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Ferguson’s black community must not be given the same ‘justice’ as Trayvon Martin
Just outside a mall in Ferguson, Missouri, shortly after 10 o’clock on Wednesday, a black man in his 30s was stopped and frisked by around eight white policemen. As he gingerly emptied his pockets, careful not to move too quickly, he yelled at them. It was a soliloquy of pure rage; a fluent, apparently unstoppable oration against not just the men who had apprehended him but the system they represented.


Protesters take cover in a McDonalds with smashed windows. ‘People have a right to resist occupation, even if we don’t agree with every method.’ Scott Olson/Getty Images
In Ferguson the violence of the state created the violence of the street
In 1966, Martin Luther King started to campaign against segregation in Chicago only to find his efforts thwarted by violent mobs and a scheming mayor. Marginalised by the city’s establishment, he could feel that non-violence both as a strategy and as a principle was eroding among his supporters. “I need some help in getting this method across,” he said. “A lot of people have lost faith in the establishment … They’ve lost faith in the democratic process. They’ve lost faith in non-violence … [T]hose who make this peaceful revolution impossible will make a violent revolution inevitable, and we’ve got to get this over, I need help. I need some victories, I need concessions.”


One week. One conclusion. We already know more than that. Photo Illustration: Dignidadrebelde / Flickr via Creative Commons
Like Michael Brown in Ferguson, to be poor and black renders you collateral
There are places in America where young people are not supposed to die. Movie theatres. Schools. College campuses. Their deaths prompt great moral panic if little change.


‘Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York, has described the city as a ‘laboratory’ for New Deal-style reforms.’ Photograph: Seth Wenig/AP
Tales of the cities: the progressive vision of urban America
After Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992 one of his key aides, Rahm Emanuel, sat in the campaign’s favourite restaurant in Little Rock, Arkansas, venting his frustration at those who had tried to stand in their way. He would call out a name, ram his steak knife into the table and, like Bluto in Animal House, shout “Dead!” Then he would pull the knife out and call another name and stab the table again.
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Stranger in a Strange Land – Encounters in the Disunited States
book review
'It often takes an outsider to look inside. This is especially true of the United States.'
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