Black Friday Matters

Watching News Nation on MSNBC the morning after the no indictment for Darren Wilson, and Tamron Hall is interviewing one of the many nondescript newsbots who I’m sure jockied for position in front of the most picturesque smouldering building. Gesturing to the shell of the building behind him, he says “And this is the real tragedy here”. I paused, rewound, and played again. And again. I had heard correctly. A police officer killed an unarmed black teenager with what turned out to be impunity, unleashing an anger both understandable and justified, but property damage is something we can all agree is tragic.

I understand there is an argument that a venal media will naturally focus on the few instances of property damage, and that the protesters have to be effectively a hybrid of Jackie Robinson and the idea mainstream Americans have of MLK, but if there appears to be simply no sanction for the murder of black people, why should they expect a fair shake from any institution? There has been no let up in peaceful protests in Ferguson, although the violence has subsided. I watched MSNBC again this morning. Wall to wall Black Friday shopping stories and the arrival of the White House Christmas Tree.

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