Why I’m Not Marching for #Ferguson or #MikeBrown

by Ebonie Johnson Cooper, Chief Millennial Officer

You won't see me out here. Nope. (source)
You won’t see me out here. Nope. | Protestors drop to their knees and put their arms in the air during a rally for Michael Brown Jr., who was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer Saturday, Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, in Clayton, Mo. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Laurie Skrivan)

I didn’t wear a hoodie for Trayvon. I didn’t march to Save Our Girls. And I didn’t March for Mike Brown and peace in Ferguson. It’s not that I don’t believe in the causes and I don’t want things to change, it’s that I’m not convinced marching in 2014 is really going to make a difference.

This isn’t 1960 when marching peacefully actually evoked change. Or when the act of sitting in a restaurant sparked a nationwide movement that changed some things. It’s 2014 where people create hashtag campaigns and funky complementary graphics that provide a sense of solidarity. That’s great we all want the same thing but where in all of this is the change happening?

They don’t believe us. We have enough people but we aren’t really doing anything.

mace girl
No, this isn’t Ferguson but it’s been floating the internets like it is- might as well be. (source)

We live in a bandwagon, hashtag advocacy society. As long as its trending, we’re hashtagging it. But once the thrill is gone, so are we. We can’t sit still long enough to make sure the change actually happens before we’re off to the next hashtag driven controversy. This “right now for the moment” solidarity we share is indicative of the values of our society and quite frankly, I’m disgusted by it. Caitlin Thompson says is quite well in this Borgen Magazine piece, “Hashtags cater to simplicity, and while this makes for a fast spreading, powerful movement, too much background is neglected, leading to misinterpretations and limited action. …A study on the Kony 2012 movement by psychologists Daniel Sullivan of University of Arizona, Mark Landau of University of Kansas and Aaron Kay of Duke University showed that people tend to lose interest when they realize the issue is more complicated than the hashtag.” Think we’re trippin? What happened to the girls everyone wanted to save a few months back? Where are they now? How many of those hoodies everyone posed for got Zimmerman in jail or helped to pay for legal fees for Trayvon’s family? And how are these marches around the country stopping cops from spraying mace in the faces of children today or tomorrow? Answer me all of this and I may reconsider my position.

We all swear that we would not been slaves or stood for the troubles of the civil rights movements. Ha. The truth is, yes we would’ve. We would’ve because we don’t have the patience and diligence that our parents, grandparents, great and great-great grandparents had. We would be so busy looking for a hashtag to go with our instagram picture or become distracted by the latest pop-culture drama that the opportunity to make sure change happened would be lost. If Martin Luther King wasn’t making a speech at the Lincoln Memorial, we’d be at home tweeting about nonsense or turning up at the next brunch. We’d only show up when there was a moment to shine. The real work happens when there’s no marching, there’s no protesting. The real work happens at the polls during the primaries or a non-presidental election. The real work happens as members of your community-based organizations, at your local city council town hall and in our churches. The real work is not on social media. Social media is great for promoting a message but not change itself. Marching for a day, for a few hours is not going to change anything.

IMG_0987.PNGWhat is going to change things is educating ourselves about the issue and not waiting until another black man is killed to get angry. What’s going to change things is listening to what politicians are saying and voting for who will act on your behalf. (If you haven’t noticed, those in office are acting on the behalf of those who voted for them.) What’s going to change things is watching with discernment, praying (to whatever God you may believe in.) and then making an intentional, well-thought out plan of action.

I’ll be here reading, watching and planning.

8/17/14 UPDATE: Here is the plan of action – and education. Please read and join us! The Young, Black & Giving Back Institute.

FERGUSON, MO - AUGUST 11:  Police force protestors from the business district into nearby neighborhoods on August 11, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets as residents and their supporters protested the shooting by police of an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown who was killed Saturday in this suburban St. Louis community. Yesterday 32 arrests were made after protests turned into rioting and looting in Ferguson.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO – AUGUST 11: Police force protestors from the business district into nearby neighborhoods on August 11, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets as residents and their supporters protested the shooting by police of an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown who was killed Saturday in this suburban St. Louis community. Yesterday 32 arrests were made after protests turned into rioting and looting in Ferguson. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

269 thoughts on “Why I’m Not Marching for #Ferguson or #MikeBrown

    1. Hi sorry was looking for a way to comment this was the only way by replying 🙂
      Personally I think the first change has to come from our mindset (blacks) we have a deeply imbedded negative mindset that really needs changing- from this we can understand that we need to arm ourselves with knowledge, intelligence not looting and aggressiveness to the opposing races we look exactly like what they depict us as. We need to come together an ALL sing from the same hymn sheet. Get focused get a strategic plan in place know what we doing and apply the same enthusiasm we have for things that have through the years deteriorated our culture.

      1. Why you should be marching for #Ferguson & #MikeBrown

        I went to a police brutality rally in a very impoverished, high crime, drug riddled neighborhood to join like-minded individuals in standing in solidarity to fight the crooked powers that be. Community leaders, a local radio station host & a politician were just a few of the speakers. When I got there, there were only about 5 people there. If I followed your ideology, I would’ve kept on driving because it ‘wouldn’t make a difference’ and ‘people will forget eventually’ anyway. But I’m a leader & I knew though there were only 5 people there, with me present it would make it 6- and contrary to your belief, there IS strength in numbers. By the end of the gathering- there were about 50 people in total. If the next time around, we all committed to bringing 1 person, and so on so forth- please tell me how that doesn’t accomplish anything? The conversations are starting and if you paid closer attention you’ll see it’s become more than just a hashtag or a ‘blog title.’ People are actually being doused with tear gas, military trucks and tactical gear and arsenal all while exercising their constitutional right to assembly & speech.

        Like you, I didn’t wear a hoodie for Trayvon or start any social media campaigns for Save Our Girls, Kony or any of the many other movements that have stirred up emotions. Though I agree with most of what you said in terms of band wagoners & trending hashtags that never fully capture the attention of those in power, yet may get you a few more friends or followers on social media; your inaction is an action & you may very well be part of the problem. You may have all the proof gathered to support your resistance to participate, but it would appear, with all due respect, that you have given up before you even started fighting. I found your article though well-written; ‘troubling’ to say the least. The reason we are so deep into this mess of ‘inequality’ is due to the complacency and lack of involvement from people.

        Though I get how discouraging it can be to see your fellow acquaintances, friends, family, co-workers carry on with their lives and essentially ‘give-up’ on the fight because they don’t care, are consumed by some other meaningless crap, or they realize the problems are so deep- their actions may never actually merit proper recourse; does that mean we should all give up? Should we put our hands up & submit to those that control us. We saw how that ended up the last time someone surrendered to them- it ended with a bullet-riddled corpse as a souvenir.

        Our music and movies are garbage and continue to perpetuate the same stereotypes that define us to other groups. Our kids and women are over-sexualized, our men are becoming extinct, our foods are poisoned & people are more consumed with Kim Kardashians’ wardrobe than the robbing of our civil rights daily. Our society is crippled, our children lack respect, we don’t stand for 1/2 of the things are elders stood for & we accept this mess as our fate when remain silent.

        If your decision is:
        a) to not join the protests or the marches because it won’t accomplish anything.
        b) to start work locally in churches (that already divide us)
        c) to get out and depend on politicians (that already divide us) to elect someone who will act on behalf of the people

        Then, you probably shouldn’t join the movement anyway. I believe in my heart of all hearts that you and I more than likely want the same things, but I’m totally against your decision to judge those that have made the decision to get off their blogs and social media to actually fight for rights that benefit us all.

        The Trayvon sweater movement didn’t bring any money to his parents for legal fees and you raise a good point. So why not suggest starting or you yourself starting a crowd funding campaign to raise $ for #MikeBrown and the fees his family will incur? While protesting and marching may not immediately evoke change or stop the pepper spraying- it sends a message of solidarity and that justice is demanded. Those messages of unity haven’t been seen for a while because people are too busy hiding behind a blog or social media judging the actions of others to justify their inactions. It is happening however, and while you judge… I only hope we budge.. up & onward.


        And this has been real talk from Dee Reelis

      2. No one would have heard of Ferguson, or Mike Brown, or given a damn about overly-aggressive policing without the social media campaigns because unfortunately, media attention relies on social popularity today. There are no more investigative journalists.And without media attention, no one notices or gives a damn about what goes on outside their own sphere of influence. You are correct though that there still needs to be a useful transition from popularity to meaningful action but that requires personal sacrifice which most people are not willing to make.

      3. People being out there is still, at the very least, keeping the incident relevant. In the past 2 weeks, 5 unarmed black men were killed by a white officer. Mike Brown is only getting coverage because of the protesting so be careful not to belittle their actions. I do agree that more needs to be done. Please sign and share this petition: https://www.change.org/…/president-barack-obama-please…

      4. Dee Reelis, none of that actually answers the main point of this article… which is, what has that accomplished today? Sure, you turned five people into fifty… but then??

    2. is that your plan…to sit watch read and plan. that sounds a bit lazy for you to sit behind your keyboard and criticize the efforts of marching or protests. Social media is a great tool for advocacy and making those who may be so into their own world aware of the needs of others not as fortunate as you. To some it maybe a temporary cause but those who are …working on the front lines, behind the scenes and independent media, help ignite new leaders. They help increase the voice of those unheard. Sometimes this is a result of social media. The world …is changing and some people only get the news from mainstream media which is sad. But those hard working leaders and activists have help to write new legislation and amend laws. Those small partnerships and community collaboratives experience real change. The more activists and community leaders are ignited the better. If it’s not your cup of tea, no worries. You will still benefit off the backs of those who will do the work! Those who have made it comfortable for you to continue to be in your own world. It’s so easy to sit back and criticize action while you do nothing. But benefit for the results of those that do. Protest from the past did suffer violence for many of the privileges far too many take for granted today. If you are not going to participate SHUT YOUR MOUTH. Oh that’s right, you have a right to your opinion. Because someone fought for you to have that right!

      1. You didn’t read my article did you? Did you read the follow up nah. Did you click around the site to see that we are indeed the leading organization that equips black millennials in civic leadership and philanthropy. Nope. When you have fully done your research on my “doing nothingness” 365 a year, come back and rehash your argument. Thank you! – ejc

      2. I agree that a plan to sit, watch and comment might not be the most effective way to change anything. Especially when her comments are negative criticism.

  1. So what are you going to do? Besides just writing this reactionary online article lamenting people taking reactionary measures online instead of taking preventative action in the real world?

      1. It’s a great answer! Some people might look at it and think you’re not doing anything, but what they’re missing is that you have the intent to do anything. A lot of people think that I don’t care about events like these because I don’t “react” the way they do. Truth is I don’t see the point in rehashing an outrage 20 other people on my friends list have already have. I’d rather be thinking how I can use the resources I have to better this world.

      2. I think you said what you are going to do… you said and I quote, “I’ll be here reading, watching, and planning.” I think I’d add praying to that list too, not just because I agree that it’s an appropriate course of action but more so because you mention it as a way to incite lasting change beyond the fleeting fads of social media. I think that’s a good start, and I hope that you find ways to continue the work that needs to be done.Thanks for speaking your truth so respectfully and thoughtfully. Love Love Love!

      1. Voting is very important if black people in a community that is 60% black don’t get out and cast their vote then they will end up with mayors and politicians like the ones in Ferguson.

  2. When will your plan go into action? When will we see results of your plan 2016, 2020, 2046? Voting for someone new will not change anything in individual neighborhoods! My family, friends, colleagues and myself have been voting for over 88 years for local politicians and NOTHING changed. What will you do differently so that change will be seen, felt and heard in individual neighborhoods? Please share. Thank you!

    1. What are you expecting? Less crime? Well if you want that you need stricter police, dont want stricter police? Well then you need to change an entire culture of thievery, drug use, gangs, rape and murder. So ask yourself, when a politician sees this problem what do you think the quick fix is? Its more cops in lower income areas where people are stealing cigars.

