Ferguson Open Thread | Justice for Michael Brown

The eyes are still on Ferguson. People still want justice. The happenings of Ferguson have exposed the rotten underbelly of America for what it is.

ferguson statue of liberty

Groups seek a response to Ferguson that lasts
By Doug Moore
dmoore@post-dispatch.com

Marches, protests and prayer vigils have been a constant in the region for more than two weeks, and as a grand jury pores over evidence in the Michael Brown killing, similar actions are expected to continue.

But other responses to the police shooting, designed to be more long-lasting, have popped up. They include getting more African-Americans engaged in their communities and challenging people to leave their comfort zones and talk about race.

On Wednesday, a storefront on West Florissant Avenue opened as the office of #HealSTL, which grew from a Twitter hashtag, and is being developed as an outreach center, including offering voter registration.

It’s on the same busy strip that has been the center of unrest, including looting, tear gas, arrests and a curfew.

“This has been a Twitter story,” said the effort’s organizer, St. Louis Alderman Antonio French. “It has touched so many people because of social media.”

French said the new group was focused on teaching the community how to get involved in local government. Right now, the startup is being funded by selling $9 T-shirts. But formal fundraising will begin soon, French said.

Next week, billboards are going up across the region asking “What Can We Do Better?” and “Start The Conversation,” a campaign launched by the Diversity Awareness Partnership. Meanwhile, a group of prominent young African-American leaders has put together a list of demands, including the city of Ferguson’s hiring at least 10 more black police officers by Jan. 31.

The city is 67 percent black, but only four of its 58 police officers — 7 percent — are African-American.

“We cannot continue to run from dealing with race in our region,” said St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura Jones, a member of the newly formed Young Citizens Council of St. Louis.

Race relations in America

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61 Responses to Ferguson Open Thread | Justice for Michael Brown

  1. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    LLMPapa video from 4 days ago:

    http://youtu.be/mmbDWAovkAI?list=UUqw10MWkXCt_vn5fM6yyRSA&rel=0

  2. Bob says:

    Justice starts by exposing the lies and revealing the truths. I am amazed that not one reporter has tried to answer the question posed by Michael Brown ‘s mother after information, reports and video tapes of the convenience store incident was released by the Furgeson Police Chief.

    Why now? Good question. Here is my take.

    Why did the police wait until the Friday after Michael was executed to mention the alleged “strong arm robbery?” When news of the shooting first broke, the world was informed that a young black man stopped by a white cop for “walking in the street” was quickly gunned down with his hand ups after running away from the cop, and his body left in the street uncovered for hours. There was an immediate public outcry, Yet the police provided very little information to mitigate increasing and widespread allegations of police brutality. On Sunday morning, the day after the shooting, St. Louis County Police Chief John Belmar held a press conference and said the incident started when Brown physically assaulted the police officer, pushing him into the officer’s vehicle. He said there was a struggle inside the car, and at some point Brown reached for the officer’s weapon. He further explained that Mr. Brown was later shot outside of the car, “more than once.” Those statements did very little to contradict statements of eye witnesses that Michael had been assassinated by the cop. Obviously, Michael’s involvement in the alleged “strong arm” robbery would have profoundly changed public perception of the shooting, and would have quieted demands from citizens that the cop; be arrested. So why wasn’t it mentioned?

    The answer is very simple: they didn’t know. They were too incompetent to make the connection until days after Michael was killed.

    At his infamous news conference the Friday following the shooting, the Ferguson Chief of Police dropped a bombshell by inferring Michael had been a suspect in the convenience store incident from the start, and that while the cop that shot Michael was initially unaware of any connection when he stopped the two boys for walking in the street, he quickly noticed cigars on Michael and made the connection. Two minutes later, Michael lay dead.

