Ferguson protest on August 11, 2014 after Michael brown shooting (photo from Al Jazeera and Wire Services)
As of Monday November 24, 2014 no charges have been filed against Officer Darren Wilson for firing six shots in an August confrontation that killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Riots have ensued, unspoken conversations have arisen and the African-American and white communities have begun to make a shift. The hashtag “black lives matter” (#blacklivesmatter) has become very popular as Saige Smith, 18, says, “We say ‘Black Lives Matter’ because we’ve been dealing with an epidemic of black men being murdered.” Calling for empathy and justice, the African-American community has held protests in Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh, and Ferguson to enact change in the justice system and most importantly bring awareness.
Davion Heron, 18, when asked about his response to the case said, “White privilege is a real thing in this country. Everyone needs to understand this”.
Protesters stand in the middle of a busy intersection blocking traffic Sunday November 23, 2014 in Saint Louis
The hashtag in social media plays a very important role in how we have come to shape our opinions and with technology, Keisha Elizabeth says, “a big factory that contributes to the media is ignorance. We start trends of useless and powerful slurs without meaning and as a generation it is lethal.” Media has been a very important and active tool in spreading the word about social injustice and also enabling us to be aware of what’s going on in our society and to call out injustice. Kai Dawkins (’18) when asked about cased responded, “Tired of hearing about police brutality against black people? Try living it. Keep talking about this, keep rallying, keep participating in peaceful protests and do not stop until significant change is made…if you think this is another news story, change won’t happen.” As we continue on in our daily activities, we must keep the conversation about race going in order to truly rise to a society where there is freedom and justice for all.