      1. Get your facts straight. Mike Drown did not still cigars. And if you have a problem understanding the issues and concerns are regarding the incident, close your eyes and pretend that Mike Brown is white.

      2. Stop supporting violent music artists that target black communities, stop underfunding inner city schools, provide a police force that reflects that neighborhood communities.

        Find the root of the ghetto black (not all black…the GHETTO black) culture which lies in those things I mentioned.

        There are a littany of other reasons why this continues to this day. But those are my thoughts on how to change this shit.

        Oh and give EVERYONE due process. This shit is simple. But snobby, priveleged, suburban d-bags whose main problem is what kind of golf shoes to put on wouldn’t understand and don’t make the attempt to.

        When your born poor, brainwashed with horrible, violent music, have no access to a quality education, deal with constant racism from those sworn to protect you, and get labeled a thug for being brown…..what.the.fuck.do.you.expect?

      3. This issue as well as the many other unarmed black youth that have been gunned down by law enforcement or wanna be law enforcement has nothing to do with crime it has everything to do with racism. Ghettos are created by the government and a simple Sociology class could help you understand that. The issue is Money and Ignorance sadly it seems those in office have an abundance of both and the racists are just ignorant…look in the mirror if you need to know which category you fall in to. Underfunding city schools is not the choice of the people but of those that chose to NOT raise taxes. I live in Alabama that has the 3rd worst school system because the rich oppose raising property taxes, so public schools don’t get the funding required and the rich send their kids to private school so they don’t have to attend school with the blacks. If you’re going to have solutions at least do the research before you open your mouths…

  3. The obsession with ephemeral and emotional reaction is detrimental to impacting change. The recreation of the impactful images of marches from the Civil Rights Movement alone cannot be the only course of action.

    If we are to combat ignorance and irrationality, it has to done with as you said a ” intentional, well-thought out plan of action.” And while that action can include marches and group pictures, they should in their execution/depiction be representative of the nation we feel so alienated by – as isolation cures nothing, inclusion may cure ignorance.

    1. Paul, well said. I am a light brown skinned, Lebanese woman, who believes in fair treatment & equal rights for all. I see the beauty in people of all color and cry inside for the warped feelings of bigotry. I’m enjoying following this post because it holds some well thought out comments. Stop the burning and make a plan.

  4. I understand the overall point of this particular post, but, to say that “marching and hashtag activism is wrong and useless” , is actually, wrong. There are a plethora of men and women that are in Ferguson, Missouri right now, giving updates through social-media. Also, because of the hashtag activism and online funding, they’ve raised thousands of dollars for those in that area, so they’ll stay hydrated, etc.

    1. Hi Avery- I never said either is wrong or useless. What I said is our reaction to issues these days is flaky at best. We hop on issues while they are hott then go back to reality when the real work needs to be done.

      1. You are “speaking” for the majority and generalizing with no credible evidence to support your thesis besides a study on the Kony 2012 movement. True, people “tend to loose interest” but there are people who don’t loose interest. And maybe it those few people who don’t loose interest, after they have marched and hashtagged, that go out and change things within their local community. Have you personally follow up on every hashtag movement to verify your claim? It’s not fair to discredit their hardwork by ASSUMING that these forms of activism don’t make a difference. But I guess life isn’t fair. How else do you supposed citizens make their voices heard as a collective besides voting? Do you feel the same way about those who have recently been protesting in Brazil, Turkey, Egypt, Greece, and Ukrian? Or is it because its mainly black people that you have a problem with all this silly marching? Get off your high horse!

      2. Danielle, it’s “LOSE” interest, not “LOOSE”. Gawddammit, at least make a sensible argument with appropriate grammar.

      3. Fish,
        Did that make you feel better? Critizing my grammar because I have an opposing view. Seems very childish but ok. No response to my overall post though.

        Ebonie (not sure if that is your name. I apologize, if not)
        To be honest I have been thinking about your well written, thought provoking article in retrospect,(complement) and have come to the conclusion that your points are valid. I posted my two cents just to express that the tone of the piece came off as if you meant to discredit the work that is done through marching and hashtags! But you clearly clarified by responding to your readers which I thought was cool. But if you think it’s funny to laugh at me because I have an opposing view I think that’s really sad. I was actual really impressed with you and your work.

        But God continue bless you for the work that you do. And I apologize if my post offended you. I’ll leave it at that.

        DISCLAIMER: Please excuse any grammatical errors. Thanks in advance.

      4. Hi Danielle- I honestly didn’t bother to respond to your initial comment, like so many others, drew judgement and wrote a mean reply without fully digesting what I wrote. Grammatical errors are/were the least of my concern. Fish’s tone was funny- not you. Thank you for taking the time to come back and provide feedback and clarification. Much appreciated. Truce. *extends hand to shake*

  5. Eh.. I disagree. There are a pleated of benefits to “hashtag activism”. For instance: Because of the influx of social-media, during this major issue on Missouri, many men and women online, have raised thousands of dollar, to provide food and water to those in Ferguson, MO.

  6. I understand the need for a more immediate gratification for change. It is how our world rolls, the montage. But gotta start somewhere right? The lyrics to Biko comes to mind:
    You can blow out a candle
    But you can’t blow out a fire
    Once the flames begin to catch
    The wind will blow it higher
    Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko
    Yihla Moja, Yihla Moja
    -The man is dead
    ….as well as the success of protest in Egypt, even though they still are working out the causes and effects there. In that sense, public protest/revolution is the only thing that has ever manifested significant change. Also, I think, one could say voting isn’t the most successful for change either as it hasn’t given better direction yet, and actually is proving to be quite destructive with on record problems of planet, human, all life, moral and ethical over all health. That is the results of destructive systems ..AND we are led to believe that voting is our best option…(no reason not to vote, I know)…BUT, problem with voting are the choices we are given. Nothing is left to random chance with the amount of money involved in outcomes. There is an (obvious to me) intent to manipulate the vote by the choices we are given to vote for or on, for one example: It was real options, (I have always admired Cynthia McKinney), we were given opposing Obama that made this clear to me. Not one has been a serious contender for his intelligence, skills, experience, style, etc…and good reason not to vote for his opponents. This also suggests to me there IS indeed an ‘oligarchy’ to assure Obamas placement as president… unfortunately suggesting he is bought and sold, consciously or unconsciously. Anyway…
    There is strength in numbers, so I think your pov is self defeating, as well as dangerous, and too in line with what this country wants you to believe is our only or best of anything resource for change. The Vote? I dunno… the sheriff of Feguson was voted in… see how well that worked? The vote is quite easily influenced by introduced conditions. Yes education is ultimate for better direction, there are all kinds of Einstiens, Hawkings, Degrassis, the cure for cancer – getting passed up because it is easy to repress and control education too, as is being proven in this country. I always look at outcomes for evidence of intent if not immediately obvious. Our systems are set up to self support by contract and law.
    There is argument to start with the vote, which we have been doing – even though it has gotten us to some scary places in this country. So looking at other successful measures of change… revolution (preferably passive) unfortunately seems to be the only truly successful venue…. I am trying to think when voting has really “changed” anything that wasn’t already prepared for (a women’s right to vote for example, was not because of a vote, but because of the collective protest of women themselves). (again not reason to not vote). Consider it like the first amendment… use it or loose it.
    There is a double edge sword in modern communications and an interesting reaction to the hashtag. However it is not the problem that exists. Hashtag is but a trend and it too will develop. Now, it is a ways and means to join an interest, and be informed. There is less misinformation (no matter the interpretation) coming from the average citizen than there is main stream media (aka propaganda machine), designed for control and influence of large numbers. Hashtag enables the like minded to converge and discuss. I like it to find out where i may be wrong about something, plus providing links to determined my own thinking on it. There is too much going on behind the proverbial closed doors to loose any form of communication with each other. The world is much smaller than when our ancestors occupied this planet. They dealt with area impact… not world impact… so comparisons are tough. Another thought is hashtag got me here :).
    Anyway I hope you rethink your stance on this. Cuz each and every one of our voices matter. I hate to see you discourage anyone with reason for passive resistance to not do so… and wait for a vote that is engineered to keep a status quo, that ultimately does not change a thing because of it’s design.
    Peace and keep on thinking which means re-thinking sometimes too.

  7. and another thing :)… okay where are the other marches and interests and results of your mentioned concerns for a resulting difference with protest? Where are those people and what happened? It is part of this process, not an end to a means but a way to a means for what citizens need. These protests still exists in each and everyone of us, but your question of what happened to those people and the transient interest, is an example of control that I expressed above. It isn’t very often a true addict gets thru rehab only once… it is a process. Progress dear not perfection right?

  8. Here we sit opposed, I suppose. But maybe not so much. I’ve become an older-than-average white guy with more than thirty years in the military. I believe that Trayvon initiated the physical confrontation. I think Michael probably charged the officer. I spent many years fighting men like the ones who took our girls.

    Here’s what I’m going to do when I retire, real soon. I’m going to return to the neighborhood my family forfeited in the 1960s for a rural alternative in response to bussing. Just so you know, I anguished over that move. I had no love for the countryside.

    If I’m welcomed, I will ply my experiences as a writer, a soldier and a parent to help the youngest of those in my old neighborhood. I will wish for them all the things I have wished for my own children, for the young college students I taught, and for the waves of unfortunate young people around the globe I have struggled for all these years.

    I will stifle my beliefs, even truths I know so well. I will resist sharing some of my most profound ideals with only the thought of forging in these young minds the ability to lay siege to their own minds, their own truths.

    All I’m asking is your accommodation to let me help in my own way. And others in theirs. It’s pretty much all we have left to offer.

  9. If you’re not marching than what are you doing actively to help the change rather than writing an article to tell the people what they’re doing isnt enough? To see people of all races come together and protest means that solidarity is in fact capable and is amongst us… true we may divide when the problem dissolves but the point is, is that we come together when there is trouble in the society!!! But again I ask waht are you doing to help change besides writing this article. Which is quite buffoonery!

    1. That’s exactly my point, we only come together when there is trouble. Someone made the point about us being up in arms when white people or police kill us… What about when we kill each other? Oh that doesn’t matter? I feel like until we fight just as hard for any black life lost to violence we are selling ourselves short.

      1. I maintain that police brutality and black/black crime are two separate issues and it’s lazy to use one to distract from the other. We should be pissed when blacks kill each other, we should be pissed when blacks kill others, we should be pissed when others kill blacks, in general when people are unjustly killed we should be pissed. So don’t use the black/black crime excuse and people not caring enough to justify why we shouldn’t care about police brutality or how white people get away with killing blacks like it’s nothing. Black/Black crime leads one black to the grave and one black to prison. White/Black crime sends one black to the grave and the white man usually goes free, if you don’t think this is as great an issue as us killing each other then you’re purposely blind and just as lazy as the people writing articles with no plans to do anything to help besides that.

      2. The difference with black on black murders is that police dont purposely take their sweet time to apprehend the murderer (remeber how long they let zimmerman walk the streets and look at how desperate ferguson pd is to delay charging that officer) and the judicial system doesnt turn a blind eye to these crimes. And black on black murder is no more prevalent than white on white murder, but I never see people bring white intraracial murder/crime as an epidemic when these white men shoot up schools and movie theaters, go to africa just to rape little black children, or when a non white person commits a crime against a white person. There are people employed by the judical system executing and brutalizing black people and they get away with it because so many American systems operate on white supremacy. Almost every police officer who has brutalized a black person has been put on paid leave or desk duty. Think about that. They are literally getting a paid vacation for using excessive force or extrajudicially killing someone.
        Also, you act like there arent advocates and non profit programs out there that work to take black children off the streets, provide an education that the us public school system fails to supply, and help black people get work in a system that wants them to fail.
        I get that you think that social media acts as a flash pan mode of advocacy. But on the other hand it provides a voice to marginalized groups who would have otherwise been ignored or villified in mainstream media. Look at how theyre trying to discredit mike brown, desperately looking to give him a criminal record, posting pictures that feed into nasty black stereotypes. Then the news only decided to report on the shooting after people looted one night. The ferguson community was peacully protesting all day and there was only one news crew there. The only reason i know this is because of live repots from social media. And then I see news pieces trying to humanize the police officer who shot him, even though hes had his hand in other instances of racially charged police brutality.
        The combination of social media, like black twitter, and protests are the start to humanizing the black community through a media platform who have been so long portrayed as savage animals. Along with awareness will emerge, hopefully, a new generation of leaders who have been previously fooled into thinking were in a post racial society or that we live in world that community efforts dont matter.

