This blog is a testimony to my willingness to talk about things I’m not an expert in. But when it comes to Ferguson, I can’t think of anything to say. It’s desperately important, and I want to add my voice to the chorus saying This Is Wrong, because it is, and because so many white Americans’ response to Ferguson was to support the cops. But as a white American I have no first hand experience with the kind of systemic racism that killed Michael Brown, and everthing I try to write feels like I’m pretending I do.
I went to a protest today, but it didn’t give me any insights. I can’t even claim to be a good source of referrals, because I haven’t read that much about Ferguson. I’ve been reading about these kinds of murders for years, and it took me a long time to realize this one had gone mainstream. My Facebook feed is filled with great articles on many aspects of the case, but none seem like the right intro for people who aren’t already convinced, and if you are convinced you can find them on your own.
The best long term source I know on racism in America is Ta-Nehisi Coates, and while he hasn’t talked extensively Ferguson, he’s talked well. I also encourage you to give money to support the residents of Ferguson or the legal rights of the protestors, and to be physically present for protesters in your town. No one has any math on how effective protests are, but this is not something you can buy your way out of.