Ashleigh's visual diary

21,760 notes

Hey, White Americans. We Need to Talk.

postcardsfromspace:

According to a Pew Research survey, only 37% of white Americans think the events in #Ferguson raise important issues about race.

Okay, fellow white people. We need to talk.

Let me tell you a story: I was an angry punk teenager. Not violent, but I did a shitton of trespassing, and I got into a lot of screaming matches with cops.

I have never been arrested.

I have never been violently attacked by police. Hell, I have never been seriously threatened by police.

I am fully aware that I’ve survived to adulthood largely on the benefits of my race.

When you are white in America, you get away with all sorts of shit. Have you read this account from a white dude who actively tried to get himself arrested? You should. It’s telling.

So, if that’s your main frame of reference for dealing with law enforcement, it is really easy to assume that when someone else gets targeted by the police, they must have done something really bad. After all, you know the police aren’t that petty, right? They’re there to help: That’s what TV tells you, what your teachers told you, what your parents told you. “If you’re in trouble, find a police officer. They’ll help.” And, y’know, if you’re white, most of the time, that’s probably true.

When you’re white in America, it is awfully easy to pretend that you don’t live in a country where the nonviolent physical presence of black people, especially black men, is considered sufficient threat to justify use of lethal force. It’s really easy to pretend that laws are enforced equally; that arrest rate has any demographic resemblance to actual crime rates; that the police are there to protect us from the bad guys.

And, I mean, I get that. It’s a lot more comfortable to pretend that safety correlates to virtue than to confront the ugly truth that a system that benefits you very directly does so at the cost of other people’s lives; that what you were taught was the just reward for being a good person is, in fact, the privilege of your skin. That’s a big part of why we work so hard to retcon narratives about how the black people our police murder must have been dangerous, highlight every casual infraction like it’s a killing spree. We are so desperate to believe that the system that feeds us is just.

It doesn’t feel good to acknowledge that stuff. It feels gross. A system we trusted—one we should be able to trust, that should work for the benefit and protection of everyone has made us accomplice to some deeply horrifying shit.

But here’s the thing:

This happenedThis is happening. Not recognizing it; stonewalling and insulating ourselves in our little bubbles does not make it go away.

And not acknowledging it, not having asked for it, does not make us any less complicit, or any less responsible for owning and fixing this. We are actively benefitting from a fucked, corrupt, murderous system. That is on us. As it should be.

So educate yourself, get the tools, and start dismantling this fucker. You have the time: after all,  no one’s shooting at your kids.

Privilege is the bandwidth to speak up and dismantle because you’re not in fear for your life. And there is no conscionable excuse for failing to use it.

(via wilwheaton)

51,931 notes

ethiopienne:

dragonheartedrabbit:

Going on right now in Ferguson: Police are raiding a church that has been stocked with medical supplies, food, and tear gas recovery kits for community members engaging in protests. This cannot be allowed to continue.

Stand up, speak out. 

This is real life. (x)

(via wilwheaton)

73 notes

thewelltempered asked: I've read some articles that say that Michael Brown did in fact hit the officer and Dorian Johnson has changed his story but these are only on rightwing borderline racist websites. I don't believe it. What are they basing this on? It seems made up...

owning-my-truth:

"but these are only on rightwing borderline racist websites"

Exactly.

And even if the officer was “hit” (although clearly not badly enough to require any medical attention) there are ways to go about subduing someone without shooting them 6 times and 2 times in the head with their hands up in surrender. You can taser someone, physically subdue them, pepper spray even. But being “subdued” as a black person in our racist society always seems to involve deadly force. I see drunk white people getting into altercations with cops all of the damn time, but how many of them are shot dead even when they are blatantly aggressive toward them in ways unimaginable to most black people? It shows who is and is not seen as human in our society that people can talk about an unarmed black teenager being “aggressive” as justification for his murder, while white people are running around doing the most and even pointing shotguns at police like the Tea Party and getting away with it with impunity.

I keep seeing and hearing comments that justify the officer’s use of force, including (but not limited to) descriptions of Mike Brown’s large stature, his supposed physical advantage over the officer, his (actually non-existent) criminal record, his supposed propensity for violence, etc…. all of which says more about the person making the comment (and the system they benefit from) than about the person who lost his life.

