I don’t do Twitter, but maybe I should. There is a Twitter hashtag, #IfTheyGunnedMeDown, that’s lighting up the world in response to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO yesterday. It’s in response to the media’s perceived judgement of Black victims to crime.
It happened with Trayvon Martin when photos of him with a gold grill replaced the photos that his family released of him. It’s happening again with Michael Brown. It seems that some media outlets and bloggers have jumped on to a photo of him throwing a peace sign as an implication that he’s a “dangerous gang banger” when the kid was about to start his freshman year in college. In true fashion within the Black community, non-violent protest is doing something to highlight the issue that nothing else could supplant.
I’m praying that cool heads prevail in Missouri and no one else gets hurt over this. There are conflicting stories about what actually transpired in the incident that resulted in the death of Mr. Brown.
Eyewitnesses say that he had his arms up motioning that he was surrendering when he was shot multiple times. The police say that he shoved the officer in his car and struggled for his gun. The officer then fired a shot from inside the car that hit him, and Brown took off running with the officer firing more shots at him.
Given the mistrust of law enforcement authority figures, I hope the investigation into this shooting is a thorough and unbiased one. There’s already enough animosity between the races without others adding fuel to the fire. Once again, it seems like social media will be the catalyst to highlight a shooting of an unarmed Black kid.