrong, and I think some retaliation on the part of the cop was necessary.

    Would the cop have shot Mike if he were white? I think he would have, given that Mike hit him and reached for his gun. Who can say though.

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    1. agreed ^^
      what if the cop was black? I think the cop would've shot Mike as well given the situation... But yea, who can say...

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    2. A white mike would have survived because of his privilege, were you even fucking paying attention in WS 101?

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    3. @9b 0/10

      At least you tried though.

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  10. http://kansasexposed.org/2014/11/29/ku-journalism-major-shreds-case-against-mike-brown/

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    1. Not opening that, next time add a short summary and I might consider opening a link

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  11. While I definitely don't agree with the rioting, this entire case has stunk from beginning to end.

    -The prosecutor was one of those implicated in raising money for Darren Wilson, and was never removed from the case even though he had a clear conflict of interest from the get-go.
    -Darren Wilson used imagery that described Mike Brown as "a demon" and "Hulk Hogan" even though they were both the same height, and Wilson himself weighed upwards of 210lbs
    -Wilson claimed that Brown was the aggressor, grabbed for his gun, and punched him so hard he was afraid the next punch would kill him. Dorian Johnson said from the get-go that Wilson pulled Brown into the car-no other witnesses actually know how this confrontation started. There were no fingerprints taken off Wilson's gun, so also no proof either way whether or nor Brown grabbed and touched the gun-WHY? Wilson barely has any bruising on his face in the hospital photos-in fact in the ABC interview the exact same "bruise" is still present. Check it out yourself if you don't believe me. Are you really telling me that it hasn't healed in 3 months?
    -Everyone talks about the evidence going in Wilson's favor. Really? The medical examinor didn't take crime scene photos because "his/her camera batteries were dead" and didn't take any measurements because he/she "didn't need to" Wilson washed his hands clean (a police officer trained to handle evidence), and was allowed to put his own gun in the evidence bag. They didn't even start taking forensics until after the body had lain in the streets for a few hours (don't get me started on THAT).
    Not only that, they continuously lied about how far away Brown was when he died. 16 out of 18 witnesses say that his hands were up. Not only that the one witness that the prosecutor cited as proof of Wilson's story, was over 100 feet away, and changed their story TWICE.
    IF Wilson is innocent, then why the hell is there what seems to be this humongous cover-up? Why all the fiddling around with evidence? Why all the lies? WHY?

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    1. It doesn't stink as much as a god damn skunk spraying ur lawn.

      -The prosecutor sounds like a high-functioning druggie
      -i would never describe a hulk as sexually frustrated
      -go fuck a stick man
      -and lastly, FUCK THE MUGSHOT

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    2. Is ferguson that cutie with the baggy clothes?

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  12. My thoughts:
    Was Brown completely innocent: No.
    Was the cop completely innocent: No.

    Do I think the cop should be charged: I don't have enough evidence to make a decision.

    Some of you will wonder how I think the cop wasn't completely innocent but not sure if he should be charged. Shooting him was probably not ethically innocent, but may have been criminally innocent. Without the details, it is hard to decide. Especially when both sides are very obviously biased. Local people trying to lynch the cop by giving false reports (which they have admitted giving) and the police brotherhood protecting themselves.

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    1. There was enough conflicting evidence for an indictment. That's really all most people were asking for-to allow this case to go to trial. Every single legal expert I've heard speak on this says the same thing: why all the lies, and tainting of evidence? Why was Darren Wilson handled with kid gloves before the grand jury, but every witness that contradicted his story treated much harsher? Could it be because had this case actually gone to trial, with a prosecutor that was doing his/her damn job, Wilson would have been ripped to shreds under cross-examination? I guess we'll never know now.

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  13. One day we won't even have to worry about racism. Everyone is just going to be some sort of brown mix if all the races. I wonder what group of people will be the hip group to hate at that point.

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    1. easy, people will latch on to the more subltle things and inflate their importance.

      ex: accent, social group, pronoun--fakegender-BS, etc.

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  14. Unless you are a member of that community you have no right to an opinion over what happened. Because you aren't involved. Zero right to an opinion.

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    1. Wrong. You have every right to hold any opinion on anything you please. You even have the right to opinions based on literally nothing, and you have just as much a right to it as someone with compendious knowledge on the subject. However, no one has the obligation to take your opinion seriously, like me right now.

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    2. No, stifling discourse about important topics by bringing up social justice(aka revenge) and "privilege" is not going to solve a single thing. We need to stop segregating everything and look at things rationally. Everyone needs to talk about important issues so that more people can form opinions balanced by all sides of society.

      Bullshit about protecting people who can be "triggered" doesn't make the world safer/better, it prevents real issues from being properly addressed. Get this, the affected group is not always the most rational/impartial.

      Destroying their own community is not necessarily the best way to get things done, although violence can be very effective at bring about change very quickly and effectively in some situations. However, it also usually leads to more pain, bullshit, and less progress than a lot of other methods of resolving issues. Also Mike Brown was probably not the nicest person. But he was also was killed over some dumb shit that basically comes down to police wanting to maintain ultimate authority/never back down and the fact that their job is to enforce laws, not protect people(although they may frequently overlap).

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    3. Sorry a and b, I can't hear you over the sound of your white privilege.

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    4. I'm 1a and I wasn't even talking about Mike Brown's killing so this has nothing to do with white privilege. I was arguing that a person has a right to an opinion on any given subject no matter their level of competence or awareness, however no one has to respect that opinion. But to bring it to the Mike Brown thing, you would assume that not being part of that community would allow you to have a more objective view of the evidence because it's much easier to separate yourself from the emotion of the situation. That's the difference between a jury and a lynch mob. And try out PHIL 145, it'll teach you the beginnings of logical argumentation and you'll be able to avoid silly ad hominem attacks that get you no where.

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  15. who the fuck cares

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