I want to start off by saying I wish we had more time. There is a lot to understand in the history of the relationship between people of color and cops, and specifically why these recent few incidents are the catalysts for the incredible movement there is today. I was only able to gain a glimpse into why Ferguson erupted the way it did, and it was truly eye-opening. It really was much, much larger than a simple black subject – white cop scenario. Ferguson residents of color were frustrated with not only the way the cops have always treated them, but because a large majority of the citizens had been kicked out of their own homes for the supposed addition to an airport and expected to move into historically racists surrounding neighborhoods that had in the past denied people of color access to residential areas within those neighborhoods.
Being apart of such a large and important conversation has been a great experience for me in understanding that there is always more to the story than just one point of view. All perspectives need to be taken into account to really grasp the entire picture of what and why an event happened. Ferguson has been the catalyst for a much needed dialogue within this country and understanding the issue of race, where every race fits into this puzzle and how we can start to move forward from here to progress forward together in unity and equity.
One of the really interesting parts of this project for me was getting acquainted with Twitter and understand the role it played in making Ferguson a national issue. Hashtags really are the driver for this movement. I have seen #Ferguson sustain its place within the “trending on Twitter” section since the shooting of Mike Brown and through the end of this project; however, I have also seen new hashtags become instantly popular and prominent with the enlargement of this social movement like #ICan’tBreathe from Eric Garner’s case. I have also seen how easily the media moves on while following them on Twitter. For example after the decision for the indictment of Darren Wilson came out, within maybe 2 or 3 days all news sources starting tweeting about Thanksgiving and recipes you should make over the holidays. This disappointed me heavily because this issue was not something that people were getting active about because it was trendy, although sadly I’m sure there are some people like this out there, but an issue that has plagued this country for a tragically long time.
From the community perspective, however, I am really hopeful because people, despite the media’s lack of attention to the subject, are still very active on Twitter to constantly remind people that this issue is not going to solve itself. The community all over the country is making sure that these systematic racists problems within our society stay in the forefront of everyone’s daily thoughts. I can honestly say that a day has yet to go by since the start of the ideas for this project that I don’t think about the issues with our society and how to possibly start moving forward. So the active voices within this country are doing an amazing job at making sure this movement and the meaning and objectives behind it dont slip through the cracks like they seem to have done after the Civil Rights Movement, which is now why we are here in our country’s evolution.
This project has been an amazing experience for me, and I want to thank my group members and everyone who has been reading this blog and our Tweets. I am making it a goal to help progress this country in anyway I can by spreading the word or getting involved any other ways I can. This is not going to become something I just stop caring about after I turn this project in because this project has really made me hyper aware of the issues within this country that can be solved to make our communities much better places. I think this movement starting with Ferguson and Mike Brown was the catalyst that the US needed to spark this necessary conversations, and will cause our country to reevaluate and move forward in a very positive and equal light.