      3. Yes black on black crime occurs, as does white on white. However using this as an argument, is offensive-as best. Police officers are servants to the community. They are to uphold laws, not break them. Instead police brutality is rampant. They break the very laws they are to enforce-that is the problem.

      4. I feel like African-Americans are treated as animals because of the way we are portrayed, and portray ourselves, in the media. Most commonly, disrespecting our Queens and each other. Incorrectly, white america generalizes our behavior based on the little they see of us. Thanks BET and local news channels. Why would anyone treat us as a human when we treat each other like animals? Respect comes after dignity which is something severely lacking in our community. The only way for us to turn the tables on racism is to reject the seed planted in our collective social psyche that we are less than. So yeah, I guess I wouldn’t march or protest or sign a petition because Blacks still treat Blacks like shit. Massah taught us that; now we must forget it and come together. And that I don’t how to do.

  10. As for save our girls… Thats a problem thats not even in our country… Granted we can show our support for it we cant really just jump into other countries affairs… that would put the people in this country in danger…

  11. Politics serve those with money…

    What we need is unity. We protest for murders committed outside our race bit have vigils for murders within our race.

    One should not be more acceptable than another.

    Lynch days are over. And when you speak to individuals ofvsmall groups for many they know what we need to do but others do bot care.

    I was provided safety tips and this one young man told me he wasn’t do jack to help anyone. Later he recanted to find that his brother was killed. We spoke of both our losses and he realized that if we help each other, it would make. A difference. We can not be based on the haves It have and have not.

    This prevents us from uniting and our voices are silent as one.

    We need a nationwide UNITY organization to help educate our kids to success ie gear them towards higher education. We need them to be educated more than we need to be political and when we are it should be based on values not party.

  12. Great article. This is awesome perspective that few had stop to think about. Many Americans believe the Civil Right Movement was solved at the Lincoln Memorial with Dr. King, however the groundwork was set much earlier with everyday people wanting to change. Our culture is so focused immediate satisfaction that we lose the opportunity to further build community through diligent work. Peace be with you.

    1. You just made me think of something Aaron. I wonder what black on black crime rates were like when we made Civil Rights progress compared to the rates today. I’d hypothesize it was lower giving us a greater sense of dignity as a whole resulting in gaining Civil Rights.

  13. I hope and pray u are just trying to get attention to ur website and these are not ur true feeling. Marching is a part of our history, we need to be seen, viewed as a force to let them know u may not care bout our babies but we do we are here and ever present. I am so sorry and sadden that u feel this way. I started my first march in college at Florida A&M University as we march from FAMU to the capital and our student government would sit in. We do have the patiences and they were embedded in us by or mothers and fathers, for some grandmother and grandfathers as we listen to the story’s of when they marched and even went to jail doing the civil rights movement. When we march we know we have each other, as the mother of that child that is lost u see the community care bout ur baby, the government see we powerful and we not taking this laying down and we will not go quietly into the night. The blood of my ancestors run through my veins I couldn’t not march. I will ask u to please not short change our generation and don’t discourage our youth for standing for a cause. I am so disturbed and saddened by this post. But I will agree to disagree with u. Next u say u not voting I guess….I am thousands of miles from home in the Armed Forces wishing I was back home so I can be involved in these marches and u right there and not even present. Mike Mike was pose to start college this Monday that just passed, he never got to do a march…

    1. Hi Sasha- I don’t write things for shock value. I written my truth- which may differ from the rest and I’m okay with that. I never said anything is wrong with marching. What is different for our times is our short attention spans. As seen with many other tragedies these days, the energy will fade out when the hashtag does.

      1. To say one writes the truth is quite fluid. Your truth will be vaguely different to others. Of course we all have the right to our opinions. Mine does differ. I do ponder what can be done to prevent this continuous atrocity. However, I feel powerless. Writing/ speaking about it is hardly enough. Neither is marching. But what all methods accomplish is exposing the problem and illiciting a response from those around the world.

  14. Can’t just say that marching is the right course of action or not. It was right back then due to the limitation of the people at the time. Marching was effective 40+ years ago. Today, does marching hold the same weight as it did all that time ago? Personally, I think not but the act of marching is still needed. The same can be said with this new age of activism i.e. socialmedia activism. Everyone in the black community fighting for a cause have different fighting styles and once those styles join together as one, then you will be undefeatable. This is the time when you need everyone to get involved, whether its marching, donating money, lawyering up the community, voting for the right poLIEtician, etc…All factors need to join. The problem is not marching the problem is ONLY marching.

  15. I’m not marching, but definitely disagree. I’m reminded of almost a year later, watching the Trayvon Martin verdict unfold with hundreds of other people in a hotel lounge. Everyone in that room was disappointed and hurt. People are still talking about it. I just think people get discouraged when our government fails us. Like in the Zimmerman trial. I don’t March and yes I use social media but I have cried real tears behind closed for this kid Mike Brown that I don’t know. Not because of a hash tag. It’s on the news not just social media. Marching has raised the attention of the injustices that are happening in places like Ferguson, Florida, etc. People really do care. I’m not a marcher, but I support those out there standing for peace and justice all over the World. Hopefully, one day the voice of the people will actually be heard. Yes, I do vote. You can vote all day, but what’s happening in the government is just that, POLITICS. This is real life! Our black men are dying, whether at the hands of others or our own. Hopefully, one day we will experience justice and peace.

  16. You’re right. The reason why marching and protesting worked in 1964 is because it stopped commerce. It doesn’t work today but I still believe it’s necessary as a rallying point. For every 1000 people that just want likes there’s 1 or 2 that want more and do more. And sometimes that’s all you need for it to be a success.

  17. I have a few questions.. why is there only out rage when a black teen is shot by any one? why is there not out rage over the 4 black teens that jumped the 70 year old black man? or on out rage over the white teen who got shot by cops because he could not hear them cause he had ear bud headphones in? or why is there not a lot more outrage over isis chopping heads off children? that is worst then any of these and yet I hardly see out rage over these other things. not saying the out rage is there, but the out rage seems to get focused on black teen who get kill by a cop or any one of another race. don’t get me wrong I am not saying this is not a tragedy any less then the other (maybe the isis) but it seems selective almost. and that is what bothers me.

  18. Thanks for this. Wrote a similar piece invoking Malcolm X’s “The Ballot or the Bullet” speech. I did march for all issues mentioned as a means of solidarity, an emotional outlet, and because we live in a nation that continues to divide us as a people. But I’ve also always been an unapologetic activist, and have found that in those rallies, I met amazing folks that helped me support the families and communities of the Trayvon Martin’s and the Jordan Davis’ s of our nation. I also find that people (not you but in general) find it easier to critique than create. I am currently running a campaign called BlackandBrownPeopleVote.org, calling on all of us, registered and soon to be registered, to commit to voting this midterm election, and remain engaged in between elections on a local, state and national level. Our online tool not online sends updates to your phone on all upcoming elections based on where you’re registered, it also allows for one to register and update their address. I think opportunities like these allow us to show our collective political power, as well as engage our brothers and sisters who weren’t raised to see politics as empowerment. Thank you for this and we hope to have the support of you and your esteemed community.

  19. This is ridiculous. Protesting and marching does create change, it just doesn’t happen overnight as this person seems to suggest in his/her article. Social media and the hashtag advocacy does seem trivial but saying it doesn’t have an effect is very wrong. The “Arab Spring” movement, for example, that has been toppling authoritarian governments in the Middle East like in Egypt and Libya started with twitter and its’ hashtags. Everything counts, so long as patience, persistence, and optimism is there. You should be actively supporting anything that is righteous, no matter how ineffective you think it may be.

    1. No, I should not support anything that is righteous just because it is happening. Just as you shouldn’t. We should support what we believe in. We should rally behind what pushes us to act. If that’s social media for some or politics for other, then so be it. However, my gripe lies with the inconsistency of today’s protests and hashtagging. Change for issues as layered as this should not have a shelf life but sadly, they do.

  20. Don’t march if you don’t want to. That’s your right. But please before you spread your blog, check your sources. That Media Takeout picture is old and not from Ferguson. Some have even said it was photoshopped. It makes me feel the same way about this article that you do about marching.

  21. Here is my plan of action:
    1. Use social media to EDUCATE
    2. Remain a life-long student and instrument of the LORD
    So watch these DVD’s to educate yourselves on the way political, agricultural, and marketing systems work to keep most Americans powerless NOW. Watch a documentary that will inspire you to make a difference.
    ” Park Ave : Money, Power, & the American Dream”
    “Food Inc”
    “Forks over Knives”

  22. You are 100% correct. I’m not doing any hastags because it’s not about Mike Brown, it is about keeping up with the trend that everyone is doing. because just like you said a few months later nobody will be #Mike Brown until something else comes up within this case. people have forgotten about Trayvon Martin, people have forgotten about Oscar Grant & people forgotten about save our girls because once the media died down with those stories, so did all this # and I am Trayvon. And I am a black male. Back in the day we were able to have movements without social media and was able to get more done than what we do now. I agree the hash tags made the Mike Brown case national news but what is going to be the outcome from the hastags now? are we going to forget two weeks later, and when another story pop up that’s when we will go back saying ” I am Trayvon, mike, Oscar” and save our girls? I understand the cause but not everyone is doing for “Justice” but for “trend!”

  23. I think honestly, nothing will change! Ur article speaks exactly when most want! Get tired & play out til the next situation happens! Im tired of every time someone of color does something or murder its because we acted 1st!” Growing up in the south being black gives us great power, mostly it causes fear if ur a big or oversized black male you are an instant treat! I know, cops provoke & profile us daily! No one is fighting for us! Kids getting gunned down in the white schools its a national cry its major then, but guess what blacks cry out for those children, nobody has the nerve to say those kids are at fault! Even though someone bullied some of older kids! But we’re under attack in so many areas! They want the black male to be the 1st come out guy, support that cause, be the 1st to challenge rulings make us pay the cost to society! But who’s willing to fight & die for our equal rights besides the people of the 60s? But you write this article saying why you won’t, but write another saying what ur plans are to help the cause!!! Its almost like telling another slave not to run for freedom, but just stay until they set us free!

  24. I’m glad our forefathers and mothers didn’t think like you. I am GRATEFUL that there are people standing up in Ferguson by Marching and protesting. IF NOTHING MORE, it opened a lot of eyes to REALITY.

    1. They are marching and protesting but what else? Unlike our forefathers, there is not plan. Our grand- relatives marched with a plan, boycotted, held meetings in church and got things accomplished. These last two weeks have been filled with angry, sad and disappointed Americans looking for answers. We’re replying on the media and social media to guide us. Who’s doing our own research?

      1. Speak for yourself when you say people have forgotten about Trevor Martin and etc. You people kill me thinking that what you’ve forgotten about, everyone has. Some people think about these victims and future victims all the time. Our justice system has failed us over and over and may continue to, but that does not mean that we forget about these tragedies, it’s just that we’re left with our hands tied behind our back though we still take all opportunities to strive for justice and change.

