by Niki Messmore
This #FF post is being written on Sunday, August 18th. My timeline is full of #staywoke, #HandsUpDontShoot, and #Ferguson. There are photos of men, women, and children who have been tear gassed. Reports of peaceful protests hijacked by police wearing military gear. Residents and journalists being threatened by riot police to “Get back! Or next time you’re going to be the one maced” or “Get out of here or I will shoot you.”
This is all the result of a police officer shooting an unarmed black teenager. And really, it’s all about systemic racism.
What can I do? I feel helpless and angry as I read the young man’s autopsy report and scroll through tweets. There are some things I can do (especially as a white woman). One of them is to educate (myself and others).
The following is a list of folks who have been reporting & tweeting on the events in Ferguson (mostly thanks to Black Twitter). I know there’s a chance that by Friday that issues in Ferguson may have calmed down, but I guarantee we are still going to need to keep talking about this. As professionals in higher education we MUST acknowledge that systemic racism is a thing and that our society does not value the lives of people of color.
- @Awkward_Duck: Black feminist activist, she has been organizing in the Ferguson community, including stopping looters
- Mikki Kendall: Writer for hoodfeminism.com, her commentary is on it at all times, and she RTs all the key Ferguson things
- zellie: Activist in the black community, he runs Black-Culture.com and flew to Ferguson to participate in the protests.
- Antonio French: Alderman for St. Louis’ 21st ward, this man has been on the ground since Day 1
- Maria Chappelle-Nadal: MO State Senator representing parts of Ferguson, she was tear gassed during a peaceful protest
- Robert Cohen: Photojournalist for the St. Louis Dispatch, and photos like this and this make me question America
- Jesse Williams: More than just an actor on Grey’s Anatomy, his tweets will get you reflecting on race in America
- Christopher Hayes: MSNBC host who has been reporting a lot on site, including police run-ins
- Wesley Lowery: Washington Post reporter who was arrested w/o cause by Ferguson police alongside Ryan O’Reilly and has been reporting on site
- Imani: Senior Legal Analyst for @RHRealityCheck, her commentary and RTs are a must
Also, I put together a Twitter list of folks who are on the ground in Ferguson – both journalists and verified community leaders and activists. Get your info from the source.
At this point, there are probably new voices out there reporting on Ferguson. Who have you been following? Leave your suggestions in the comments or tweet them out to @NikiMessmore so I can follow them also.
And remember…we sometimes forget ourselves, locked in the Ivory Tower of Academia and focusing on our campuses. We need to continue our education, create discussions, and take action. But mostly? We need to wake up.