So last night …
… I got an extremely racist message in my inbox, saying some things about the Ferguson situation that I’d never like to repeat nor give credit to. (I’m sure the message on the Tumblr staff blog yesterday made me a little bit of a target for such messages. It happens.)
Situations like this, along with the Trayvon Martin shooting, have a tendency to bring both the best and worst out of people. It shows how far we have to come as a culture, even as things seem closer than ever. I don’t want to make a big deal out of this stuff, but it really bothered me to see how someone’s ideology made them so blind that they had to use the words they did to describe this situation and their feelings on it.
I guess my wish is that people look beyond their laptop, their apartment, and their own lives and think about what it’s like in someone else’s shoes. That’s what this whole situation is about in so many ways, big and small. Too few people do it. All they see is their own perspective, and that perspective too often is poisonous.
This morning, the Washington Post described the situation in Ferguson as reaching a “turning point.” Who knows if it is? It could go on for weeks, and it might just. Whatever is next, I hope that people consider what we’ve learned about society from this story so far, and see opportunities to change things, not cause more vitriol.
Sometimes it’s hard to see the positive in the ugly. But I hope that Ferguson shows that there’s still room to shine a light on the ugly and call it out for what it is—and then show that we can beat it with our spotlight.