    If the police had their man, and they knew they had their man, then why did one of the three patrol officers initially dispatched to the convenience store continue to search for the suspects hours thereafter? According to the Dispatch Log included in the reports released at the Friday bombshell press conference, one unit was dispatched to the store at around seven minutes before noon, followed by a second unit. One of the units was then “cleared” from the incident at 12:00, which is consistent with what is contained in one of the officer’s reports where he explained that after canvassing (cop talk for searching for a suspect) with no success, “at that time, due to not locating anyone, I returned in service from assisting with the canvass.” Amazingly, this unit was cleared, according to the dispatch log, at noon.” Strong armed robbery, my ass. This was a garden variety shoplifting case, and was obviously not serious enough to keep that first unit on the case for more than fifteen minutes. Essentially, that cop drove around the block a few times, didn’t see any suspects, and was released to routine patrol.

    The second unit, however, which was the unit assigned to handle the reports, remained on the case and was not cleared, according to the dispatch logs, until 18:54, which is military time 7:00 p.m. This is confirmed by a second document included in the packet released to the press called the “event report.” After the same time entry of 18:54 the following notation is made “Still See No one Matching That Description.”

    If the Ferguson police knew Michael Brown was their suspect immediately before he was shot dead, why in the world would a patrol unit remain on the case until nearly seven o’clock that evening looking for a suspect the rest of the department knew had been shot dead and left lying in the street for hours.

    And why, if the Ferguson Police Department knew Michael Brown was a suspect, did that same cop who searched hours for a dead man, continue with his investigation the next day. Read his report. On Sunday morning he returned to the store to interview witnesses. They were not there, so he left blank witnesses statements for them to fill out when they had a chance.

    There are a few things wrong with this picture. First, shortly after the shooting the Ferguson Chief of Police handed the case over to the St. Louis County Police for investigation. If Michael was a suspect from the get go, then any follow up on the convenience store case should have been turned over to St. Louis County as well. When you turn over an officer involved shooting to another department for investigation, you turn the whole case over, not bits and pieces. And if the cops did realize a connection at that time, you don’t drop off witness statements to be completed at the witnesses’ convenience. You find them, and you question them. You leave blank witnesses statements in petty misdemeanor investigations. In a case like this, with the eyes of the world staring you in the face, if a you can’t find the witness at work, you ask where they live or where they might be, and otherwise do everything within your power to hunt them down as quickly as possible for questioning. Of course, the reason they continued to investigate this case as a petty shoplifting case rather than a officer involved killing that had caught the attention of the world seemingly overnight, is that for several days, the incompetent Ferguson Police Department failed to make the connection, and were treating the case like they would treat any other petty crime. The upshot: when Chief Jackson said at that Friday press conference that they had the tape for days, he was lying to the world. Obstruction of Justice? I have faith in the U.S. Department of Justice to make the right call.

    That same cop also retrieved a tape from the surveillance camera. He took it back to the police station, tried to view it, but since the police equipment would not work with the tape, he handed it over to the evidence clerk for filing away. Nothing wrong with this procedure when you are working a petty crime. But, if as the Ferguson cops claim, you are investigating a case where an officer emptied his weapon at a young black man and the world is crying “foul,.” as soon as that tape is retrieved you bring it to the detective in charge for viewing. And at the very least, if it is not viewable with the equipment at hand, you find equipment to view it with. You call other departments, etc. You do anything but file it away. Not in a case where the world press is converging on Ferguson, Missouri.

    So, when the Ferguson police alleged that Michael was a suspect in the convenience store case, they were lying. .

  3. rikyrah says:

    Rev. Al had on the mother who was terrorized in front of her children by the police in Texas.

    Wish you would get and post the video.

  4. Ferguson Missouri sets it off over the killing of Michael Brown

  5. rikyrah says:

    Joshua DuBois: Truth-Telling
    By Chipsticks

    TOD has a post following the twitter feed of Joshua DuBois taking on the President’s Blacker-than-thou critics.

    http://theobamadiary.com/2014/08/29/joshua-dubois-truth-telling/

  6. rikyrah says:

    St. Paul man from cellphone arrest video identified; police dropped charges in July
    By Kristoffer Tigue and Cirien Saadeh, TC Daily Planet
    August 28, 2014

    The man in a recently released cellphone video who was tasered and arrested by St. Paul police officers after refusing to give up his name has stepped forward on Wednesday, Aug. 27 after posting the video online. St. Paul police dropped charges on July 31.

