Odilon Redon (1840-1916), La Douleur - 1893
I had been on the ground helping Al Jazeera America cover the protests and unrest in Ferguson, Mo., since this all started last week. After what I saw last night, I will not be returning. The behavior and number of journalists there is so appalling, that I cannot in good conscience continue to be a part of the spectacle.
Things I’ve seen:
-Cameramen yelling at residents in public meetings for standing in way of their cameras
-Cameramen yelling at community leaders for stepping away from podium microphones to better talk to residents
-TV crews making small talk and laughing at the spot where Mike Brown was killed, as residents prayed, mourned
-A TV crew of a to-be-left-unnamed major cable network taking pieces out of a Ferguson business retaining wall to weigh down their tent
-Another major TV network renting out a gated parking lot for their one camera, not letting people in. Safely reporting the news on the other side of a tall fence.
-Journalists making the story about them
-National news correspondents glossing over the context and depth of this story, focusing instead on the sexy images of tear gas, rubber bullets, etc.
-One reporter who, last night, said he came to Ferguson as a “networking opportunity.” He later asked me to take a picture of him with Anderson Cooper.
One anecdote that stands out: as the TV cameras were doing their live shots in front of the one burnt-out building in the three-block stretch of “Ground Zero,” around the corner was a community food/goods drive. I heard one resident say: “Where are the cameras? I’m going to go see if I can find some people to film this.”
Last night a frustrated resident confronted me when he saw my camera: “Yall are down here photographing US, but who gets paid?!”
name names tho
Accountability would be nice, like… it’s one thing if the writer has legitimate fears about putting their career in jeopardy. Kind of. It’s another thing entirely if it’s just about being polite to people who don’t deserve it.
"This was in the early sessions for The Coroner’s Gambit, I came up with this one, and it sorta defined the energy, and we tracked it in Omaha at Simon Joyner’s place… and the song didn’t quite make the cut. I always thought it was kind of nice, you know, the singer goes crazy and beats the hell out of the guitar.” —John Darnielle
some guy: nicki minaj's anaconda isn't even real music I hate this generation I'm leaving the planet
me: dude why are you shoving a copy of abbey road up your ass
some guy: this generation is doomed
"Waste of good ammo. It’s my privilege to buy you a replacement box."
"All self-respecting whites have a moral responsibility to support our growing number of martyrs to the failed experiment called diversity."
"I thank all Police, you are the ‘Thin Blue Line’ protecting normal Americans from aggressive and entitled primitive savages. America is surely at the tipping point."
Just a few quotes (in case it’s hard to read) from that collection of donation messages for Darren Wilson.
Does anyone else want to say it’s not about race?
From a Washington Post OpEd, an LAPD officer explains that absolute submission, even to unlawful requests, is the best way to stay safe. Because cops only hurt you if you make them. (link)
…if you believe (or know) that the cop stopping you is violating your rights or is acting like a bully, I guarantee that the situation will not become easier if you show your anger and resentment.
Not only am I going to violate your civil rights, but don’t even dare look upset about it.
Police are legally permitted to use deadly force when they assess a serious threat to their or someone else’s life. Save your anger for later, and channel it appropriately. Do what the officer tells you to and it will end safely for both of you.
If you look angry, I might assess you as a serious threat and shoot you dead in the street. And no one wants that, right.
We have a justice system in which you are presumed innocent; if a cop can do his or her job unmolested, that system can run its course.
Of course, as a cop, I am not encumbered with notions of “innocence”. So don’t get all in your feelings when I harass you for no reason.
While most citizens are courteous and law abiding, the subset of people we generally interact with everyday are not the genteel types.
You know, not white middle class people who look like they can afford lawyers to sue me for violating their rights or abusing their persons.
FUCK ALL OF THEM.
This is some bullshit
This sounds like a batterer trying to justify spousal abuse. This kind of thinking requires such a high sense of entitlement, I can’t even imagine it. Just because you have the power, doesn’t mean you have no moral responsibility in how you use it. Also, just because something is legal doesn’t mean it is ethical.