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8 Disappointing Responses From America After The Michael Brown Killing That Should Never Happen Again



Blame the Victim

A recurring pattern in media coverage of police brutality cases is to focus on the how the victim’s past, mode of dress,  choice of music,  friendships, behavior when confronted, etc., somehow legitimized the officer’s response.

The Black community is all too familiar with the racially coded victim-blaming rhetoric, headlines and sound bytes:

“Unarmed Black Man Shot in Area Known for Drug Activity”

” …had several run-ins with the law”

“…known gang-member”

“… moved toward the officer’s weapon”

Many media reports have a similar template: Teenager Trayvon Martin, gunned down in a Florida street in 2012, was wearing a “hoodie,”  had been suspended from school, and pummeled his killer George Zimmerman as he went for Zimmerman’s gun.

Reports this month say that Michael Brown, 18, who was fatally shot six times on Aug. 9, by Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson, was a violent thief. And yep, Brown also went for Wilson’s gun.

The character assassination of the victims, who oftentimes are young, unarmed Black men, raises the same old persistent racial stereotypes and is used to drive home the inevitable conclusion that the police victim  “got what he deserved.”

What’s scary is this strategy usually works.

Fairfield University history professor Yohuru Williams says, “Ferguson police were successful in shifting the discourse from an unarmed teen to a strong-arm thug killed by police.”

What people are saying

2 thoughts on “8 Disappointing Responses From America After The Michael Brown Killing That Should Never Happen Again

  1. Jay Contreras says:

    None of this is to be unexpected. Whites have a history of supporting their criminals–how many remember the Bryant brothers who murdered Emmett Till & were paid for their confession by Look magazine? The collective depravity and amorality of the white collective knows no bounds when it comes to protecting, justifying and murdering for the maintenance of white supremacy. The question is: How far are black people willing to go for it's destruction? A march in? A beg in? Holding up our hands in defeat and begging 'please don't shoot?' Or are we going to mount at the VERY LEAST an going and nationwide DEFENSE? War has been declared on us. A loooong time ago. We can no longer pretend or pray it away. It's an obvious & glaring fact. We can play the martyr or we can rightfully defend ourselves-either way, it appears they will shoot us down like dogs if given the chance. We cannot control them but we MOST CERTAINLY can control us.

  2. Will Rock says:

    8 disappointing responses from Europeans in Amerika. The Amerikan Afrikan response was quite different including the "oh, lawd" slave response. Stop needing approval and recognition from the dominant society.

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