Currently number 1 on the endless list of things I don’t understand is Ferguson.
I am confused. I am scared. I am horrified. I am terrified.
I’m confused because I don’t have a clear idea of what’s going on. There is no media coverage. Whatever is going on in this city is so bad that the media cannot physically report it. And we haven’t been lacking coverage for like a day- no, this has been a lack of coverage for several days, almost a week. The silence is frightening and bewildering. I’ve seen more news coverage on Malaysian airplanes going down in a single day than I have seen about this incident in almost a week.
What scares me is how I understand Ferguson at the moment. I understand it as a shooting of a black boy that was so unwarranted that there was no way the media could have even denied it for what it was: a hate crime, a fear crime, a crime of reminding black people of what we mean to this country.
It had to have been an unprovoked attack, so senseless it could not even be rationalized by the people who normally would have stood up and said, “I did it in fear of my life.” Even those people must have looked on and said, “There was nothing to be afraid of” and the man who did this to that black people would not be supported.
I am horrified at some of the images floating around the internet, just floating, not urgently pressed on every platform, just floating, and how similar they look to protest photos of the Civil Rights Era.
It seems wrong to call upon something that appears to be still needed as a reference for current events. The Civil Rights Era is not over. I think we still need it.
I do not claim to speak as if I know everything about the situation. I do not claim knowledge I do not have. But I do know that a common thought about black people is that we are angry. I do not think that we are angry. I think we are made to be angry. I think that anger is what fear turns into when what is feared is not a single man, but an oppressive, nagging feeling of malaise about black people that envelops our country.
As for myself, I am terrified. I am angry but more than that, I am terrified. I am terrified for this country. I am terrified that this isolated incidents might one day not be so isolated. I am terrified that this will reach me, my family, my friends.
Fear, however, is not meant to be a constant presence. I hope my fear will turn to strength.