Mike Brown’s life mattered. National community organizations cannot develop effective solutions and strategies for Ferguson if their organizers have not spent time in the area to learn the landscape and culture.
Our best service to the community of Ferguson is to tell the truth. It’s our civic duty to ensure that their voices are not silenced. Carey Jenkins, Program Coordinator for American Friends Service Committee, went to Ferguson to support young leaders on the ground. “Some were tear gassed, shot with rubber bullets, many were arrested all for nonviolent protest. Human and Constitutional Right are being violated. Babies, women, elderly, handicapped, and journalists are being bombarded with tear gas. None of that mattered to the police as the media tried to paint a negative picture of peaceful protesters what I witnessed were those sent to protect and serve as the aggressors." Stated Jenkins.
There's a silver lining to the madness we have seen unfold in Ferguson. Young people of color are self organizing around the country, holding rallies, walk outs, and group discussions. Vital conversations about race are being forced onto our TVs, social media news feeds, campuses, and other public spaces.
The generation currently coming of age is believed to be the most progressive, least homophobic, least racist generation in American history and there are signs they are awakening to spark a movement our country has been in dire need of.
Racism, lack of access to political power, and wealth inequality aren't problems solved with a few protests; it will take more than a movement moment.
Is this generation ready to do the hard work of building and leading the movement our communities need? That's the question many are optimistically asking.