Jaelithe Judy usually posts under her perfectly good MOMocrats byline and login, but as she’s ill with bronchitis today, I’m pampering her by making sure her wise words get out there in front of whatever sh*tstorm our overmilitarized domestic police force could be brewing in the aftermath of the peaceful protests in Ferguson, MO. And why were reasonable people protesting in Ferguson, MO? Because the extrajudicial killing of Mike Brown, an unarmed African American teen, in the middle of the street by a mostly white police force, was horrifically unjust. Officer Darren Wilson has to date not been arrested or indicted by a federal investigation for his murder of Brown. But the results of a county investigation into Wilson’s actions are expected at any minute.
HT also to Kelly Mochamomma Wickham for unearthing and circulating this unholy flyer that residents of Berkeley, MO, which is only three miles away from Ferguson, MO, are advised to follow, post-investigation — and that prompted Jaelithe’s post below.
People done lost their damn minds.
As a resident of North St. Louis County, allow me to offer an alternative action plan:
1.) Talk to your neighbors, politely, kindly, about how the events surrounding the shooting of Michael Brown have affected and continue to affect your shared community. Ask your neighbors if they are worried. Ask your neighbors if they need help. Ask your neighbors if they would like to help organize more polite, kind discussions with more neighbors. Listen, carefully, to what your neighbors say.
2.) Talk to your local police department about how their plan to respond to any protests that may occur in your area. Express to your local police department your desire that, in the process of trying to protect the safety and property of citizens, the local police NOT: a.) willfully intimidate, harass, assault, or arrest peaceful protesters who are exercising their First Amendment rights to free speech and free assembly, or b.) willfully intimidate harass, assault, or arrest members of the press who are exercising their First Amendment right to cover news events without undue interference.
(I am gonna go ahead and assume that it IS your desire that your local police not do those things, fellow citizen, because inappropriate behavior by police in response to protests over inappropriate behavior by police is exceedingly counterproductive for a community when that community’s ultimate goal is to move forward in friendship toward justice and peace. Right?)
3.) Ask your elected leaders what they plan to do to address systemic racism and systemic classism and police corruption and race relations in our community, regardless of the outcome of the grand jury decision.
4.) Turn off your T.V. and get out of your house for a while this week, and donate your time at a food pantry or a school or a community center to try to make new friends and make your home a better place to live. You’ll feel better. I promise.
5.) Go ahead and make sure you have emergency food and water and medicine and a first-aid kit some safe place in your house while you’re at it, because this is tornado country, and if you’ve lived here for more than five minutes and you are in a position to afford some extra bottled water and canned goods and you don’t already have those things sorted to protect yourself in the event of an ACTUAL natural disaster, you are a damn fool. Also check your smoke detector batteries. That’s just common sense.