  25. No ideas, no solutions, no alternative action? Then this is all about you, young lady. A blatant attempt to drive readers to your blog. Shameful.

  26. If YOU haven’t noticed, those in office are acting on the behalf of those who donated the most to their campaign and subsequent reelection(s). There is absolutely no incentive for them to vote in favor of their constituents.

  27. Hey stop hating and run for office be that viable choice because commenting on people that are doing something even looting are doing something but blogging is not it so get your platform and run for office

  28. If your not going to help take a stand against the violence that is happening against minorities in USA then at least you should remain quiet about what other proactive people are doing. In other words silence your mouth and your pen!

  29. So you write a blog post about how uninvolved you will be… Lol. As an “educated black person” I think it’s easy to take the over critical elitist position, but I think all movements start with awareness. As counterproductive as your blog post is, it raises awareness. And awareness is always good thing.

  30. We need to buy POLITICIANS because votes don’t count. As you see most African Americans voted for Obama and he hasn’t said ish about Mike Brown. The Latin community paid Millions of dollars to his campaign. He will speak out for the Latin Community before the Black Community.

  31. I’m not gonna march for change I’m just gonna blog about how ineffective marching is while offering no real alternative solutions…. Thanks… Very helpful

  32. Right, so just keep doing what you’re doing. Keep your head and down and don’t say a damn word because things will change that way. Great attitude.

  33. Thank you for sharing your perspective.
    What I would like to see is for everyone who is posting and being involved “for the moment” to stay involved after it’s no longer a trending hashtag on twitter. Myself included. That is one way to affect change.
    Thank you for writing this.

  34. Keep waiting while you sit at home and watch! That’s our problem we are not proactive, writing on your twitter isn’t gonna change and JUST educating yourself doesn’t help! We need to do it all!!!! It doesn’t work in 2014 because people are too lazy and too busy on Facebook to do so!

  35. I dont understand this. you say we sit back and just hash tag things but yet you say going out and marching and standing together wont do anything either. I beg to differ these people voices are being heard all over the world. Ive seen posts from Palestine saying justice for Ferguson… Why won’t marching do anything? we need to stand together in times of troubles as well. sitting back and looking isnt going to change anything.. yes we can vote but we can march too.

  36. I did read your article; I followed the hashtags that you dismissed as a fad but at the same time used to promote this article in your title. The sad thing here is most people won’t take the time to “google you”, and first impressions are everything. With that being said you are now associated with encouraging people not to become involved. It doesn’t matter what you have done in the past or what future articles you plan on posting… by writing this article you are the person caught with the smoking gun and people are presenting you as such outside of this comment section. Maybe that was your intention while gaining site traffic. *shrugs* I am not here to judge you- I just simply don’t agree.

  37. As a mother of a 5 year old Black male my plan is to #KeepMyChildOutofTheStreets so he won’t be shot down in the streets by whomever(white or black) feel it is within in their right to take his life. The solution for me starts at home. I will do my best as a single parent to educate my son on the terrors and threats against his life. There are many activities I will encourage and demand my son to participate in and do whatever is in my power to make sure my son is not murdered or becomes the murderer. Pray for our children because they are where our future lies!!!

  38. What gets me upset is when people question the poster like, ‘so what are you gonna do besides posting blah blah?’. The issue is clearly there. People are waiting for someone else to do the work for them instead of starting it themselves or encouraging other to help with a PLAN. When we all change as individuals for the same cause, the outcome everyone wants will be at reach.

  39. I loved your commentary and appreciate the thought that went into it. Unfortunately, I think that some readers missed that you weren’t saying marching was ineffective, just that based on modern day’s attitude, when the flavor of the month changes, so does our intentions.

    I believe we have to start within our communities. Voting makes a difference, so we have to push it. We had an election in St. Louis two weeks ago and had a 29% turnout. We had the chance to vote in an extremely capable and qualified new prosecuting attorney and she lost because we didn’t support. Marching works because it shows solidarity and organization. Teach our children to become police officers so that we can affect change from within the department. Teach our children the value of a good education so that they can better their economic status and learn how to build wealth through ownership of businesses and real estate. Once they’ve done that, teach them to reinvest in their communities to build them up. These steps help to combat the issues within the black community.

    To help the issues of police brutality is to go back to the days when the police were involved in the community and knew the people. That’s how you begin to build trust between the community and law enforcement. That’s my .02 cents though. I think ultimately, regardless of our ideas on how to get there, we all want the same thing…..no more police brutality and no more of us killing each other.

  40. Thank you for having the courage to go against the grain and shed some light on the other side of all this that is happening. The world wide web can be brutal when you go against what’s trending and what is popular.

    1. March, protesting, Social Media = all of this is good for spreading the message
    2. But more than just that is needed to produce change. Like a plan. Not just media.
    3. Yes. I know a revolution does not occur over night

    Ok. My biggest issue with all of this is when people can’t seem to allow others to possess an opinion. The writer of this post is simply expressing her opinion. Why must others be shiesty behind their keyboard? If you disagree with what the writer has to say, simply state your opinion in a respectable manner. No need for the rude “tones.” Let’s keep an open mind and have a civilized discussion.

    1. Lol. It’s quite alright, Jazz. Those most upset are probably the ones I’m talking about anyway. Those who aren’t simply disagree and move on or get it. I’m convicted in my work on and off this blog. Thanks for the support. – EJC

    2. News flash..people are pissed at this writer using this tragedy to bring attention to herself but feels the need to put others down for standing up no matter if it fades out or not. And honey , when the so called blogger posted it…it have the world the right to make and or question comments. It’s damn sure better than people trying to bring attention to themselves on behalf of others misfortune

      1. Clearly you don’t know me and you have hopped on the bandwagon rather than absorbing the message of this post. Have a wonderful day and put your passion to action.

  41. I so strongly agree with you. I am so glad I deactivated my Facebook acct months ago. I get so tired of “conversations” and no actions. All on my timeline were people talking about the issues but when I attend city meetings, events, city networking events not to many faces that look like mine. I will not be posting pics with my hands up but you will find me doing community service projects In the city, school board meetings so our kids will have a seat at the table. Not knocking the marches too bad because they do bring awareness but after the last camera leaves I hope we return home motivated to make changes.

  42. This was the opposite of the solidarity that has been shown in the “bandwagon” hashtaggers(not a word but it is now). It is the opposite of helpful to assume that something so many have discussed daily will be discarded until the next issue. This was more distracting then the “black on black crime” excuse because it did nothing but disparage with no solution. It is essentially a “y’all ain’t about that life and as such I’m not going to waste my precious time to do anything other than type this” article. A “let me use you all as an excuse for why I won’t lift a finger” and at this point I no longer want to be involved in these discussions. I will add these 3 minutes to the other hours I’ve given to these types of discussions and add another 45 seconds to unsubscribe. Thank you for this. Have a righteous day.

  43. I agree with what you are saying in general but since I am 50 and have protested and marched in the past. I still march not because a march or protest will ignite change, but because creates an atmosphere for conversation. I believe educating yourself on the candidates and voting is significant and necessary if we want to make progressive change in our society today. So that is why I enjoy marching and protesting but I don’t believe marching or protesting is the answer or resolution. I do believe that we need to go door to door and have an honest & raw conversation with those who are the most oppressed and encourage them to educate themselves and vote. There has to be a way to make those on the bottom understand that they have power, that they are worth the change, and we need them! If we could do this we could possibly create individuals that think beyond the microwave culture and take accountability for their destiny.

  44. While I agree with the notion that too many people have short attention spans and are concerned only with what is “trending”, I disagree with the direction this article takes. I also disagree with the multiple grammatical errors that were made (but that’s a different issue). Instead of dismissing the use of hashtags (which I’ve actually seldom likes in general), this article could’ve been stronger if it was taken in a different direction.

    The purpose of marching (and hashtags) is to increase awareness and solidarity. I’ve chosen to go to marches, though I would not get on a bus and travel cross country to attend. Indeed, the march itself does not directly generate change, but the attention it brings certain does.

    At the very least. Posting and using hashtags spreads knowledge (via social media) that people may not see otherwise. Everyone does not watch the news. Everyone does not read newspapers. Nor does everyone debate current topics around their kitchen table

    Personally, I post about things to spread knowlege, particularly because I think so the overwhelming number of people on my friend list would not otherwise know about it’s occurrence. Repeated and prolonged exposure to messaging is is far more likely to motivate someone to take action. It is a fact that has been researched (politicians know this well). That alone weakens her argument.

    In addition, while it is extremely frustrating that people post and take little to no action, the reality is that many don’t know what action to take… while some are unable to take as many as others. Not everyone is in position to influence law, carry out research, publish magazine and/or journal articles, etc. So, for those who are not in those echelons — they can and should march.

    Ironically, you cite Martin Luther King Jr., but scoff at the idea of marches, which he readily used as a vehicle to get people excited of change. Do you honestly think MLK would tell people NOT to march? Not to gather peacefully to bring attention to causes and exchange information? Seriously?

    Change took place during the 60s in closed rooms as it does today. But that drive for change was sustained, in part, because of visual passion during such marches. The marches he held were intended to get people excited and encourage action. The same thing occurs today.

    So, instead of her messaging being deductive, I think she should have better used her platform to be encourage MORE action, more sharing of knowledge, and more exchange of information. Because while millennial #1 might not be moved to action, 3 of their friends might be and so on and so forth. Not everyone will participate, but the information will motivate other to do just that.

    Not everyone has to march; the streets aren’t wide enough. However, the next time you decide to write an article such as this, consider projecting more “positivity” (and take a big more time to consider the perspectives of those about whom you write to support your point). I’m sure it will do more to generate change.


    1. While I respect your opinion, grammatical errors and all, we shall agree to disagree. As I mentioned to another commenter every article isn’t written to provide a solution. This was a thought piece and clearly it has made many people think. But to my point, just like hashtag activism, this will too be forgotten in a day or so.

  45. Just like you’re writing/blogging to voice your opinions on the way others respond to things happening, others are using a platform to voice their opinions as well. The media portrays selected events. Everything that happens each and every day around the world isn’t displayed on the media. So people bring awareness to it via social media. Just because the media stops displaying it, doesn’t mean it still isn’t happening or carrying on. There are people waking up each and every day to volunteer or create change in communities that are oppressed or have a lack of resources to even educate themselves. Whether the hash tag stops or goes, there are outcomes and changes that occur. You just may not hear or see about it in the media “where people get their information from”.

  46. I agree with the spirit of your post. I can see why it may have genuinely been lost on some. But I get what’s trying to be expressed.

    I will say that it could have been said more succinct and to the point by just flat out saying we’ve become complacent, too comfortable and flat out lazy. We are fine with what little we’ve achieved and don’t have the courage to risk it for something better. And for those who misinterpreted what you what trying to say, it isn’t so much social.media or small protest that is the issue. Its just the lack of sustained passion behind it.

  47. Basically she’s mad that we use social media to make people across the country aware of what’s happening? Maybe she’d prefer to bury her head in the sand and pretend it’s not happening… Reminds me of division blacks had in the 60. There were black CIA informants and snitches who felt the movement was to radical, that we would never get the right to vote by marching, I think this girl is misguided to say the least. Action speaks louder than words. You’re planning to rid the world of hate by simply pondering on it lol. You don’t want to see it in social media because it either offends you or forces you to see a truth you aren’t ready to accept yet.. Grow up.

