For the moment, the nation is focused on Ferguson. Americans are watching the felonious behavior of some young people who are tarnishing the legacy of Michael Brown and giving validity to conservatives and racists who argue, generally, that young Black men are hoodlums and menaces to society.
It’s sad to watch Michael Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, plead for calm in her community while she is also grieving the loss of her son.
“It is important to distinguish activism from vandalism,” said Dr. Leah Gunning Francis, Associate Dean of Contextual Education at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, and the mother of two young boys.
“The thousands of concerned citizens who have participated in peaceful protests, prayer vigils and strategy meetings are actively seeking justice on behalf of Michael Brown,” said Francis, who is interviewing Black mothers for a national research study on young Black males. “But it appears that the few who are stealing and destroying property are acting on their own behalf and for personal gain.”
Francis attended a jam-packed community meeting Tuesday night where concerned citizens gathered inside a St. Louis church to hear from Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, who has called for the U.S. Justice Department to investigate Brown’s death.
I understand the outrage and anger the community in Ferguson is experiencing. I’m angry and outraged, too, I also realize that racism, high unemployment, the paucity of quality public education in this country and a long history of distrust between Black men and police in Ferguson contribute to the rage among its citizens.
However, thugs in Ferguson know right from wrong. The looters who smashed windows and ripped off local stores don’t care about Michael Brown. They don’t care about justice for Brown and his family. They don’t care about Michael Brown’s dream of going to college. They don’t care about collective healing in the aftermath of this tragedy.
And let me be clear: I don’t believe these looters represent all young people living in Ferguson, but for the thousands of Americans – Black and white –who are watching this madness play out on national television, the looters are the perceived representatives of what Ferguson has to offer.
I’ve seen how civil disturbances can tear black communities apart. I’ve covered three major riots in my journalism career – two in Miami and one in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Often times, we burn down buildings in our own neighborhoods and then expect local and federal government to allocate funding for rebuilding and revitalization. It’s a twisted cycle.
Meanwhile, on Monday night, more than one thousand responsible citizens packed Murchison Tabernacle CME Church in St. Louis where civil rights leaders urged protesters to stay calm in the wake of Brown’s fatal shooting by a Ferguson police officer.
James Clark, vice president of community outreach at Better Family Life, a St. Louis social-service group, said local leaders have a civic responsibility to take charge peacefully.
“The eyes of the world are on St. Louis,” Clark said. “Let’s lead.”
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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