    Christopher Lollie, 28, said he was waiting to pick up his two year-old and four year-old children from New Horizon Academy’s daycare around 9:43 a.m. on Jan. 31, when a security guard from the First National Bank building asked him to leave the area where he was sitting. The guard then called the St. Paul Police Department when Lollie refused to do so, he said.

    According to the police report, St. Paul police officers Michael Johnson and Bruce Schmidt “were called to the First National Bank Building on a report of uncooperative male refusing to leave.” The third female officer in the video has been identified as Lori Hayne, and has since retired, reports the Pioneer Press. The name of the security guard that Lollie claims made the call was omitted from the police report “due to safety concerns.” Lollie was charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct and obstructing the legal process.

    The St. Paul Police Department did not return our calls in time for this report, but released this statement:

    http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/news/2014/08/28/st-paul-man-cellphone-assault-video-identified-claims-charges-dropped

  7. rikyrah says:

    Charles Johnson @Green_Footballs

    In this previously unreleased video, a bystander says he saw Darren Wilson grab Michael Brown’s arm and shoot him. http://twitpic.com/eaywfv

  8. Police Officer Who Threatened Ferguson Protesters Resigns

    http://www.newsweek.com/f-you-police-officer-who-threatened-ferguson-protesters-resigns-267597

    Ray Albers, the Missouri police officer who cursed at and told Ferguson protesters that he would kill them on video, has resigned. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Albers, 46, stepped down from his position on Thursday after police commissioners met and recommended that he resign or be fired.

    On August 19th a video surfaced of Albers screaming “I will f**king kill you!” to unarmed Ferguson protestors, his weapon raised and pointed directly at them. A protester asked him his name, to which he replied: “Go f**k yourself.” Last week, Albers’ identity was confirmed.

    Aaron Jimenez, St. Ann Police Chief, defended Albers raising his weapon but was “highly angry” at the former officer’s choice of words. Before the camera began recording, protesters reportedly threw water and urine on Albers.

    “He saw three to four suspects with bandanas on, and saw one of them raise a gun towards him,” he told the Post-Dispatch. “That made him draw his weapon up to the crowd, and he was scanning and moving that weapon back and forth, trying to assess the scene.” The police chief claims that when the crowd moved closer to Albers, he became afraid. “That’s why he used those words,” but he said it didn’t make them excusable.

    ************************
    “He saw three to four suspects with bandanas on, and saw one of them raise a gun towards him” ?

    Bye bish!

    • Ametia says:

      BYE BYE BYE! Hey, SG2, Kametra Barbour is on REv Al she is telling him with her lawyers that ther kids are still TERRIFIED after the cops cuffed her.

  9. Ametia says:

    #BeyondFerguson Town Hall Puts Mayor in Hot Seat

    A standing room only crowd gathered at church last night for a frank town hall with Ferguson’s mayor and invited guests that included nationally respected moderator and mediator, NPR’s Michel Martin. Mayor James Knowles III, who is white, weathered heavy criticism from the multi-racial crowd and in particular, sharp disagreement from Daniel Isom about police procedure and allowing Michael Brown’s uncovered body to lay on the asphalt that Saturday afternoon. Isom, a former St Louis police chief and current professor, was recently nominated by Gov Jay Nixon to become Missouri’s top law enforcement official and the first African-American in Nixon’s cabinet.

    Listen at 6:45 in the NPR audio for more.
    http://colorlines.com/archives/2014/08/beyondferguson.html

  10. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Retweeted by Natalie Jackson
    Kim Moore @SoulRevision · 58m
    Folks in #Ferguson gathered at a church for a #BeyondFerguson discussion, & Ferguson PD outside checkin license plates … WHY?!

  11. rikyrah says:

    Karoli @Karoli

    WTF??? RT @NPRMichel: Willis Johnson says Ferguson police are outside of event right now checking license plates. #BeyondFerguson

  12. Sue them to the knees!

    Missouri police sued for $40 million over actions in Ferguson protests

    http://news.msn.com/us/missouri-police-sued-for-dollar40-million-over-actions-in-ferguson-protests
    (Reuters) – A group of people caught up in unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, after a white officer killed a black teenager, sued local officials on Thursday, alleging civil rights violations through arrests and police assaults with rubber bullets and tear gas.

