Unless you’ve been living under a rock (which if you are, I commend you because the activism world is still a bit crazy right now), you’ve heard about Ferguson. You’ve probably hard about the riots in Ferguson and the #blacklivesmatter movement on social media…
But did you know the activism surrounding the Ferguson injustice:
– Caused a 7 billion dollar drop in Black Friday sales this year? (see this article for details)
– Created a counter-culture of “anti-whiteness” on college campuses?
– Has sparked hundreds of rallies and marches globally (not just nationally)?
– Has (literally) taken over Tumblr?
Activism surrounding Michael Brown’s unjust death and the biased trial is having a deeper and more significant impact than it may seem at first. I mean, activists were able to get Americans to boycott Black Friday, one of the most renown days for shopping. Getting a portion of our consumerist society to not spend in the name of justice is impressive, even though the economic ramifications weren’t that great.
There are also some delusional activists out there supporting Darren Wilson (or as a friend of mine likes to call him, “he who shall not be named”) by raising funds for him so that he can live comfortably after the “tragedy” that befell him…you know, because shooting an unarmed 18 year old who was walking away and then receiving a paid suspension of duty can be emotionally and physically scarring on a police officer (sarcasm heavily implied).
Something equally as detrimental, though, is the “anti-white activism” that’s I’ve been seeing and reading about. From posts about “hating all white people” to casual comments about “whites having to check their privilege more,” social justice warriors have come to the conclusion that in order to solve a problem created by generalizations, more generalizations have to be made.
I’m kind of quietly ridiculing this new wave of “anti-white activism” (although I wouldn’t really call it activism and I definitely wouldn’t call it a significant problem at this point) develop, while simultaneously admiring the efforts of the “Black Lives Matter” movement. I hope activists continue down that route instead of turning the “white race” into the problem.
On the Queens College campus, Ferguson activism has included facilitated discussions to raise awareness, a rally held in the cafeteria during free hour, and different societies and clubs organizing for students to attend rallies/marches in the city. Oh…and some trite commentary about “white people sucking.”
The Ferguson activism has been primarily headed by youth, specifically college students. But I think moving forward, Tumblr “social justicers” and student activists need to hone in on the effective “Black Lives Matter” and let go of the “White People Suck.” Racism is a deeply engrained societal system of thought, and it takes everyone, “privileged” or not, working together to eradicate the system of belief or at the very least, its effects on black lives.
Lastly, tomorrow (Saturday December 13) is being declared a “Day of Resistance” and there are many rallies and marches going on if you want to get involved. Check out Ferguson Action for more information. (For those in the NY area, there’s a protest in Washington Square Park at 2:00 pm that anyone can take part in.)