      1. I’m not angry at your position or lack there of. The people protesting got their facts from witnesses. Who’s information do you trust? So you waiting for the police to give a statement?
        I wonder how this dialogue with your peers going to go. Will you advise them how to not dress like a thug? How to get off the sidewalk with a white person passes by? To not make eye contact lest you offend the master? Girl bye. You need to have a conversation with the police department. Why don’t you figure out who needs to be sued for this wrongful death. Look up some precedents to see how much money his family can get…never mind. Just watch and pray

  48. I keep watching the livestreams from a distance and have gone to local solidarity actions… I am getting to know the people locally and in Ferguson from a distance — am so proud of the people for not staying in their houses and demanding the attention of all the people… they sure have gotten mine… Am advocating for a Mike Brown law… writing local police chiefs and politicians… doing research on the militarization of police… the privatization and profiteering happening in the criminal justice system… sundown laws… media repression… the lack of evidence reported by scholars at Princeton & Northwestern that political priorities are informed by any but the billionaires… Our government has stopped representing humans and communities and the needs for a sustainable future… I am witness to people claiming their humanity and refusing indignity in a way that is capturing the attention of the world. Power to the People in all the ways we find to be the change!

  49. I dig. Our “people”, or people in general, don’t have pure, genuine intentions. As long as it’s “cool” or some of their buddies are with the “movement”, then folks will follow. Haha aint that the point of social media, to follow. Change will only emerge when people change their hearts, their mentalities. It’s more to life than social media and virtual world we’re caught up in.

  50. When we start marching on issues that affect us by us first, then shall I entertain a march? No one marches against the drug dealers on the corner feeding our people with drugs or the horrible manner our young kids wear their pants with their butt showing. We jump to the streets if it’s a potential race or police issue but do absolutely nothing when we are hurting each other.
    Our so call leaders are fame and fortune seekers who pick and choose what case they will defend all just to increase the negative behavior when some are trying to find out what happened. There are so many cases like this one but no big so call leaders there. They are making their careers of the backs of the vulnerable and the people trusting them go away with absolutely nothing but the pain that got them there. I would not hire any of the same people that were supposed to help Trayvon Martin, they made a lot of money but Trayvon lost his life and the trial without anyone to speak for him or handle that case correctly.
    I would seriously suggest if M. Browns family wants a positive outcome and their son murder handled right get another team of mixed attorneys of all races and those with more experience like Mr. Zimmerman did. Heblatantly had the public pay for it.
    Now, look he got away with killing Trayvon. Those lawyers for Trayvon and so called leaders got paid and now have their name out in lights but you can only see Trayvon’s on his headstone.
    Think people,

  51. Although marching itself may not be the solution , it can be somewhat of a catalyst . .When people march, you get more than just a mob with no direction. You get a budding community. You will meet people with a diverse set of skills who have the potential to organize an entire movement…… If we go into things with a goal and a team oriented mindset, we will have success… Ijs

  52. I also think it’s unfair to compare 2014 to the 1960s, saying that the 1960s “actually evoked change.” Just because the civil rights movement couldn’t utilize facebook and twitter doesn’t mean they didn’t produce propaganda. Don’t you think civil rights activists published articles and blurbs to their local newspaper? Don’t you think people were advocating for their cause through use of the press? Our generation shouldn’t be condemned for using social media – it’s what we have, it’s at our disposal. Why can’t we use it? I’m pretty sure activists in the 1960s used their version of social media to the fullest. Also, the reason why policies and laws changed in the 1960s was because the protests occurred over and over and over again. Change didn’t happen overnight. Every time an injustice occurred, a protest would occur. Change happened in the 1960s because activists expressed themselves and they didn’t give up – Ferguson is doing the same exact thing, so how can this author be so sure that Ferguson will fail? If things changed in the 1960s, why can’t they change today? We should all be standing in solidarity with ferguson and encouraging them to let their voices be heard.

  53. I’ve believed this for quite a while now. Marches and protests are not the the solutions or the end goal of getting change in society. They are the first step in a long process of creating change. Even when we think about the civil rights movement it was not a bunch of people marching tearing down barriers but there were attorneys, judges and powerful figures negotiating deals on behalf of the protesters making sure the changes were permanent by putting them on paper. We have very little to none of those behind the scenes people today. This is the biggest reason history repeats itself (fruitville station 2 anyone?) We are not building institutions to combat the system. Everything is short term feel good BS. Personally, I would still march and protest to show support in most cases, but i wouldn’t feel satisfied because I know it is not enough.

      1. This is a thought provoking piece. I applaud your courage for writing it. Not many will understand the context of this article. When the news reported that Ferguson has 3 black cops, I asked myself if the predominantl black population is not to blame. Where is your voice when there was no CNN to speak for you? Let’s stop waiting for the national media to effectuate the changes we need to happen in our neighborhoods; let’s do it now. Why in a school district with 80% minority we have …… minority teachers?

    1. Perhaps we then organize think tanks, plan, put together solutions and present them to leadership in higher places of authority…. No better time than now….. The world is listening

      1. Yes we could start a think tank in every city. Remember those in authority don’t really care unless you can offer them something, this is how our democracy works. We need ideas , (wo)man power and money. Those three are the holy trinity of change.

  54. Hey Ebony and everyone else I don’t think voting matters anymore. If it did I highly doubt they would let us do it. This “representative democracy” is supposed to give ppl more liberty than we’d have without it…and at this point(possibly never has) it doesn’t. They are clearly in bed with banks corporations and the military industrial complex and do not represent us or anything this country claims to stand for. They do despicable things in our name and suppress our freedom (actions) while saying it’s for liberty and justice (words). They suppress Individual freedom and these militarized police forces help them do it. Point is, step away from believing in the system and then we will can come together in solidarity and change things. But as long as they keep us divided with race religions and this false democratic and republican two party sham we’ll never get anything done. They keep perpetuating and bringing up the fact that a black kid got killed, and simply saying things like that will only keep us divided and fighting amongst ourselves. That’s just my two cents. Rip to Mike Brown and all in innocent people who die everyday in the name of the law and justice

  55. I find this article very interesting.. it’s true that matching and causes are a dime a dozen these days. But voting polling etc only go so far… You must have the people or money… To lobby grassroots only petitions and uproar are effective

  56. This is war. Someone has to be on the front lines. Someone has to draw national attention to the problem and media is not coming to your couch as you study and theorize. Without the world’s eye focused on Ferguson the local-only story would be that the young man stole, fought with an officer and was justifiably shot to death. We would not know of Michael Brown and his family or of the witnesses.

    Continue to do the research but know that action produces results. Think AND do and know that Ferguson is as close to you as your own unlucky chance encounter with the wrong person in uniform or not at the end of a gun.

    Ask God for wisdom and mercy and you be merciful.

  57. (I’ve been reading through some of the comments and you’ve gotta love how everyone takes things out of context.)
    Anyway, I agree with you 2000%. Personally, I believe a lot of social media advocacy brain washes it’s audience in the moment. Everyone has a tendency to just float on by with whatever controversy is at large. All of the sudden everyone you know is just blindly supporting causes that they most likely don’t understand. (Not saying there aren’t any people who are well educated and support the cause fully.)

    The point is basically as you stated. It’s just not enough.

    The most important thing to understand is what’s happening behind all of this mass chaos. Our nation has had a constant history of making a big flashy show about ALL of the issues in society. (not just Mike Brown or Ferguson) To the point that no one is ACTUALLY doing anything to combat these issues. Everyone is more focused about “talking” or creating “awareness” about these issues instead of taking charge against the source. How to do this can be a mystery, and talking “awareness” is by no means useless, it just gives everyone the wrong idea about advocacy.

    What I always say is… “learn to ask questions. Go against the crowd at every moment. Do not settle for what you are told.” This does not make you “evil” or a terrible person by any means. If you don’t believe marching for Fergueson will help, then you should say it and explain why. The point of advocacy is not to preach righteousness but to throw around ideas.

    It’s to learn. To LISTEN.

    There is not one person on the face of the planet who deserves to “educate” anyone.

  58. This article made me angry. I mean, not like “hit a wall,” angry, or even “stew in the corner,” angry—so maybe it just made me upset. I think the cynicism really got to me. On one hand, you make a solid point about the brevity of hashtag activism, but on the other hand you conflate it with actual social media activism. There are many assumptions, and your only “source” is a poor example. The KONY movement was a facade. You use it to illustrate that “…people tend to lose interest when they realize the issue is more complicated than the hashtag.” But you could just as easily speculate that people stopped supporting that movement because it wasn’t legitimate. You use that as the foundation to make a point about Trayvon and the lost girls—things you don’t see, but I STILL see a lot of support for.
    Perhaps we see different things because of who we follow on Twitter. Maybe you follow more social activists, maybe you follow your bandwagon-y friends and bloggers. All of that is a matter of perspective, and you can’t logically use it to generalize, but you do. You don’t offer a solution, but you say everybody else’s answer is wrong. Why write the article without an answer? You didn’t have anything encouraging or positive to say. You assume that the protestors have no plans, and you assume that they’ve achieved nothing. But they have achieved something: attention.
    Attention is something we need. Even if this march doesn’t “solve” the problem, it lets politicians know that the community sees it as a problem. Even the brief Twitter hashtag activism lets politicians know the people care. If it weren’t for that, Obama wouldn’t be commenting on the situation—it wouldn’t have garnered enough support. Your premise is incredibly flawed. I’m with you though, I wish people would care for longer. But these protests are not fruitless, and just because you don’t see immediate change doesn’t mean change won’t come. What, you don’t think there were people during the Civil Rights Movement saying, “These marches aren’t going to work! You’re wasting time!” ? Hindsight is 20/20. You can assess the Civil Rights Movement as a whole because you can see the effects 40-something years later. It’s hard to assess a movement smack-dab in the middle of it, and it isn’t fair to discount efforts. Consider this an entire era that will later be grouped together in history. If you don’t want to support, don’t diss. It adds nothing but vindicate people who don’t want to contribute to the cause because it does “nothing.”

    1. Thanks for your feedback. I’ve seen this time and again; we all have with each senseless death of our boys. We get mad. We protest. Then months later silence. Yes, perhaps a few are still fighting the good fight but that’s to be expected. My gripe is with folks who yes, help to build awareness but then do nothing once they have it. Let put a bet on it….three months from now, come back to me and let me know if this type of energy still exists and what’s happening. I will surely be doing my part – and others I know was well but will the bandwagoners?

      1. I appreciate your reply, but I think you’re missing the point of my passage. You just circumvented everything I said to reply to one facet of my argument. I’m not going to bet with you because it’s stupid. Like I said: attention and awareness are important to let people who can actually do something know that they need to act. I’m glad you’ll still be doing your part, but let’s not get petty about this. I’m not arguing for the sake of arguing. I’m arguing because your cynicism is disheartening. If nothing changes or happens, I’m sure we’ll BOTH be upset. For now, even a temporary solution of speaking up is better than quietly planning or praying.

  59. I do agree with you that we all need to educate ourselves on the very issues that we like to gather as a group to demonstrate against. Knowledge is power, but I would not quite dismiss the actions of those who participate in what you have coined here as #activism. I believe these movements are potentially a matter of perception and I can see where you are coming from in terms of the weaknesses of such movements.

    However, I also believe these non-violent protests or demonstrations are powerful enough to raise awareness to an ignorant society that needs to see that there are a body of believers out there that believe in taking action by taking a stand against an unjust travesty. The people that participate feel the solidarity of participating in these group events so that their small voice can become one gigantic one. By coming together as a group, the idea is to make a statement that will reach an ignorant populace that is unaware of the issues that still exist in our current society today. That is where the power lies. As small as it seems and insignificant as it appears in producing change, you have already affected the lives of many by planting an idea of outrage to an unjust reality through a ripple in the vast ocean of ignorance. That memory will always remain with the generation that documented this event because the stone that caused that ripple has forever made it’s mark in history that will not be ignored.

    Things like this cause a stir to action for those who can produce the changes they want to see. Some people simply get inspired because of such movements. I believe we just need to be less pessimistic about these things and more goal-oriented as individuals by becoming the “change we want to see”. That is more realistic and attainable, but if no one inspires to change ourselves, then nothing will ever change. It boils down to how we look at things in the end.

