It has been long enough now that everyone likely has an opinion on what they believe is the true story of what happened in Ferguson, MO the day Michael Brown was shot dead by Darren Wilson. Everyone likely has an opinion about the community’s first outrage and the continued protests there and around the world.
The shocking difference in opinions seems to come down to a few points: (1) First understanding why a marginalized segment of our population has found this narrative so compelling and/or the straw that broke the camel’s back, (2) Confirmation bias or The Backfire Effect, and (3) Knowing the difference between facts, opinion, and interpretation.
Addressing each takes time, and most people are unwilling to take it.
The public may never know the true “facts” of this particular case. The problem is the lie that we need to have a good kid as a victim versus a thug who deserved what he got. This is a false dichotomy and smacks of vigilante justice let alone the overt racism in using a term like “thug” evokes anyway.
The problem is that social justice can never be achieved until the spotlight is lifted from one specific person’s life (mistakes and successes both) and shone directly on the systemic racism, classism, sexism in society. Social justice will never see the light of day until the cycle of power, privilege, and oppression is stopped in its tracks. And until social justice sees movement, we will never see true environmental justice.
I call upon you to examine your place in that cycle and determine what you can do to end it. Be a force for good in your community. Think critically, not defensively.
Join the Conversation!
- What, if anything, have you learned since Ferguson became a hot topic?
- What are you doing in your own life to end the cycle of power, privilege, and oppression?
- How, where, do you see the link between social justice and environmental justice?