Is it possible to follow the Michael Brown case and not be amazed how things don’t change in our society? The incident itself is reminding us of Rodney King and Trayvon Martin, but also of the countless others who did not get the big media response. But even the “big” cases always ended in an unsatisfying way because as much as we celebrate justice and freedom in our society, it always boils down to injustice. The protests following the shooting are remindful of the 60s and 70s, showing that people’s frustrations can increase and eventually explode. Politicians’ responses are as always embarrassing in their lack of anger and Barack Obama certainly has foregone any chances to react accordingly in such cases, just playing the “calm down and forget what happened” game with fake sentiments and empty phrases, that politicians have played since politics exist. The imbalance that exists between black and white, poor and rich, authorities and citizens that make our culture so inherently flawed is very visible right now and won’t change through ignorance (because ignorance caused it in the first place). We learn that certain ethnicities are worth less and policemen learn that they have power over other people. We also learn that we’re in constant danger of our possessions and life and need to defend ourselves, no matter what, ask questions later. These are all central memes of our culture and they lead to such incidents.
Reading a great article like the one that asks “Exactly How Often Do Police Shoot Unarmed Black Men?” is great because it shows what’s really going on, but the sad fact is that no one can be shocked by these results. Everyone knows what’s going on all the time. But the sadder fact is that most people still don’t feel the need to change something, to protest, to speak up and ask. We get upset and smalltalk ourselves through those incidents, but in the end we shrug and move on, along with the media, to the next big thing. And the people in Ferguson will have to figure out themselves how to get back to normal, which will probably be the way it was before. Which is interesting, considering how the L.A. Times argues that “it’s been boiling for decades” in Ferguson, making clear that this is nothing new, but systematic. That’s what we have to realize when those incidents happen. They’re not singular or extreme cases but signs for fundamental shortcomings of our society. Which means it will happen again and again and again.
How much more could this cartoon from The Guardian remind us of the 60s?
And how great are two of the many voices of creative protest like those two cartoons?
Not to forget the always brilliant The Interecept about the militarization of the police.
We need more voices like this! And others! Every day! This is just one single of thousands happening every minute. If we want to change this shit, we must open our mouths, use our fingers to type and draw or use our feet to get out on the street. “Seriously?” Seriously.