  60. People March and rally for many issues beyond minority issues (abortion, gun rights….etc) . those rally’s, marches and lobbying do effect legislation. you have to show those in office and voice to the people in office your concerns so they can do their job effectively being silent just shows them the particular issue is not worth fighting for.

    1. Ah, and I agree. Those are done “off peak” social media, if you will. Those done require a hashtag to get people to move. There aren’t many bandwagoners out there. But yes, I agree protesting in those cases have purpose and reason and help drive results. The same doesn’t happen for what I’ve described.

  61. Seriously this was a breath of fresh air to read. I thought I was the only one to feel this way. I have said so many times this generation (I was born in the 60’s, raised in the 70’s) has access in excess. Which means (like you wrote) it’s easy to get bored with something because there is so much out here to replace it.

    To me it seems folks are not really doing the research and truly educating themselves on the history, the art, and the long-term purpose of marching or protesting. Truthfully speaking I am surprised they haven’t taken a look to see what didn’t work when they last did this. Outside of the fact the officer was wrong and should be held accountable for his actions, there are so many other questions that have not been asked nor answered.

    I thank you for such an honest post. You have inspired me to post too. Many blessings.

  62. Agree with this article. This is a sad truth but truth nonetheless. We are not a consistent people. We live in the now but don’t utilize the now to evoke changes in the future. Sadly enough if things don’t change, this Ferguson issue will be swept under the rug just like all the others.

    1. Amen- and sad we have to agree on such a topic. But there are efforts happening to help with long-term change. We may not have the large army that’s hashtagging but there will be an army. Thank you for your comment! – Ejc

  63. So peaceful protests don’t work, hashtag photos don’t work, but voting for politicians in this crooked political system is going to work? I’m sorry I humbly disagree. I believe voting had the potential to be effective with the right politician who’s going to govern for the people and not for endorsements.

    I see so many problems pointed out with what we are doing, with very few solutions. Instead on condemning this protest and saying its only for the moment, why not encourage it to continue? The sit-ins, bus boycotts, marches on Washington were effective because the resolve didn’t end and people were finally fed up. Why can’t this be that moment? Can we finally say we’re tired and fed up and use this issue to snowball some changes? Maybe it will wake people up to the injustices in the world, maybe it’ll bring communities closer, maybe it’ll spark some change… Can we at least hold on to a maybe Instead of saying it won’t work?

    1. We absolutely can Roderic. I pray that we do and that we will. But 3 months from now where will all of these people be? We’ve seen it happen over and over. I’m with you, I want to see us keep the flame burning, I do. – EJC

  64. Let’s get some things straight. The article references the success of the civil rights movement without even touching the facts. The fact is – therected were hundreds of unsuccessful mares and sit in that took place. Unsuccessful in the sense that they didn’t evoke immediate chanhe, but they did generate solidarity and show the world we were tired of being treated as 2nd class citizens. Everytime you find you self to “good” and/or “educated” to march, you miss the opportunity to share the pain if our people with the world. You’re right in saying that true change doesn’t come from hashtags and marches, but that’s not what they’re there for. Marches can’t supplant the work that has to be done behind the scenes in order to effect change, but they are an integral part of the recipe. Please, stop disseminating these divisive articles, they only serve to bring us down.

    The real problem with social media is that too many people are able to voice and share an opinion, and claim it as fact, even when they have no evidence or educaton to back up their claims. Smh…

    1. While I respect your disagreement, please present one cause we’re still uplifting that occurred within the last year that was supported by social media. Just one. The message here is not to dissuade people from marching but rather be intentional and not just hop onto something because it’s the cool thing to do at the moment. Many of the people posting and such are no where to be found when the flame dies down. No, change will not happen overnight but we need commitment and there is a lack of it in our community.

  65. But marches aren’t meant to “change” they’re meant to inform the public of our discontent. The premise from which you work is shaky at best and therefore makes your conclusion wholly invalid. You don’t March for other reasons you’re most likely not bein honest about (ie. Too educated, too cute, etc.) The truth of the matter is, marching and hashtags are one piece if the puzzle. A critical analysis of out history would show u this. The marches of the civil righrs era were coupled with other strategies, all of which served to move the ball forward. While we are lacking a comprehensive strategy, it’s unfair to knock those who have decided to do something while you sit by the computer without an answer (a stance for which you are by your own account unapologetic). U may want to consider doing some real research before writing articles like this bc in the end, it kinda makes you and those agreeing look a bit foolish. This is pretty poor journalism IMO. The consumers deserve better.

    1. With all due respect, you by far are unfamiliar with my work or who I am. When all of these hashtags are done trending, I’ll still be working to equip my generation with the tools they need to be effective- yes even if that means challenging a tool we have become so beholden to. Clearly based on other social media driven advocacy around deaths of black men and boys, they are short-lived and overly-hyped by media. Therefore, before you choose to critique my position, you should do your research because you deserve better. – EJC

  66. When people are not affected personally and because it is not your brother, cousin or relative. some people have the tendency to look at things differently. It’s a shame that black folks cant even come together and be positive to support the family during there pain. The march is for supporting the family, the march is to send a message. Of course the work does not end in the march. Community organizing with getting people together for one common goal- putting pressure on your elected officials and governor to take action- But instead you get negative actions from the very people who are being victimized by the systems in every single way. We can agree to disagree- but it is always on another level it always some sort of separation and I can do better mentality with black folks. Unity is the key lets start with that first-Support for these families that are suffering right now. They are asking that you join them for support- You would want the same for you and your family. Change that mindset.

  67. Ok good points can be found in this read, but overall it has a NEGATIVE tone that, in my opinion, is counterproductive. Young people are LOST, our community as a whole has lost its way, there is no more unity, but we do have those who WANT to change this & just don’t know how or where to start.

    Titling an article “Why I’m not Marching” does not at all encourage at least a start. It sparks MORE confusion. Our community has been lost for a while & all of a sudden we’re suppose to just jump to the ultimate solution? No. Marching isn’t simply about seeing change from the outside but bringing about change from the inside and THATS where this needs to start. We must UNITE. I don’t see how moving as a unit committed to loving the stranger next to me is a waste of time.

    There’s so much division…even on whether it makes sense to march. Yet we’re supposed to magically embrace and understand the alternatives? Back to basics we need to go. Stand in solidarity. Learn to love one another again. Instill leadership within the marches to reestablish the need to be able to trust & lean on the person to the left or right of you.

    Yes you should march, if for nothing more than to show the world we HAVE come together…and no, not just as long as a hashtag is trending.

  68. On point. I will say, the Civil Rights movement is often romanticized. Black people were not as united as some may gather. A lot of the conversations that we have within our inner and sometimes outer circles, echo those had in the past. There are more vehicles to move information, but the real work is ALWAYS done by a small few, the rest of us are merely background noise (emphasis on “noise”).

  69. The people in Ferguson have been marching for more than one day, and change starts somewhere. We are a lost and brainwashed world. We just have to wait for the rest of us to wake up so we can take back our rights.

  70. So let me get this right. Your theory is do nothing or wait for politicians? You cant be serious. You want people to wait for the very people abusing the cobstitution to make things right? How about this. I think you are just lazy, paid for, and a complete schill. People like you are exactly why our rights are vanishing by the day. People like you who have no idea what working people especially younger ones go thru in this country. You are so out of touch its laughable. Im glad you arent part of the movement. #Apathy is the greates sin and thats all you show. Apathy, laziness and fear. Your not marching because thats reality. Being beaten and tear gassed and refusing to succomb, thats patriotism. Thomas Jefferson said wed eventually have to revolt and the time is at hand. Either your w/ us or your against us.

    1. You clearly missed the entire point of this piece. Nor did you do your research on who I am and what I do. Tisk. TIsk. Before you pass judgement and attack, be rooted in facts. Thank you. – ejc

      1. Actually i read every word. And as a REAL activist, not only have i done the research. Ive lived it. Ive been assaulted by police, ive been tazed and tear gassed for excercising my constitutional rights. So before YOU pass judgement maybe you need to jump down from your ivory tower and get in the mud w/ the rest of us. You picked the wrong time to use a news story to bring readers to your site. You are a terrified, apathetic, brainwashed fraud. Thats why nobody commenting agrees, because your flat out wrong.

      2. And you have NOT read the comments….. I have nothing to prove to you. I know what I do and what I stand for. Google me. Troll this site. Then come back and tell me I stand for nothing! I don’t have to march, because 365 days of the year I’m working IN and FOR my community. I know the work that needs to be done and I surely don’t need a hashtag to prove it.

  71. Clearly youve forgotten where you come from. And its not trolling, i have a real problem with the promotion of apathy and trust in politics. When one of your people is gunned down like so many of mine have been maybe youll change your view on free speech and using it. I respect your opinion, however its counter productive and should have been kept to ones self. And keep in mind if the citizens stop demonstrating the klan members who have descended upon ferguson will continue. Black people need to stand up to that intimidation because its not ok. Im white and have worked so hard to eliminate racial bias and the actions of the ferguson pd and the klan are creating tensions that need to be irradicated. Best way i know of is white citizens and black citizens tired of police violence and racism walking hand in hand against the evil. Politics and government are not an option, hows that helped so far? Look i respect your opinion i just dont agree. At this time i feel action is necessary. Other means have been tried, doesnt work. The only thing violent oppressers understand is violence. My opinion which is shared by many and is my entitled right.

    1. Sir or ma’m you are comparing apples to elephants. This is not even the same category. Social media advocacy has nothing to do with your argument- at all. Please, again digest the message of my post: hashtag advocacy is the product of a generation and society with short attention spans and bandwagon support. My challenge is for all of us to be well intentioned and methodical about our reactions not just hop on for the moment. It matters not the color of your skin, we all are responsible for what happens to our country.

      1. What do hash tags have to do with protests. Im not talking about hashtags im talking about the title and general vibe of your column which basically says that peaceful protests and assemblies are useless as a form of inacting change when they are the strongest tool the people have to speak against oppresion. If a hashtag on twitter raises awareness how is that anything more than the best use of twitter or facebook. If we dont use those social outlets to raise awareness of crimes or oppresion then why have them? At least its a socially responsible way of using the platform. Too many people use them to stalk celebs or spread messages of hate, so why not use them for a good purpose and raise awareness. If you think it doesnt stick with people look back to Kelly Thomas or Ernesto Garcia people never forgot them, then eric garner was killed and people are waking up to the reality of police abuse. Then this happened and all those awoken people decided theyve had enough. Without thos social media sources the mike brown murder would have been covered up like so many before. While you dont agree w/ my opinion you have to admit that.. how many people have cops killed then covered it up? But now w/ cell phone cams and social media police are being watched closely.

      2. If you start your comment with “What do hash tags have to do with protest,” have nothing else to say. You are clearly out of touch with the entire premise of this article. And wouldn’t get it even if I tried. Smh. I’m done.

      3. See you keep saying “boohoo you didnt read, you dont understand” im a law student w/ a 4.0 and a 180 iq so try calling someone else ignorant and try reading my entire post. But you wont, youd rather talk down to all those who disagree w/ you without giving them the respect of hearing their side. You wanna marginalize anyone ready to take action. But you know what just like at kent state, wall street, and dc while we fight, speak, stand and creat REAL change, go ahead and sit, read and wait. But dont later take credit for changes that we made while you sat on the sidelines doing nothing. W writing blogs and reading books/ articles written by people who never did anything but yap isnt going to change anything. And putting faith in a government that doesnt give two squirts is just delusional. We need revolution, only then will elitest leaders realize its the citizens who run this country, as it should be. Enough people sit around blogging and doing nothing. If you have no battle scars dont claim to be a part of the battle. I respected you and you didnt bother to rrad a damn thing i said except one line that fit your argument that you then posted out of context. Theres a word for that, think you know it. One hint starts with “p” ends w/ “ganda” which is this entire article.