I’m still utterly baffled by anyone who can spout all this victim-blaming bullshit when there is such an obvious connection between a person’s race and the way they’re treated by police. These people assume that deadly force must have been necessary, as if all black victims of police brutality “had it coming.” 

You’ve seen it before:

A belligerently drunk white dude in public, threatening to kick someone’s ass, even waving around a knife or a gun…and 99% of the time he’s talked down or escorted away in handcuffs by the police.

A black dude could have a similar fight in public; or Y’know, walks down the street, pulls out a cellphone, or does anything at all…and he’s got about an equal chance of being beaten raw or shot in the head by police.

"But he was asking for it…"

55,499 notes

atane:

mixtapewormhole:

atane:

thisiswhiteprivilege:

softboycollective:

TUESDAY 8/19: Ferguson PD presented a table full of fabricated evidence at this morning’s press conference - allegedly seized from protestors and stopped cars. The Colt 45 Molotov with a white bandana was the crowning glory, turns out you can’t even buy glass 40’s in Missouri. Stay classy, FPD

I seriously think white supremacist are coming in the area to frame the protesters, but it could just be the cops

Colt 45 Molotov cocktail? What’s next, a watermelon incendiary bomb? A fried chicken pipe bomb? These jokers can’t even frame folks without their racism showing.

Here’s an article talking about the ban on glass 40s in St Louis and the surrounding areas, btw.

http://www.stlmag.com/news/Big-Bottles-of-Chilled-Beer-Are-Back-in-the-City/

The people coming into Ferguson provoking violence against local protesters, be they opportunist wannabe radicals treating it like a revolutionary fantasy camp or police-planted provocateurs, are horrid and very real.

Never ever ever ever ever forget that the violence being directed at this community is being unilaterally instigated by police in an effort to enforce systematic white supremacy. Do not be distracted by the excuses authorities try to make for themselves.

Reblogging for the link and commentary.

(via owning-my-truth)

20,903 notes

neworleans-unknown:

thepeoplesrecord:

New Orleans PD shoots unarmed black man in the head, doesn’t report incident for 2 daysAugust 17, 2014
While most of the nation’s attention has been focused on the police shooting deaths of unarmed African Americans around the country — most notably Michael Brown and Ezell Ford — one story managed to slip under the media’s radar. News of a young African-American man shot in the head by a New Orleans police officer on Monday managed to go unreported because the police department never released details about the shooting.
The victim, identified as 26-year-old Armand Bennett, was shot in the head Monday during a traffic stop with a New Orleans police officer. He has been admitted to the intensive care unit of a local hospital. Armand’s attorney Nandi Campbell told UPTOWN via email, “My client was shot in the head and staples were required to close the wound.”
He was with his brother in a parked car, near the Tall Timbers subdivision, when officers confronted them with their guns drawn. Tall Timbers is a fairly affluent neighborhood, where Armand’s brother is a resident. The brother reported that a female officer fired two shots at them.
Campbell also tell us, ”He was not armed. After the first [shot], Armand started running toward his brother’s home. He was fired upon again as he was running. I’m unclear about whether he was in car when first shot was fired, but he was close to the car when the first shot happened.”
The story was first reported on Monday, which had a bare bones report that an “officer needs assistance” call was placed on the 3700 block of Mimosa Ct. in Algiers, a community in New Orleans. The NOPD reported an officer, recently identified as Officer Lisa Lewis, suffered a minor injury to her right hand during a scuffle with a combative suspect around 1:30 a.m. Details were not released that anyone had been shot or what the confrontation was about.
Campbell said there is an ongoing investigation into her client’s ordeal. At this time, Bennett has been charged with five outstanding warrants, including illegal possession of a weapon, resisting an officer (Gretna, LA), resisting an officer (New Orleans), possession of marijuana, and criminal damage to property, according to WWLTV.
A public records request for information fell on deaf ears over at the NOPD until Wednesday evening when the following statement was released:
On Sunday, August 10, 2014, around 1:19 a.m., a Fourth District NOPD officer was conducting a traffic stop in the 3700 block of Mimosa Drive. During the traffic stop, the officer was injured and the suspect, 26-year-old Armand Bennett was shot.
New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Ronal Serpas publicly apologized on Wednesday for taking two days to release details about the shooting. “In this particular case it’s a complete snafu on the part of my team. I take responsibility for it, I apologize for it, and I don’t want it to happen again,” said Serpas. He said that a press release was prepared on Monday, but somehow slipped through the cracks.
“I find it simply unacceptable to you and to the public that our office failed to get the information out,” Serpas added.
After the information was made public Wednesday evening,  Campbell had this to say via email, “Normally traffic stops do not include officers approaching the car with guns drawn. [The NOPD] Chief cannot decide if it was a traffic stop or if [the] officer stopped my client because she was aware of [the] outstanding warrant.”
She continues, “According to my client and his brother, there was no tussle, wrestling, or physical altercation with my client and the officer. They totally dispute the statement made by the chief.”
Photo credit: Bennett Family
Source

