Time and again, Twitter has transformed my life and the way I (and many) look at the way things are. For a site that gets a fraction of the traffic of Facebook or YouTube, Twitter has opened my eyes and mind to so many opportunities and people I would've never met otherwise. Lots of people I've met on Twitter have become great friends of mine, or I've collaborated with in some way. Others I might never meet but still inspire me every day.
Twitter is where I get my news; that never ceases to amaze me given I've lived my whole life up until five years ago getting my news from television or print outlets I now know are probably driven by agenda and advertiser dollars. For better or for worse, Twitter's given rise to 'citizen journalism,' where news and movements unfold in real-time streams of 140 characters. Such a movement is happening in Ferguson, MO as we speak, and it's where my heart and mind have been for the better part of a week.
Mike Brown was a young African-American man visiting his grandmother in this small town before he was to start college this week. What happened to him not only cut yet another bright, young life way too short, but it's ignited a new age revolution against racism like we've never seen. The police (of this small town) is decked out in military-grade riot gear that military veterans never wore in combat. There are images of protestors looking for any kind of refuge to douse themselves in after being hit with tear gas by the overly-done, overly-fearful police force. There are still more images of peaceful protestors & aggressive, tense police lines in Ferguson alongside almost identical photos from race riots in the 60s. It's absolutely mind-blowing this is happening AS. WE. SPEAK. In our own country.
My heart and mind have been with Mike Brown's family and the protestors in Ferguson since last week's murder. I will never be able to understand what it's like to lose a son/brother/friend/cousin just because of the color of his skin. I will never be able to understand what it's like to walk down the street and wonder if my life is in danger because of how I look. Most of all, I'll never understand the small-mindedness, ignorance, hate, lack of compassion and FEAR that's rooted so deeply in these police officers that they'll shoot a black man for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. How so much destruction and violence is being deployed against peaceful protestors all to protect one killer of an innocent man. That doesn't mean I can't care about the safety and livelihood of people I don't know who are still fighting in America for their basic human rights today, in 2014. I won't stop retweeting and otherwise helping how I can.
Fear has to stop.