Elmo got to hug the US Open trophy! Yeah baby!
Totally read that caption in my head in Elmo’s voice.
"If even the governor can’t distinguish between the good and the bad elements of the community, and has decided to punish everyone equally, then that should go both ways. I know the police love their ridiculous, unnecessary military equipment, so here’s another patronizing test: let’s take it all away from them, and if they can make it through a whole month without killing a single unarmed black man, then—and only then—can they get their fucking toys back."
A silent protest in Love Park, downtown Philadelphia orchestrated by performance artists protesting the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson. The onslaught of passerby’s wanting to take photos with the statue exemplifies the disconnect in American society. Simply frame out the dead body, and it doesn’t exist.
Here are some observations by one of the artists involved in the event:
I don’t know who any of these folks are.
They were tourists I presume.
But I heard most of what everything they said. A few lines in particular stood out. There’s one guy not featured in the photos. His friends were trying to get him to join the picture but he couldn’t take his eyes off the body.
"Something about this doesn’t feel right. I’m going to sit this one out, guys." "Com’on man… he’s already dead."
There were a billion little quips I heard today. Some broke my heart. Some restored my faith in humanity. There was an older white couple who wanted to take a picture under the statue.
The older gentleman: “Why do they have to always have to shove their politics down our throats.” Older woman: “They’re black kids, honey. They don’t have anything better to do.”
One woman even stepped over the body to get her picture. But as luck would have it the wind blew the caution tape and it got tangle around her foot. She had to stop and take the tape off. She still took her photo.
There was a guy who yelled at us… “We need more dead like them. Yay for the white man!”
"One young guy just cried and then gave me a hug and said ‘thank you. It’s nice to know SOMEBODY sees me.’
There’s a lot of chatter about how protesters in Ferguson needed a militarized police to “keep the peace,” but I think that’s once again placing blame on the residents of a community seeking justice and seeking answers.
Let’s not forget that policing in the face of protesting has been an issue in this country for a long time that’s gone on as a debate over “yes or no,” when we should really be asking” why and how.” For all of the criticism lauded on Rep. John Lewis this past week for suggesting President Obama needed to declare martial law to protect protesters, it’s worth remembering another leader who did the same back in 1969: in Berkeley, California, then-Governor Ronald Reagan declared a state of emergency after “Bloody Thursday,” when local police officers and highway patrolmen fired tears gas and buckshot at protesters ("If there has to be a bloodbath," Reagan famously said, "then let’s get it over with."). In came the National Guard to occupy the city and quell the situation at the People’s Park protests—leading to an imposed curfew, barbed-wired fences, and Guardsmen dispatching tear gas at those who defied.
Sound familiar? We need to take a good look at the mirror of history and ask why this keeps happening.
"And as things fell apart, nobody paid much attention."
Recent picture taken in Gaza.
And yet the people of Gaza still took time out from their lives to give the people of Ferguson tips on how to deal with tear gas
"There is no way to disperse back home…it’s not clear where people are supposed to go." -Trymaine Lee, msnbc.com
“My son tells me, ‘Do you realize you are the last one? The last person who was an eyewitness to the golden age?’ Young people, even in Hollywood, ask me, ‘Were you really married to Humphrey Bogart?’ ‘Well, yes, I think I was,’ I reply. You realize yourself when you start reflecting—because I don’t live in the past, although your past is so much a part of what you are—that you can’t ignore it. But I don’t look at scrapbooks. I could show you some, but I’d have to climb ladders, and I can’t climb.”
-Lauren Bacall (Vanity Fair, 2011)