Please spread this..

neworleans-unknown:

thepeoplesrecord:

New Orleans PD shoots unarmed black man in the head, doesn’t report incident for 2 days
August 17, 2014

While most of the nation’s attention has been focused on the police shooting deaths of unarmed African Americans around the country — most notably Michael Brown and Ezell Ford — one story managed to slip under the media’s radar. News of a young African-American man shot in the head by a New Orleans police officer on Monday managed to go unreported because the police department never released details about the shooting.

The victim, identified as 26-year-old Armand Bennett, was shot in the head Monday during a traffic stop with a New Orleans police officer. He has been admitted to the intensive care unit of a local hospital. Armand’s attorney Nandi Campbell told UPTOWN via email, “My client was shot in the head and staples were required to close the wound.”

He was with his brother in a parked car, near the Tall Timbers subdivision, when officers confronted them with their guns drawn. Tall Timbers is a fairly affluent neighborhood, where Armand’s brother is a resident. The brother reported that a female officer fired two shots at them.

Campbell also tell us, ”He was not armed. After the first [shot], Armand started running toward his brother’s home. He was fired upon again as he was running. I’m unclear about whether he was in car when first shot was fired, but he was close to the car when the first shot happened.”

The story was first reported on Monday, which had a bare bones report that an “officer needs assistance” call was placed on the 3700 block of Mimosa Ct. in Algiers, a community in New Orleans. The NOPD reported an officer, recently identified as Officer Lisa Lewis, suffered a minor injury to her right hand during a scuffle with a combative suspect around 1:30 a.m. Details were not released that anyone had been shot or what the confrontation was about.

Campbell said there is an ongoing investigation into her client’s ordeal. At this time, Bennett has been charged with five outstanding warrants, including illegal possession of a weapon, resisting an officer (Gretna, LA), resisting an officer (New Orleans), possession of marijuana, and criminal damage to property, according to WWLTV.

A public records request for information fell on deaf ears over at the NOPD until Wednesday evening when the following statement was released:

On Sunday, August 10, 2014, around 1:19 a.m., a Fourth District NOPD officer was conducting a traffic stop in the 3700 block of Mimosa Drive. During the traffic stop, the officer was injured and the suspect, 26-year-old Armand Bennett was shot.

New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Ronal Serpas publicly apologized on Wednesday for taking two days to release details about the shooting. “In this particular case it’s a complete snafu on the part of my team. I take responsibility for it, I apologize for it, and I don’t want it to happen again,” said Serpas. He said that a press release was prepared on Monday, but somehow slipped through the cracks.

“I find it simply unacceptable to you and to the public that our office failed to get the information out,” Serpas added.

After the information was made public Wednesday evening,  Campbell had this to say via email, “Normally traffic stops do not include officers approaching the car with guns drawn. [The NOPD] Chief cannot decide if it was a traffic stop or if [the] officer stopped my client because she was aware of [the] outstanding warrant.”

She continues, “According to my client and his brother, there was no tussle, wrestling, or physical altercation with my client and the officer. They totally dispute the statement made by the chief.”

Photo credit: Bennett Family

Source

Please spread this..

(via owning-my-truth)

Filed under police brutality racism