    The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, says law enforcement met a broad public outcry over the Aug. 9 killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown with “militaristic displays of force and weaponry,” (and) engaged U.S. citizens “as if they were war combatants.”

    The lawsuit seeks a total of $40 million on behalf of six plaintiffs, including a 17-year-old boy who was with his mother in a fast-food restaurant when they were arrested. Each of the plaintiffs was caught up in interactions with police over a period from Aug. 11 to 13, the suit allege.

    Named as defendants are the city of Ferguson, St. Louis County, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Delmar, Ferguson police officer Justin Cosmo, and other unnamed police officers from Ferguson and St. Louis County.

    Neither the city, county nor police departments had any immediate comment on the lawsuit.

    The lawsuit followed nearly two weeks of racial strife in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, where Brown’s killing prompted protesters to take to the streets. Some stores were looted in nightly protests, and police responded with riot gear and moved in military equipment to try to quell the turmoil.

    • Liza says:

      This is a good idea. Let the Fraternal Order of Police and the cop unions dig deep into their piggy banks that they keep for the purpose of defending bad cops. And, of course, there is Darren Wilson’s stash at Gofundme that he’s gets from his racist cop-worshipping supporters. And God knows what else. Make them spend it on civil lawsuits. Ha ha.

      My gosh, there could be dozens of civil lawsuits as a result of this.

    • Ametia says:

      Good Move here by the folks here. They’re only getting back the money the corrupt, racist state of MO has stolen from them.

  13. rikyrah says:

    NY Times’ Charles Blow to O’Reilly: You Are the ‘Race Hustler’
    by Matt Wilstein | 12:47 pm, August 28th, 2014

    Charles Blow used his New York Times column Thursday to take aim at Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly and his claims that “white privilege” doesn’t exist. Turning a favorite phrase of O’Reilly’s back around at him, Blow writes, “Mr. O’Reilly, it is statements like this one that make you the race hustler.”

    Blow begins by quoting O’Reilly:

    “Last night on ‘The Factor,’ Megyn Kelly and I debated the concept of white privilege whereby some believe that if you are Caucasian you have inherent advantages in America. ‘Talking Points’ does not, does not believe in white privilege. However, there is no question that African-Americans have a much harder time succeeding in our society than whites do.”

    “It is difficult to believe that those three sentences came in that order from the same mouth,” Blow writes. Once you admit that it’s “harder for blacks to succeed,” he argues, then the converse for whites must be “a form of privilege.” He adds, “When one has the luxury of not being forced to compensate for societal oppression based on basic identity, one is in fact privileged in that society.”

    http://www.mediaite.com/online/ny-times-charles-blow-to-oreilly-you-are-the-race-hustler/

  14. rikyrah says:

    Marc Lamont Hill tried to cape for HIllary and her bullshyt statement, but Black Twitter took care of his cooning ass.

    http://s1166.photobucket.com/user/sepiaobot/media/mlh_hrc3_zps8fcbf889.jpg.html

  15. rikyrah says:

    HRC FINALLY MADE A STATEMENT ABOUT FERGUSON?

    REALLY?

    • rikyrah says:

      ǝɔǝǝᴚ @reecyru

      “@MWJ1231: That HRC statement on Ferguson sounded so rehearsed.” After almost a month, I’m sure it was. A day late and a dollar short IMO…
      Retweeted by PragmaticObotsUnite

      …………………………

      Abbas_da_barber @Abbas_Da_Barber

      @marclamonthill Clinton is trying to one up Obama at every chance. How does one preach of institutional racism but cheer leads for Israel.

      ………………………..

      carol @Chull62068Carol

      @PragObots @GuileOfTheGods tell me again What color is Hillary and what color is the AG Holder, that exactly what I thought.

      ……………………………………………………..

