Thursday, August 14, 2014

Where I Stand

I've always believed in the importance of the truth, but as a writer I'm more aware than most how easy it is to make facts lie.

Consider the difference between these two sentences:

Community members gathered in silent vigil as the murder victim's body lay uncovered on the street.

Angry mobs threatened officers attempting to secure the police scene.

They both describe the same thing: that the body of 18-year-old Michael Brown was left in the street for more than four hours after he was shot to death, and that, during that time, a crowd gathered. But which sentence you read as the truth depends upon your point of view.

I gotta say, I'm with the gathering on this one. My heart bleeds for the people of Ferguson, and for the injustice and racism still alive in this country. If you want to know more about what's happening, #Ferguson is a good place to start. There's also this listing of blog posts and websites. Sarah Bessey has a few things to say, and Matt Stauffer urges us to become The Other White Person, "The one who, in the face of White apathy towards Black pain, acts counter to your culture and stands in solidarity with people whose neighborhoods might not look like yours."

I can't do much, but I can do this much, and I urge you to do the same. Take a photo of yourself with your hand in the air. Post it online. Show the world that whatever your skin color, you stand with the people of Ferguson, you stand with the victims of racial injustice, and you stand with Michael Brown.