On August 9, 2014, Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Mike Brown, in Ferguson, MO. Motive? I don’t believe anyone is able to fully answer that question. All we know is, Mike and his friend were walking down the street. Officer Wilson ordered them to walk on the sidewalk, and this is where the story gets twisted. NUMEROUS witnesses have testified, saying Brown’s hands were up in a state of surrender, when Wilson shot him (multiple times).
The murder of Mike Brown stirred up controversy across the globe. Protesters came to Ferguson, to show their support for Brown, and demand the arrest of Wilson (which has yet to happen). Mike Brown was killed one month before my wedding. Although everything inside of me wanted to make a trip to Ferguson, it just wasn’t possible. Finally, last Sunday, I went to Ferguson.
I saw many things in Ferguson. We went to Mike Brown’s memorial, where he was shot and killed. It’s a simple block, just like anywhere else in North America, made famous by this tragedy. We visited a few businesses in Ferguson. Although they were boarded up, they’re still open for business. The boards are a precaution, just in case some people decided to loot if Wilson isn’t found guilty for murder.
In order to keep up with what was happening in Ferguson, and other towns in Missouri, I utilized the #Ferguson hashtag on Twitter. I tried to interview a few key activists in Ferguson, but that fell through. I also tried to protest outside the Police Department, but must have just missed the crowd once I pulled up. To be honest, it was quite frustrating for me. I was in Ferguson, ready and willing to give my support. However, not much was happening.
Yes, the tension was thick in the air. You could feel it. The entire city is on pins and needles, as they await Officer Darren Wilson’s verdict. However, the media is failing to show the lack of people IN Missouri, who seem to have absolutely NO interest as to what’s happening in their state. My husband and I went to Galleria, which is the local mall in St. Louis. I’ll never forget how OVERLY happy one the co-workers at American Eagle was. I get it. She was doing her job. However, when she asked us how were we doing, everything in me wanted to yell “Do you know your Governor just declared a state of emergency, BEFORE the verdict of Darren Wilson has been released?” And then there’s the conversation I had with a Black waitress in a restaurant. She informed me that she tends to drive around the protests, and wants nothing to do with them. Her focus is work and her family. I get it. I truly get it, but I don’t understand.
People from across the GLOBE have traveled to Ferguson to protest. National leaders, political figures, and celebrities have shown support to Ferguson. From what I witnessed, Ferguson supports Ferguson, and of course is supported by those who stand for justice. However, other parts of Missouri seem to be unbothered. For example, my husband and I stayed in a hotel, in downtown STL. There were no visible “We support the people of Ferguson” signs hanging anywhere, and if I hadn’t known any better, it would have been hard to tell Ferguson was 15 minutes away from downtown STL.
They say you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, and I shouldn’t have judged the protests for justice, by what I was seeing in media. Although ‘Ferguson October’ is over, I headed to Ferguson believing I was going to experience a great movement, supported by the masses. Truth be told, the Ferguson movement surprisingly isn’t supported by the majority. I should have known that, seeing Officer Darren Wilson Facebook page has received over 82,000 likes and over half a million on a GoFundMe account. It must have been the hopeful child in me, who believed the entire world would see my perspective, and fight for what’s right. Instead, yet again, the glory of social media is what brought awareness to Mike Brown’s story, when major news outlets hadn’t begun to report. It’s everyday people like you and I, keeping the momentum alive. Trust me, if were to let go of the demand for justice, this case would’ve been swept under the rug. Instead, we’ve done a beautiful job in demanding freedom and justice, peacefully.
I encourage the ENTIRE state of Missouri to join in the fight for justice. It doesn’t matter if you’re from Ferguson or Clayton, this is YOUR moment to shape history, or at least try. Us outsiders are here as well, but it’s your voice and vote that counts, at the end of the day. Would if this were your son, in your neighborhood? It was and it is. One beautiful fact about the Civil Rights Movement, is it wasn’t supported 100% by African Americans. Nope. Our White sisters and brothers, joined the movement as well. This shouldn’t be a racial divide, but instead, a human unite. Turn up, peacefully.