      Pragmatic Obots @PragmaticObot

      @itgurl_29 she probably read her statement to Cornel over the phone to see if it was alright before she said it today.

      pragmaticObotsUnite @PragObots

      Hillary Clinton’s 19 days late words won’t help #MikeBrown get justice, but President Obama’s IMMEDIATE ACTIONS will. #StayWoke

      …………………………..

      PragmaticObotsUnite @PragObots

      As soon as AG Holder went to #Ferguson, the curfew was lifted, Nat’l Guard left, PD records were released…etc. But Hillary gets praise???

      Pragmatic Obots @PragmaticObot

      @PragObots @marclamonthill Hillary’s response went through many filters b4 she uttered a syllable. It was designed 2 please the blacademics.

      PragmaticObotsUnite @PragObots

      It took Hillary Clinton 19 DAYS to comment on #Ferguson & #MikeBrown, and Blackademics praise her. Miss Ann’s ice truly is colder for some.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Black man taken to jail for sitting in public area

    At 9:43 a.m. on January 31, police were summoned to the skyway in downtown St. Paul’s First National Bank Building on a report of a man loitering. The video footage shows an officer asking the then-27-year-old man to provide his name.

    “Why do I have to let you know who I am? Who I am isn’t the problem,” the man calmly replies.
    “Because that’s what police do when they get called,” the officer responds.

    The man explains he was sitting in the skyway waiting to pick up his kids at 10 o’clock from the New Horizon Academy school. He says he had gotten off work at Cossetta at 9 a.m.

    He tells the officer, “First off, that’s a public area. And if there’s no sign that [says], ‘This is a private area, you can’t sit here,’ no one can tell me I can’t sit here.”

    “The problem is…” the officer says, before she’s cut off.

    “The problem is I’m black. That’s the problem,” the man interjects. “It really is because I didn’t do anything wrong.”

    http://youtu.be/UWH578nAasM

    http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2014/08/st_paul_police_roughly_arrest_black_man_sitting_in_skyway_video.php

  17. August 28 2014…The March Continues

    The March Continues

  18. Ametia says:

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

    The New York Times ‘Niggerizes’ Michael Brown: I Wonder How They Would Slur My Life and Memory?

    There is no liberal media. There is only a corporate media. The corporate media is deeply involved in maintaining and sustaining a society that is racially hierarchical and where whiteness is privileged.

    Social scientists have repeatedly demonstrated how the news media misrepresents, distorts, and presents stereotypical depictions of non-whites. This bias is especially true with the coverage of crime.

    http://www.chaunceydevega.com/2014/08/the-new-york-times-niggerizes-michael.html

  19. Just in
    CNN: Streaming App confirms time of gunshot audio. Timestamp at 12:02 August 9th 2014.

    • Audio captured about time of Michael Brown shooting, company says

      http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/28/justice/michael-brown-ferguson-shooting-audio/index.html

      (CNN) — A company behind the video messaging service that allegedly captured audio of Michael Brown’s shooting this month said Thursday the recording was created at about the time Brown was killed.

      The revelation from the company, Glide, appears to bolster a man’s claim that he inadvertently recorded audio of gunfire at the time the 18-year-old Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer on August 9.

      The video was created at 12:02:14 p.m. that day, Glide said. That’s around the time that police say Brown was shot.

      • In the Moment: Glide Verifies Ferguson Shooting Recording

        http://blog.glide.me/post/96012321805/in-the-moment-glide-verifies-ferguson-shooting

        As you may already have seen on CNN, MSNBC’s “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell,” the local FOX affiliate in St. Louis and Riverfront Times, the Glide mobile app is being mentioned in the current news cycle surrounding the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, with a video message created using the app having surfaced as potentially critical evidence.

        While tragedy is never good news, and our hearts go out to the family of Michael Brown, this incident underscores how technology is changing the landscape of not only journalism, but also criminology.

        A Glide user living nearby (whose identity is being protected) was simply using the Glide app on their smartphone exactly as it was designed – to instantly communicate with a friend through our real-time video texting service. Simultaneously, they also captured audio in the background of the gunshots allegedly fired at Michael Brown.

