5 Sept – After #Ferguson

As part of the healing process, please talk about how you processed the events of Ferguson.

As I mentioned in my previous post, the events of Ferguson were broadcast on the news, but are issues that aren’t necessarily relevant in Australia.

It’s sad that this behaviour still exists in other countries, particularly America, and surprising that more isn’t being done to change people’s perceptions. As I discussed in another previous post, stereotypes exist in society, due to the behaviours of a minority of people of a particular race. In America, a percentage of African-Americans conduct thigh-like behaviour or criminal behaviour, and therefore, they’re all viewed as being thugs / criminals. Granted, there are a number of contributing factors which lead to this behaviour, but I think that if they’re so upset about it, they really should be putting more of a focus on changing people’s perceptions about them – but in order to do that, it requires changing the behaviours of the people who are purporting this stereotype.

Until that happens, unfortunately these issues are not going to change. You can try educating people to a certain extent, however, it’s up to each individual to try and influence and create change not just in themselves, but also in others.

My heart goes out to those directly affected by the events of Ferguson.

4 Sept – Racism

Why do you think it is so difficult for people to talk about race?

The discussion of race is something that is taboo. Unless you’re talking about your own race, and I still don’t quite understand that. For example, if I make a comment about a person of race, regardless of whether it’s positive or negative, I’m labelled as a racist. But if an African-American is talking about other African-Americans, that’s completely acceptable. Why!?

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3 Sept – #Ferguson

What is the most helpful post (or Twitter hashtag) you read in all the coverage on Ferguson?

 

I don’t use twitter so I haven’t been following this story that closely.

Living overseas, it’s interesting how this story is portrayed in international media, and from what I’ve seen, it was run as a story about an innocent teenager who was innocently gunned down and murdered by the police. The police were portraying him as a ‘thug’, as well as other ultra-conservative media outlets, whereas other media outlets were calling those people out on it and calling shenanigans as a case of racial profiling / stereotyping.

Being an ‘outsider’ to this type of story, it’s hard to form an opinion about the situation, because we’re being presented with both sides of the story. This type of issue in terms of violence between police and African-Americans doesn’t really exist in out country – well, certainly not to the extent that it does in the United States. Instead, we just have a government more concerned with turning away political refugees and asylum seekers and sending them right back to where they were fleeing from, or locking them up in refugee centres. Well done, Australia.

Given that our media is soooo heavily influenced by American media, I try to avoid it as much as possible, because it’s usually only about 3 things:
– the most recent school shooting,
– whatever couch Kim Kardashian is currently impersonating, and
– every little thing that Obama does.

Okay, so maybe it’s not that bad, but it is pretty full on. Sometimes I feel like our supposed ‘local’ news is just relaying everything that happened in America, and then it’s interrupted with tomorrow’s local weather. This is why I try to avoid the news.

In terms of US media, I’m not going to deny that the black community is regularly portrayed as the violent criminals and the police are always doing the right thing – by gunning them down. But at the same time, the US police seem to have the same reputation as the Victorian police here used to: shoot first, ask questions later. I can’t help but feel as though the US cops are a bit too trigger happy and they get a bit power hungry from wearing the uniform, that mentality of “I AM the law, so I’m completely untouchable” and so they can then pretty much do anything regardless of whether it’s using excess force to subdue a suspect, through to shooting an innocent person, they don’t care because they’re in a uniform – and that makes it okay.

However, if the guy shoots a cop, he’s up for the death penalty…