There are a lot of us who thought that the 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin was a turning point in seeking understanding as to the plight of Black young men in America being frequently racially profiled by law enforcement and others. Now I am hoping that the combination of the Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner cases among others will be the catalyst for major changes for the better. There are 5 examples out of several positive steps that have occurred post the Ferguson case involving Michael Brown.
1.) This time there is strategic planning for peaceful protests being held in different locations around the country with no end in sight. This is essential to maintain the interest of the media and to keep this subject from being forgotten and sidestepped.
Help is coming from volunteers as exemplified in the 11/8/14 Salon Magazine story by Sarah Jaffe, titled, “I didn’t want that to be the story about Mike Brown”: Meet the man showing America the real Ferguson story.”
“The report is about a volunteer, DeRay McKesson who decided to visit Ferguson on a whim. He noticed the following, “In the weeks following Brown’s death, national media flocked to Ferguson, broadcasting from its streets and often unintentionally making itself the story, or focusing on conflict between protesters and police rather than on what was being built between the protesters on the ground and the people around the world who were following them on social media.
“Mckesson and another volunteer, Johnetta Elzie started a newsletter to create a supplement to often-rushed social media accounts, and applied an activist’s view to the news coming out of Ferguson. The stories they choose come with their commentary, notes like “Though we find this to be subtle victim-blaming, we encourage you to read it,” from Nov. 20 on a local media story on Vonderrit Myers, another young black man shot by police in the days following Brown’s death. Or “As you read, tune into the slant that subtly blames the protests for a spike in crime in STL,” from Dec.4 .”
The media’s focus on rage, he points out, paints black people as monolithic, as only capable of one emotion, one type of expression. “One of the narratives of blackness in protest is ‘the angry people outside,’ as opposed to ‘disenfranchised people who’ve been oppressed and victimized as they tried to grieve.”
“Ferguson didn’t show us that there’s racial injustice in America. We knew that,” he says. “What Ferguson showed us was the power of people coming together to demand change. Ferguson made protests comfortable, gave people permission to protest. It allowed people to access their voice in a different way.”
2.) The DOJ is investigating as to whether there are any civil rights violations with the Trayvon Martin, the Michael Brown, the Eric Garner and other cases. When the investigations are completed and the facts are made public regarding any law enforcement and judiciary misdeeds, the involved professionals will be forced to alter their prior tactics of closing ranks and protecting their rogue police officers from censure as these tactics will no longer be considered viable. Currently (December 2014), the DOJ is in the process of conducting a federal grand jury hearing in Orlando, Florida to determine if the person who shot Trayvon Martin in 2012, George Zimmerman will face any civil rights charges.
3.) As per the 11/30/14 LA times article, titled, “Ferguson police to seek more black recruits; no severance for Darren Wilson. LA TIMES,” the author Kurtis Lee reports:
“The family will pursue all the legal avenues,” Crump told CBS’ “Face the Nation.” Crump said a wrongful-death lawsuit could be filed in the near future.”
4.) The above LA Times article also reports, “At the Ferguson news conference, Knowles said the city would do everything in its power to help the businesses that burned in the riots rebuild as soon as possible. As of now, he said, there is no cost estimate for the damaged property. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has called a special legislative session so lawmakers can allocate state funds for the rebuilding efforts.”
5.) According a 12/8/14 blog by Chris Hayes and a staff writer of Fox 2 Now St. Louis, there is a hearing scheduled as to why the National Guard was not deployed to the Ferguson area prior to the Prosecutor Robert McCulloch’s 11/24/14 evening announcement of the grand jury’s “No True Bill” decision of no indictments against the White Police Officer Darren Wilson for fatally shooting an unarmed, Black, older teenager, Michael Brown on 8/9/2014. The world watched as criminals in the midst of peaceful demonstrators were not hindered from looting, vandalizing and burning down businesses and other structures without the National Guard being present. This occurred even though around mid November, the Missouri Governor Jay Nixon had declared a state of emergency in advance of the grand jury decision and had placed the National Guard on standby for a thirty day time period.
Chris Hayes writes the following about the first hearing scheduled for the 2nd week in December, 2014:
“A joint committee on government accountability which includes the MO. Senator Eric Schmitt, will meet this week to begin finding what went wrong when North County burned. On 11/24, Guardsmen filled the streets of quiet Clayton, but were nowhere to be found in North County. As Fox 2 Now recently revealed, 1,500 Guardsmen, which included a Quick Response Force, sat waiting for a call that didn’t come until the next morning.”