        Because Glide is the only messaging application using streaming video technology, each message is simultaneously recorded and transmitted, so the exact time can be verified to the second. In this case, the video in question was created at 12:02:14 PM CDT on Saturday, August 9th.

        We commend this Glide user for turning their Glide video message over to FBI investigators as possible evidence in this ongoing investigation.

      • Ametia says:

        This is going to continue dragging out. This constant testing, verifying, confirming of the evidence. Doesn’t the BLACK residents of Ferguson who have eye witness accounts of the murder CARRY ANY WEIGHT?

        We know had Michael been white, the cop black. This would be an open & shut case.

      • Liza says:

        It’s more solid evidence for the DOJ, the way I look at it. The State of Missouri can’t be trusted to do this. I suspect that AG Holder wants this case, but doesn’t want to lose.

      • rikyrah says:

        I see it like Liza does. One more piece in the FBI puzzle.

  20. GrannyStandingforTruth says:
  21. Ametia says:

    You know what folks? I am not remotely interested in ISIS, kidnappings, terrorism and such abroad, because it’s all happening here in AMERICA.

    And if a certain fraction of Americans are outraged by what’s happening outside of America, but not the least bit outraged about what’s happening inside AMERICA, especially with the terrorizing and murdering of our boys. I don’t have any use for you. NONE.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Jamal Simmons @JamalSimmons

    Gov Jay Nixon won reelex w/92% of Black vote +appts only Black Cabinet member NOW? What’s going on MO Dems? http://fb.me/6GlV6XFe6

  23. Dog whistle alert–>Police chief Jon Belmar: Military-style vehicles necessary “b/c we patrol very urban areas.”

    US-CRIME-RACE-POLICE-SHOOTING

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/27/jon-belmar-ferguson-protests_n_5726122.html

    CLAYTON, Mo. — The head of the Saint Louis County Police, who oversaw the crackdown on protests in nearby Ferguson shortly after a teenager was shot and killed by a police officer there, is defending the way his officers used military-style equipment even during peaceful daytime protests.

    Chief Jon Belmar said Wednesday that in his opinion — as well as in the opinion of police chiefs around the country — much of the military-style equipment now used by police is necessary “because we patrol very urban areas.”

    Belmar added that the St. Louis County Police had a responsibility to mitigate the threat of “serious crimes” and “certain terrorist events.” In practice, though, he said the equipment is used in armed barricade situations and, occasionally, in executing search warrants. He said he never anticipated he would ever use it against demonstrators.

    • rikyrah says:

      uh huh

      uh huh

    • Ametia says:

      Uh, uh, uh! As if we don’t know their codes by now.

      What did Ms. Fannie Lou Hamer say?

      White Americans today don’t know what in the world to do because when they put us behind them, that’s where they made their mistake… they put us behind them, and we watched every move they made.

      • GrannyStandingforTruth says:

        grannystanding4Truth ‏@granny_st
        Chief Jon Belmar believes unarmed, peaceful protestors should be gassed, but an unarmed child murderer should be protected.#MikeBrown
        7:19 PM – 27 Aug 2014

  24. ‘ You Stupid Jackass ! ‘ – Darren Wilson Supporters Clash with Ferguson Business Owner.

  25. Same Old Song And Dance

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XbDu_naDms

    ********************
    Wow! Look at that. It’s the same GZ playbook.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014

    Shutting the conversation down

    I always shake my head at the irony of a Fox News pundit claiming that President Obama has politicized the death of Michael Brown. This comes from the folks who – along with other rightwing media outlets – have made it their goal to politicize EVERYTHING.

    I was reminded of how that happens when I read this article in PowerLine about the politicization of history. But we have plenty of evidence about how the right has politicized everything from science (evolution and climate change) to math (unscewing polls). The success of these attempts can be seen by the fact that where we shop is political, how we acknowledge holidays is political, and cultural icons are political.

    Fox News and other right wing media play on all this to set up one side as righteous and the other as out to destroy America as we know it. So if you are a truly patriotic American, you agree with our side and any other position is to be excluded as the enemy. It is this attempt to politicize everything that Julian Sanchez calls epistemic closure.