  72. First of all, social media isn’t the reason why people stop making change when major events happen. Think about how many people want gun control laws after mass shootings. Then notice how no one talks about it until the next time someone shoots up a school or military base or whatever. Social media has nothing to do with the fact our elected officials aren’t acting on our calls for change. If you protest for weeks and nothing gets done, that’s not social media’s fault. That’s just stubbornness by whoever the oppressor is.

    Second, the writer’s reasons for not protesting aren’t well supported to me. The protestors in St. Louis got the police to protest and march with them and the police chief to answer their questions. Protest is used to spread awareness too. Some people may not be aware of racial prejudice until they ask why we’re wearing the hoodies for Martin or walking the streets. It is supposed to bring attention to the world and clearly it has been successful in doing so.

  73. Wow! Finally someone who my shares my thoughts on this whole ordeal…Thank you..I’m a Correctional Officer and an EMT and over the last couple days I’ve been asked my opinion on this situation, mostly from inmates and my response to them is as follows……. Most of you are here for killing a black man, whether over drugs, colors, females, or simply because you didn’t like the way he looked, dressed, walked etc..But now you’re upset because a white officer took the life of yet another black man ? So it was ok for you all to take a black mans life but when another person of another race does it, you want to yell, holler, kick, scream, and march….Get outta here with that BS !! Are you serious ? And no sooner than I said that, the town where I work as a EMT in, 4 black men were shot, 1 killed instantly..all shot by other black men…SO where is the uproar about that ???…Take responsibility for yourself and your actions people..Stop blaming everyone else for the decisions you willingly make, and please stop playing the victim…

    1. Preach! This same topic came up this evening during a discussion I was having. Who places the value on our lives? Just like you said we kill eachother EVERY DAY and no one loots, hashtags or anything. Smh. I pray for you in your role. Please use us as a resource. Thank you, SDot.

  74. cynic to cynic, i hear you and agree. BUT. if we are so fit to debate the issue and come to the conclusion that the same protest tactics of the 60s are not compatible techniques for this generation to use, then it is our responsibility to find ones that are. however, if you feel that it is not a technical issue but an individual’s inability to commit to a cause and fight for it, then i believe you are over-generalizing the population at large, underestimating black people, and overestimating your opponent. frankly, your article detracts from the struggle that real people are really fighting for. the citizens of Ferguson will continue to fight this battle long after the hype is gone, but your words belittle their efforts by making it appear that the national and global support this is getting is superficial, which could serve to lower moral, which could cause them to lose.

    perhaps there is another way to look at it, and all other social movements that flare up and burn out. the attention this is getting has sparked a global debate about the ugly truth of this country, that racial disparity still exists in its darkest form and is thriving. perhaps all this problem needed was massive amounts of attention so that it may be addressed and eventually routed out. what do you think?

      1. lll be more clear. i like what you said (for the most part) in your article. do you think there is a way to change the social media dynamic so that problems are given attention and are fully addressed?

      2. and i apologize. i know this article is not an attack on the movement itself but of its handling by people who will forget about it in a week. i was trying to address an issue i saw and felt in reading the article that affected the message. i agree that we all, especially african americans, need to take personal responsibility for our environments politically and otherwise, and not jump to right to militant rhetoric. the issue i found was not with its substance but with its optics. the stuff i said about “the individual’s inability to commit…” was triggered by the way the article, in my opinion, was framed. i am sorry if i appeared to be heckling.

  75. Root of the issues:
    1. Corrupt law enforcement
    a. Power tripping police officers
    b. Racist police officers
    c. Leaders within law enforcement who cover corruption

    2. Lack of value for the lives of African Americans stems from slavery in America
    3. Self hate (caricatures (stereotyping), Jim Crow, suppression and oppression from continued racism)

    Problems to resolve:
    1. Black on black killing
    2. Law enforcement killing innocent black citizens
    3. Lack of penalizing officers for brutal treatment
    4. More psychological studies on African Americans (healing)

    Solutions are key:
    1. Take away the paid vacation and lock away officers who obstruct justice or safety of innocent citizens
    2. March for awareness to support, promote togetherness, and keep the momentum going
    3. In November, do your homework and VOTE for those who will promote positive change to future legislation to fight injustices.
    4. Increase self worth through educating our young or yourself, encouragement to one another through social media, and think of ways to support, honor, and respect each other instead of ridiculing things that are serious. It is good to laugh and joke, but when someone is hurting know the line of respect and honor to help. We should all be moving toward progression (create a community news letter, clean up your front yards, fight for upgrades in the community, better schools, better teachers)
    5. Host a meeting (doesn’t matter what form of communication social or in your home among friends) to discuss innovative and creative ways to fight against the things that are negative in your neighborhood.
    6. Find innovative ways to help bring resolutions to make things better within your community; Find the numbers and addresses so you can write congresspersons in your area, call leaders to host meetings, volunteer to clean up the trash from YOUR community
    7. Boycott all businesses who do not support your communities
    8. ABOVE ALL – STOP tearing each other down, complaining about what we already know, and arguing amongst each other over nothingness
    9, Find ways to help eliminate stress – avoid watching bias news on television and argumentative reality television that stereotypes African Americans
    10.Become an example by setting the example yourself; self evaluate yourself
    11.Do something.

  76. If we as people would really take a moment and think.The people in Ferguson can change this at anytime. When you do not excise your right to vote you are doing yourself injustice.When we don’t educate ourselves about how thing really work. We are sitting ourselves up for failure when it comes to our rights being protected. We must be able to hold people accountable when injustice is being done. In order to do that, we have to be at the decision table. I ask that you tell people about the important of us voting every year and that we start running for the seat so we can help make real changes in our community. Change starts with us!

  77. So you actually admit to not having a plan, but yet you think you’re doing something by talking s**t about others starting somewhere no matter how long it lasts. I think you should start some campaign with a brilliant plan of action that no one will ever think of? Just because 100 may sit down at some point does not mean all. You obviously don’t do much research or you would know better. Some people never stop fighting, just doesn’t mean their always listened to by electives and etc. I can respect a person trying but not one sitting around criticizing others for trying. Stop using tragedies and times for justice as your means of bringing attention to yourself, page, and etc. This is worse than what’s going on. You should be ashamed. Then to try and get smart with people when they tell you the truth about your ignorance is just patgetic. Get a life and come up a respectable way. And try to remember that God don’t like ugly, maybe just remembering that just might make you a better person in the future. Peace

  78. I think it is wrong for you to down people for simply trying to act out on there constitutional right when they have a grievance with their government. mike brown was shot literally or walking in the street. Henry Davis was beaten and given a concussion by the police for having the same name as a man with a warrent. A federal judge aquited the ferguson police in his case. Had it not been for the protest do you think there would be a petition to the white house for the Mike Brown law?

  79. Well, someone has to do something. You think you’re alone but you’re not. I’ve read at least twenty other articles just like this. If everyone has your mind set, then we might as well stop fighting for anything because social media is the news for some people. I hardly look at the new, so, I found out about the Mike Brown incident from Facebook. That’s why people must continue to hashtag and so forth. So we just give up and say well “what about black on black crime”. What in the world is “black on black” crime. It’s murder. If we want to stop prejudice against us, then we need to stop being prejudice against one another. Whites kill eachother too and in large masses sometimes. So does every other race. That’s life. Nevertheless, we’ll just keep using that as a scape goat to undermine what is really going on. Great job.

  80. I can relate to this article because of my 5 years in the education system. I taught in a predominantly black school district and I ended up leaving. I left because of parents not being responsible enough to stand and fight for their kids’ education. We blame the school districts for lack of funding, yet we do not fight for better funding from the local governments. I will say “we” because our attention is needed to remedy this plague. We battle teachers for failing our kids, yet, throughout the school year, we fail our children by not battling them to spend time doing homework…We wait for the big events—final exams—to create big noise to effectuate change; yet, the small noises, throughout the academic year, could have aggregated into the proper result that we are looking for…Freedom comes with a big responsibility.

  81. While I agree with the writer, I do believe that they are missing the point. As a society, we want the world to change at a moments notice and for the better. In such a global system that we have, it should be easily done. This will NEVER HAPPEN. This is not because I want to, but because people don’t want to change and want to blame other people for all the problems in the world.

    I did not wear a hoodie for Trayvon, not because it was a fad, but because he was a no good punk up to no good. He was into (bad) drugs and associated with gangs. He was not a good kid because his parents were not involved in his life and everyone wants to blame the system for his death. No one wants to take blame for his death because then that would mean that they acted improperly to a fubar situation (everyone involved, not just one person.)

    I am not marching for Mike Brown because the evidence is showing that he was also up to no good. He robbed a convenient store just a few minutes before he was killed. Most of the “eye witnesses” lied about what happened because they think that lying is the way to solve their problems and lead to a quicker resolution. They think that lying and saying that “Mike was shot in the back and was a good kid full of potential,” will bring him back or something stupid.

    I will not march for peace with the people in Ferguson, MO, because they are (most not all) rioting and looting. That IS NOT protesting, that is acting like animals.
    “Hey, hear about that kid that got killed by the police? It’s so sad… Let’s go destroy the livelihood of countless others in the name of protesting and keep all their stuff.”
    Sounds like an issue that needs to be taken up with the people, not blaming the police for lack of control over the issue.

    I skimmed the comments because most of them were about all of these being about race or difference in generations. YOU ARE WRONG! If you read this article and/or the comments, YOU are the problem (I include myself in this.) You would rather blame others instead of owning up to the issues. Race problems are taught and learned, they are not a natural occurrence. The generational differences are given, this is somewhat natural. The deaths of thousands (homicidal and suicidal) would have been avoided if people realized that breeding hate and victimizing are not the way to go.

    What people did back more than 3 generations ago, is not mine or your problems. What is our problem, is making sure that they did not die in vein to watch us tear each other apart.

    If you truly want to make a difference, follow the Golden Rule. “Do unto others, as you would have them do.” If you want people to be kind, be more kind than that to others. You want people to stop being bullied, teach them to stand up for themselves. You want all of these race “crimes” to stop, stop blaming race for everything.

    I know that I will get a lot of hate for this, but at least think about your actions and how they affect the people around you, mainly n how they affect your children, siblings, and others that may look up to you.

  82. I completely agree. Same way I feel, the more we march and get angry the more this keeps happening. Marching isn’t going to change anything. Only an action plan of some sort can begin that process

    1. Lazy? Oh, you clearly have not digested the message of this post nor have you done your research on who I am or what I do for 365 day a year. Thanks for commenting but try again. – ejc

      1. I digested it clearly actually and have read your about section to know enough that black liberation will not come through what you are doing. Marching and demonstrations have yet to be disproven as means of change, in fact they ended wars, voting on the other hand has accomplished NOTHING, certainly less than marching and demonstrations and other pressure politics.

  83. I think people are looking for a microwave solution for something that’s been plaguing this country for a centuries… I agree people bandwagon but the role of Masses has not changed through the years, read any history book; hash-tagging, photos, and blogging is all they can do for now before a small ten percent of those people rise up and lead… I think the theories of Dubois weren’t far of…..

  84. This is a GREAT article, and point of view. Well thought out…gives me hope for the future. I wholeheartedly agree with the voting, praying and educating. You cannot act if you don’t have a plan. I will tell you that grassroots efforts make all the diffference…2 years ago, our community park was overrun with gangs, and then it happened, an innocent kid was killed…obviously it was the gang members fault, they committed the murder, but I hold some of that guilt, we (the neighborhood) new that the park had been taken over, we did nothing…until it was too late. However, we did act, and gathered together, as one to take back our park and our security…social media was great, but once the “sensationalism” is over, once people are done “riding the wave of emotion” what then? That is where the planning and working together kicks in…Keep doing what you are doing, ignore the haters, and BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THIS WORLD.

