— Bruce Reyes-Chow (@breyeschow) August 20, 2014
If anything has been made clear by what is going on in Ferguson, Missouri, it is that we as a nation are still struggling with race… Yes, even with a black president.
We need to talk about #Ferguson, because we need to make sure that the unarmed killing of a black youth doesn’t happen again. We need to talk about #Ferguson because we need to ensure that innocent citizens are not tear gassed and shot at with rubber bullets when they choose to exercise their right to protest their government. We need to talk about race. We need to talk about policing. We need to talk about the prison industrial complex. We need to talk about the war on drugs. We need to talk about it.
Unfortunately, it seems we still have some pretty major problems in starting these important conversation… especially where they concern race.
Thankfully, there is Twitter.
If it were not for Twitter, or I should say Black Twitter, the major networks might just be presenting this drama as if it were just another unfortunate death of a black youth as a result of “poor choices”. In other words, “move along… nothing to see here.”
But there is a LOT to see here, and thankfully, it’s been on full display on Twitter. In fact, there is a direct correlation between the uptick in the #Ferguson hashtag occurred after white journalists there to cover the scene were arrested.
— Elana Zak (@elanazak) August 18, 2014
You can criticize Twitter all you want, (and rightfully so where Kim Kardashian and Justin Beeber are concerned…). Nonetheless, it is hard to say that #Ferguson would be getting the type of attention it has if it were not for the folks tweeting the disconnect between what they are seeing on the ground in conjunction in the media.
— Constance Banks (@YouHavePurpose) August 23, 2014
Whether or not you are talking about Ferguson has a lot to do with your race and social status
I used to coach a high school debate team. One of the most powerful lessons I learned was the concept of “Silence equals Consent”. As a debater, if you are attacked by your opponent, and you do not address these attacks, no matter how irrelevant or illogical the point, it is counted against you by the judges. Each point successfully argued constitutes a point gained. Whether you like it or not, NOT DISCUSSING Ferguson, doesn’t make it go away; it reinforces the likelihood that it will happen again.
— Pew Research Center (@pewresearch) August 20, 2014
I asked my (white) friend why white people seem to not really care about the mike brown thing. He said this: pic.twitter.com/apwGvC3HSB
— Little Kay (@Ohkahlais) August 18, 2014
— Elizabeth N. Brown (@enbrown) August 22, 2014
— The Nation (@thenation) August 23, 2014
Unfortunately, it’s not just white people that aren’t talking about #Ferguson
— KHARY PENEBAKER (@kharyp) August 20, 2014
… And where you go for information
— Anup Kaphle (@AnupKaphle) August 18, 2014
Twitter vs. Facebook: my tweetstream is almost wall-to-wall with news from Ferguson. Only two mentions of it in my Facebook news feed.
— Mark_Hamilton (@gmarkham) August 14, 2014
Again, #Ferguson is dominating my Twitter feed, and is nonexistent on Facebook.
— Brian McComas (@briancmccomas) August 18, 2014
This is so true and troubling "@monteiro: If you want to pretend Ferguson isn’t happening just go to Facebook."
— Tim Dickinson (@7im) August 19, 2014
The revolution will NOT be on Facebook! : How Facebook and Twitter control what you see about Ferguson http://t.co/HPGiJBvwIb
— The DJ Daddy (@The_DJ_Daddy) August 21, 2014
History just keeps repeating itself. Black Twitter has been a wonderful place to highlight how “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”
— Ricardo Montero A. (@Rmontero_) August 21, 2014
— ✏ (@diagnosed) August 18, 2014
In essence these 5,000 donors to Darren Wilson are telling you and I that they are celebrating a lynching. This is not a new thing. It's old
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) August 22, 2014
Over $100,000 has been raised for Darren Wilson. But man, why must liberals bring RACE into this?! It's about…oh. pic.twitter.com/UHagxSTuDL
— Bastard Keith (@BastardKeith) August 21, 2014
— Pacifine (@Pacifine1) August 18, 2014
— Bartholomew (@ChefWaites) August 19, 2014
We Need to Talk about Policing
Is this Ferguson or the Gaza strip? Turns out, tear gas is made by the same company.
— John Sevigny (@John_Sevigny) August 20, 2014
WORTH POINTING OUT THE SAME BRAND OF TEAR GAS BEING USED IN FERGUSON IS BEING USED IN GAZA, BOTH BOUGHT WITH AMERICAN TAX DOLLARS
— KOOL A.D. (@veeveeveeveevee) August 19, 2014
— Eli Rosenberg (@EliKMBC) August 19, 2014
— Gary Archer (@Legendgary) August 21, 2014
— Julia Carrie Wong (@juliacarriew) August 21, 2014
— Scott Bixby (@scottbix) August 15, 2014
And now, we learn that the St. Louis County Police Department CHOSE, deliberately, to not complete ONE REPORT of any kind on the shooting.
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) August 22, 2014
— Thomas Levenson (@TomLevenson) August 22, 2014
Speaking Truth to Power
Let’s get our youth educated on using social media as a tool for positive social change. Let’s arm our youth with cell phones with cameras. Let’s teach them how to use social media, apps and blogs to promote an end to racial injustice. Twitter, Instagram and Vine are already having an impact by shining the light on what is going on in #Ferguson.
I guess when you're fleeing the city after killing an unarmed kid you forget to fill out a few forms. BUT THE THUG DESERVED IT RIGHT?
— Elon James White (@elonjames) August 22, 2014
— ⇐Unified Left (@UnifiedLeft) August 19, 2014
— Warp Drive (@jeffwired) August 23, 2014
— Nittacci (@nittacci) August 18, 2014
And, you’re telling us to be patient?
— Mace Windy (@NaijaWarrior) August 21, 2014
Challenging the Stereotype of Blacks as Aggressors
Let’s use these platforms to challenge the image of blacks as aggressors. Let’s challenge the idea of “black on black” violence. Of blacks as thugs. We are champions, heroes, volunteers and victims… And we have a lot to say.
— Erika Maye (@erikasway) August 21, 2014
— Lux (@asiaelle) August 15, 2014
— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) August 20, 2014
To my brothers out there, drop that self-hatred and pride. Be steadfast and strengthen every aspect of yourself to be a leader
— Ack (SoulMisfit) (@AckurateThaWise) August 22, 2014
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) August 21, 2014
— Riverfront Times (@RiverfrontTimes) August 12, 2014
— Chaton Turner (@Chatonsworld) August 19, 2014
— Heather Ure (@heatherurehere) August 23, 2014
— STLtoday (@stltoday) August 22, 2014
As it turns out, we have a lot to say.
If you are not already. Get on Twitter. Educate yourself about what’s going on. Add your voice and listen to what people have to say.
Ali Collins is an educator, community organizer and mom. She lives with her husband and twin girls in San Francisco, CA.
Latest Posts By alimcollins
- 10.27.17Welcome to San Francisco Public School Mom
- 10.27.17Don’t Freak Out! Your Kindergartener Will Get into a GREAT Public School!
- 10.20.17How Would You Feel If District Assessments Were Optional?
- 09.16.17Reflections on Jemele Hill or When Black Women Speak Truth
- 09.09.17Celebrate Characters and Authors of Color