Stop calling what’s happening in Ferguson a “riot”.
It is not a riot.
Vancouver losing the Stanley Cup a few years ago was a riot. It was angry, drunken destruction with no purpose. (And as a Canadian, it was a shameful event)
Ferguson is not a riot. It is a protest. It is an uprising. It is a civil rights revolution. The prople of Ferguson may be angry, but they have a reason to be angry, and they are not violent, and they are not hooligans, thugs or looters. They are protesting for their human rights which are currently being denied.
Look at the difference between a riot and a protest. A riot is chaos. A protest has a purpose.
When we write stories, and when we publish them, we are legitimizing the experiences of the people within the texts. We are telling the stories of cultures, and of humanity – but when there is no difference, the text becomes problematic instead of an illustration of human difference. Over and over and over again, “human” becomes very narrowly defined – “humans” become those who are white, who are straight, who are upper-middle class, who are able-bodied, who are cis. How are children supposed to learn to appreciate difference if they hardly recognize that it exists?
Furthermore, when we ask children of color and children of other diverse groups to always be sympathetic to the plights and existences of children of this very narrow population, we are denying them a certain level of personhood. What does it mean if their story is never told? Is it not worth telling? Is it less important? Are they less important?"
"Curing AIDS? Shit, that’s like Cadillac making a car that lasts for 50 years. And you know they can do it, but they ain’t going to do nothing that fucking dumb. Shit, they got metal on the Space Shuttle that can go around the Moon and withstand temperatures of up to 20,000 degrees, you mean to tell me you don’t think they can make an El Dorado with a fuckin’ bumper that don’t fall off?"
- Chris Rock (“Bigger and Blacker”, 1999)