Friday, August 15, 2014

Ferguson and the power of the visual

Though the worst among (usually those who either have made a living off of promoting racial division for decades or are just full of race-based hate) us have tried to make what is going on in Ferguson a "race" thing. It really isn't.

Sure, as Ferguson is ~2/3 black, race is unquestionably in the mix and is a primary driver in the protests ... but not THE primary as many knee-jerkers think. Look close. There are two visuals that matter here - and both negate the race-specific nature of this and point to the real visual issue.

Below is a short photo essay that I want you to look closely at. The guy with the Captain bars is Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. He was brought in, and people's first reaction of some was, "Hey, they are bringing in a black man in uniform to help tap things down."

Yes, Captain Johnson is black - but that is not the visual that matters. There have been black police officers there from day one. Look carefully at the pictures of the bitched-up wannabe police in their camo, boots, and body armor. When you can actually get past their fascist bling, what do you see? Yes, there are black officers there.

Also look close at the civilian crowds. As is the neighborhood, they are mostly black and blacks make up more than their percentage of the general population ... but ... as it has been from the start, there are plenty of non-black members of the protester cohorts. There is no racial animus towards them - they are all on the same side; the side against the police power of the State overreaching.

Here is the visual that matters. What is Captain Johnson wearing? He is wearing what is clearly a police uniform.

What are the other officers wearing? Police uniforms. Not the all black einsatzgruppe outfits, no; a bi-color clearly identifiable police uniform.

He is in the community, uncovered, no body armor, with just his side arm. There are places where a police officer may need riot helmet, body armor, and long arms … but those can stay in the trunk until needed.

This is the visual that is important – not the color of the skin. Both the police and the protesters are multi-racial – and so is the solution.

Lots of lessons here, and in a way – almost all of them good.

Note ... update removed as reports are iffy at this point. Stand by.

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