Thursday, August 28, 2014

Quote for Day: "We Must Not Lose Sight of Michael Brown's Body"

At Moyers & Company, Ian Haney L√≥pez reminds us that, beyond all the heated rhetoric about what has or has not happened in Ferguson, Missouri, lies a human being. Whose body was left lying for hours in the street after he was gunned down, no weapons in his hands:

And yet, we must not lose sight of Michael Brown’s body. Dog whistling may hurt almost all Americans, but its basic technique is to dehumanize minorities, scaring voters with spectral images of welfare cheats, illegal aliens, invading hordes, potential terrorists and, perhaps especially, black men as menacing criminals. Race baiting succeeds — and it does succeed, remaking American politics over the last five decades and continuing at full throttle today — because so many voters see some people as fully human and worthy of care and respect, and others as something less, warranting fear, rejection and even violent repression.

We choose to ignore this inconvenient "fact" — Michael Brown's body — at our peril. In making that choice, we make that choice to live as something less than human beings ourselves.

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