I haven’t commented on the terrible events unfolding in Ferguson because I think I’m self-aware enough to know when my own life experiences leave me unable to really understand the deeper issues at play. I have deep concerns about the militarization of local police forces in this country, about America’s ongoing problem with respect to institutional racism, and especially about how those two things intersect in destructive and at times even horrifying ways, but I’m not part of the community that feels their effects on a daily basis. Jamelle Bouie is typically brilliant on these issues, and this piece by Greg Howard at Deadspin is also excellent:
The United States of America is not for black people. We know this, and then we put it out of our minds, and then something happens to remind us. Saturday, in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo., something like that happened: An unarmed 18-year-old black man was executed by police in broad daylight.
By now, what’s happening in Ferguson is about so many second-order issues—systemic racism, the militarization of police work, and how citizens can redress grievances, among other things—that it’s worth remembering what actually happened here.
As I see more worthwhile pieces I’ll try to link to them here.