    One of the more striking features of the contemporary conservative movement is the extent to which it has been moving toward epistemic closure. Reality is defined by a multimedia array of interconnected and cross promoting conservative blogs, radio programs, magazines, and of course, Fox News. Whatever conflicts with that reality can be dismissed out of hand because it comes from the liberal media, and is therefore ipso facto not to be trusted. (How do you know they’re liberal? Well, they disagree with the conservative media!) This epistemic closure can be a source of solidarity and energy, but it also renders the conservative media ecosystem fragile…If disagreement is not in itself evidence of malign intent or moral degeneracy, people start feeling an obligation to engage it sincerely—maybe even when it comes from the New York Times. And there is nothing more potentially fatal to the momentum of an insurgency fueled by anger than a conversation.

    In order to halt any real conversation, one of the tools often used by right wing media is to cast every issue as an either/or. Media Matters has been doing a pretty good job lately of showing how Fox News edited the remarks of President Obama and AG Eric Holder about the situation in Ferguson by eliminating the balance in their statements. They aired only the side of these remarks that was sure to inflame their audience and eliminated the side conservatives might have agreed with.

    There are two reasons why its important to understand this pattern. One is so that we can recognize what the right wing media is doing. But perhaps even more important – so that we can check ourselves and make sure we’re not doing the same damn thing.

    http://immasmartypants.blogspot.com/2014/08/shutting-conversation-down.html

  27. Groups seek a response to Ferguson that lasts

    HealSTL

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/article_cec52c11-a65c-5894-99ba-9bc22f7aa576.html

    Marches, protests and prayer vigils have been a constant in the region for more than two weeks, and as a grand jury pores over evidence in the Michael Brown killing, similar actions are expected to continue.

    But other responses to the police shooting, designed to be more long-lasting, have popped up. They include getting more African-Americans engaged in their communities and challenging people to leave their comfort zones and talk about race.

    On Wednesday, a storefront on West Florissant Avenue opened as the office of #HealSTL, which grew from a Twitter hashtag, and is being developed as an outreach center, including offering voter registration.

    It’s on the same busy strip that has been the center of unrest, including looting, tear gas, arrests and a curfew.

    “This has been a Twitter story,” said the effort’s organizer, St. Louis Alderman Antonio French. “It has touched so many people because of social media.”

    French said the new group was focused on teaching the community how to get involved in local government. Right now, the startup is being funded by selling $9 T-shirts. But formal fundraising will begin soon, French said.

    Next week, billboards are going up across the region asking “What Can We Do Better?” and “Start The Conversation,” a campaign launched by the Diversity Awareness Partnership. Meanwhile, a group of prominent young African-American leaders has put together a list of demands, including the city of Ferguson’s hiring at least 10 more black police officers by Jan. 31.

    The city is 67 percent black, but only four of its 58 police officers — 7 percent — are African-American.

  28. rikyrah says:

    From TPM in a Letter to the Editor:

    It’s incredibly unfair that it worked out this way but I think the historical take of the biggest success of the Obama presidency will be this.

    As a white, suburban, middle++ aged liberal, I saw the run up to his first election as proof of what I believed for a long time – we were in a post-racial world where the only thing that was holding individuals of color back was a willingness to do the hard work that the rest of us were doing to get ahead.

    The re-surfacing of the hidden racism that had become invisible to me was (and is) worldview shattering. The breadth and depth and virulence of both institutional and individual racism is so enormous that I have a hard time coming to grips with it. I’m entirely embarrassed by my pre-Obama beliefs and am still trying to figure out what I can do to move from being part of the problem and becoming part of the solution.

    While discussing Ferguson with folks who fall in to the “don’t think there’s any racism” category, I’m seeing a shift. Events like this, and the pro-protester media coverage seems to be chipping away at the middle. More people are starting to see the world like it really is.

    Looping back to my hypothesis, I suspect that without an Obama presidency, the lens through which we view the current events would have been much less sympathetic to the protesters.

    Oh, and healthcare

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/worldview-shattering

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