  85. This is an interesting opinion piece for sure. I completely agree that making informed decisions about who we vote for and how we react is extremely important. However, being a minority is unfortunately going to put you at a disadvantage in the election process in some communities (though the value of voting and petitioning is CRUCIAL and it can change things; petitioning for certain laws to be on the ballot, etc). I respect your perspective on things, and I’m glad you see very committed to doing something. I agree that marching (as a stand-alone device) won’t work.

    However, I disagree fundamentally with the assertion that “This isn’t 1960 when marching peacefully actually evoked change” or “We’d only show up when there was a moment to shine”. During other movements in the past, people had that same mindset. I think marching IS an effective tool as a PART of the change because it does garner media attention which is effective in informing the public. Also, I think social media as we learn to use it will be or could be the most effective tool in impacting change on a more national/global scale. It’s easy to use, and it allows us to communicate so well with each other. When you can have multiple sources tweeting/facebooking/youtubing a crime scene, a political event, a city council meeting, etc., it helps with transparency. It also helps to inform people (and more people) instead of just word of mouth. All of those means ( I think) are crucial to changing our world. The truth is that the real change has to happen in households and in schools. Voting for the right alderman is important and I’m 100% behind you on that. The people, all of us, have to do more than more than tweet/instagram/facebook issues…we also have to walk/march to the city council, school board, mayor’s office…sit in those meetings, ask questions, not leave until something is done. The same principles of yesteryear are effective if used in the proper way (ex. not leaving a city council meeting/school board meeting until they hear a certain person’s side or having a protest every evening outside the mayor’s office about an issue he’s yet to tackle or won’t discuss or starting a gofundme page to raise money to help fund an act prep course for students in the school district or writing grants or having a letter writing campaign to legislators)

    So I agree and disagree with you. Yes, we need a different approach in terms of WHAT we are seeking from the system, but the tools aren’t outdated. We just have failed to use them properly. Furthermore, we have tools at our disposal (like this blog) that help us communicate with people around the world. Right now, you’re impacting me via social media. You’ve made me think critically. My friend, THIS can be an important aspect of our revolution…if we want it to be. I think it’s so wonderful that you wrote this. I’m glad that I read it, and I have a ton of love and respect for what you’re doing.

    One last thing, I know on twitter…there’s a petition to get all law enforcement to have to wear cameras at all times while on the job. It’s a great idea, but the real way to move that is by somehow creating a gofundme page (not sure who should start it…maybe community leaders/states) and have people donate. Figure out how much it would cost. That’s just one example of how I feel we may be missing out on the gift that the internet is.

    1. Thank you for this well thought out and informed comment. I agree social media has its place. I 100% agree that it is an amazing tool that has brought awareness and pushed messages for a number of causes. My gripe with it is it’s short-lived shelf life and the people who just hop on- and then off.

      So yes, the interwebs are a gift and a curse but I’m glad it connects people and starts conversations like these with people like you! Thanks again! *high five*

    2. I meant to add a few more things (sorry). Marching was an important, but small portion of the movement during the 60’s. It was shown alot because we just really started getting TVs and what not lol but boycotting businesses/buses, having honest discussions in the black church, pressuring politicians, etc were at lest equally if not more important. The marches were just a way to make a visual statement. We could learn a lot from the 1960’s by like you said, organizing ourselves better because truly the leaders during that period were WAY more focused on using legislation to impact change.

      We have so much work today.

  86. I don’t think marching negates the value of voting and other forms of effecting change. They serve different purposes and should be utilized where necessary. The value one does not supersede the value of another. Often time people march when an immediate requires it. Let us not forget the uprisings in the Middle East. Marching usually happens when things reach to a boiling point or when they are proceeding there. Marching and the congregating in a mass is the most visible sign of resistance and protest.

  87. It’s not an if/or issue. It’s an “and” issue. Both measures are worthy of practice and play a significant part in addressing concerns. Yes we need to vote and be a part of the bigger picture of change. We need to find ways to be a persistent presence in the black community that is always working towards positive change. At the same time, making things relevant in social media as well as other media outlets, brings the issue to the world’s attention and lets them know that we are paying attention and we do seek answers. So let’s not find yet another issue to be divisive about. For those of you who can only serve by posting hashtags and pics on social media, go for it. For anyone who wants to dig in and fight the bigger battles, let’s do it!!! We are all working towards the same goal of equity.

  88. Real change comes with a vision. Voting in your local elections, making education more affordable and educating the community. I agree. Don’t get me wrong, I have participated on social media about Ferguson in minimal fashion. But sad as it is to say, in a few months society will be distracted by something else. And then the next thing…and the next thing. I avoid the news and everyday media for this very reason. You will learn nothing other than hearing a broken record. “Trends” eventually end and the media is not an outlet of knowledge

  89. As SImon Sinek says, “People do things not because they wanted to show up to hear what Marin Luther King had to say…”, “they did it for THEMSELVES.”. It represented something that THEY believed in.

    Deep down, internally, perhaps the issue is with the misconception that our hashtags and retweets make any kind of difference in a world where technology attempts to replace mile-long crusades and cries of equality with BLOGS.

    We need to get back to a place where PRESENCE holds greater weight than the keyboard jockey who sits in the comfort of his home, instead of trolling posts and giving opinions on things they’re not actively engaged in.

  90. While her view point is interesting, I don’t agree.
    For instance because of the social media uprising and protests that happened George Zimmerman was arrested because originally he was free and no one knew about it until it spread virally and Florida knew the nation was watching and ended up arresting him. Because of the attention brought to that situation he was Tried, even though the results were not what we wanted it beats the fact that he went free with no trial at all. Also the nation began to question Stand Your Ground Laws and how detrimental they are for minorities. Law makers and those of the like are working to dismantle those laws.

    Because of the social media attention brought to the Stop and Frisk Laws of New York they ended up finding that law unconstitutional and it did evoke change.

    There’s so many things I can add on but the reality is yes, we need to be out there voting but to sit and do nothing other than vote and pray makes us just as guilty as the people enforcing their power over minorities. Simple as that. If our ancestors had the same mindset as this young lady we would still be enslaved. Heck we wouldn’t even be able to vote as she wants us to. Faith without works is dead. And the reality is social media is another form of protesting if used correctly and can help spur change because it brings more attention to the issues at hand.

  91. It seems like you’re struggling with the same issue I have. I want to make a difference, I have turned to social media to get my belief across and raise awareness. I agree with the hashtag statement but i also believe instances are forgotten because these hashtag fads are not effecting them directly. The hoodie wearing for trayvon had started before the trial…the jury had no idea how big the case was. I agree change happens with education and voting. But as you said in the last sentence, we’re all reading, watching and planning…we’re just unsure of how to act effectively…no one is stepping up which is a problem itself. I also believe that your cover picture for this article was taken a while back in Brazil.

  92. Everyone Who Marches Or “Hashtags” In Protests Of The Violation Of Human Civil Rights is Not “Marching On The Bandwagon”. I agree that there are SOME people who do this, but people who are Not sincere about fighting for equal justice, will Not discourage the ones of of us who work tirelessly 24/7, to fight for equal rights and justice for All human beings; Nor will they categorize us as the same people who wait until tragedy occurs before becoming involved in civil rights. What I have noticed is that there are Some writers, authors and even aspiring entertainers, that use the unrest and protest in the black community as an opportunity to become famous and promote themselves……by writing the most controversial article as possible during times of tragedy. Sometimes a Black author (or even author of another race), who wants to get “noticed” by the media, will publish an “anti-black” support article or make an “anti-black” support video; NOT because they are concerned with Some of the African American community’s lack of sincerity when they protest, but because they just want their writing or comments to be noticed by the media. Some of these Authors are hoping for book deals, television interviews, or simply their 15 minutes of fame. That type of writing and commenting is a form of “jumping on the bandwagon” also. It’s just used in the reverse to gain personal attention from the world. Clearly this type of “bandwagon” writing does not apply to all black authors, just as all black people who march and “hashtag” in support of their cause, do Not All have the same insincere motivation for their protests. The stereotyping and profiling of black people, and all human beings in general, is the reason why innocent people are being profiled to death (and discriminated against) in the first place. Discrimination and stereotyping by one black person against another, is just as immoral and dangerous. There should definitely be a clear plan and combination of efforts used between social media, marching, voting and other forms of peaceful demonstrations used to actively protest the violation of the black community’s civil rights. All methods of peaceful protests are Valid and Helpful, as long as they are continued by the ones of us that are sincere about making a difference in this world. Even some young protesters in the Middle East have successfully turned to using social media, (in Addition to marching, boycotting and protesting) in order to provoke freedom, awareness and social change, for the injustice that they have faced in their own countries. All forms of PEACEFUL protests are valid and helpful, as long as they are used in a combination of efforts, by sincere people who continue to support their cause, even during times of peace.

  93. Hey, I’m sorry but really disagree with you. How can you say peope shouldn’t hashtag or Instagram about it or out it on twitter. And that no one should march. When all of these things have help. Especially when it comes to awareness of the situation. And if you pay attention to the news look at how twitter and hashtag help so much with the things that have happened over seas on places like Egypt. And trust me there were people just like you, ” no, marching on Washington and sitting in won’t help. It does nothing”. But you see they were wrong. Change takes time. And it starts with awareness. Letting everyone know what’s happening and bringing people together. And that’s what it had been doing.

    1. Hi Cra- I implore you to reread this article. I don’t discourage people from hashtaging. I even say, it serves a messaging purpose. The message in this post is bigger than what you’ve digested. – EJC

  94. Let me start by saying I did read the entire article! I appreciate the thought behind it. The critique is valid especially when it comes to “bandwagon activism” and when advocacy becomes more of a narcissistic popularity contest for people to simply “like” you. Albeit, that is very extreme case and not everyone falls within this category.

    What I would like to know is how do we change the culture of activism or advocacy (not the same things) where folks feel safe and nurtured to act? Posting political statements publicly can be seen as a privilege. The anxiety of being vulnerable or even the mere thought of is a tough card to play in an increasingly connected world. In a world where our words can get us shot and killed, past trauma with gun-violence can also leave equally debilitating emotional and psychological scars.

    It’s really tough to make a simple binary comparison of online advocacy like petitions versus “boots on the ground” activism. Is one inherently better than the other? Both has its place. Both need each other and we both need them. The hope is that one will eventually lead to the other but is it fair to broadly and indiscriminately place that expectation on everyone when we don’t know their unique circumstances? In some cases, what we may deem as a superficial “like” or “retweet” is a huge point of hurdle to overcome for others.

    We could definitely benefit from more boots on the ground planning and strategizing. What we don’t benefit from is when folks on the same side of a particular issue call each other out for not doing enough especially when we haven’t taken the time to build with them enough to make that assessment in the first place.

    There is an eco-system to activism. Advocacy whether online or in person is definitely part of that. Let’s take a larger look at our strategies that allow us to be more inclusive and work towards movement building rather than the simple win/lose scenarios often propagated by singular campaigns. These injustices that we are all fighting are all connected and rooted deeply into our history. It’s necessary for us to see how this viewpoint allows us to be more strategic and inclusive because it opens more opportunities to coalesce and be in solidarity with one another.

    To close, I am grateful that you allowed yourself the vulnerability to share your thoughts with us. It obviously rendered a lot of feedback. Hopefully, we can all learn from this moment, evolve our thinking and move our movement forward. Ashe.

  95. Why argue at length about this problem? The solution would be to do BOTH and then some! Run a relay marathon for what is right. Have those who are experts in social media awareness alert the people then work hand-in-hand with those who are experts in demonstrating physical unity in successful marches. They in turn can work hand-in-hand with those who are experts getting people of color out at the polls which is indeed where and when it matters most. Without all three, we will fail. We need people who can carry the marathon baton and pass it on to others who can spread and share the load of the work in all areas to make lasting awareness and thus change.

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