When a Photo Tells a Tragic Story

Two black kids hold "don't shoot" signs.

Photo via Anne Helen Petersen and MotherJones.com

I saw this image yesterday on Facebook and it left me speechless. I’ve not been able to find out who took it—even after a Google image search—but whoever the photographer was, he or she has captured the danger that African American children face every day.

This isn’t just Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, it’s America. And those of us who by the accidental privilege of our skin color don’t live the life these kids must face need to see them. We can’t shut our eyes any longer.

A new day has hopefully dawned in Ferguson, a new page in the story captured in this photo on Twitter this morning.

But how long until it happens again? Other black men have died violent deaths this week. We don’t know their names, or their circumstances, but we know that families and communities are morning them.

And in this way, all of America is Ferguson.


Bloggerhood Etc. 9/23/13

Pope Francis

CNS Photo/Tony Gentile, Reuters.

Best Interview.A Big Heart Open to God,” the exclusive interview with Pope Francis by Antonio Spadero, S.J. in America. An in-depth profile of a beloved man of God, and a huge coup for our country’s oldest Jesuit publication.

Best Counter Argument Based Solely on Facts.Have the People Spoken?” by Rick Reilly at ESPN.com. If you listened only to a handful of vocal sports writers, politicians, and Native American activists, you would think the Redskins name-change debate was settled. But knowing the history of the word, how the team got the name, and the opinion of the vast majority of Native Americans, you would be wrong. This is a far more complicated issue than you’ve been led to believe.

Best (and Most Depressing) Infographic.Watch the growth of U.S. income inequality with this animated map” by John Voorheis at The Washington Post’s Wonkblog (via Keep Oregon Working). Not sure how civil society can survive this trajectory if we keep going the way we’re going.

Most Heartbreaking.Whistling Vivaldi Won’t Save You” by Tressie McMillan Cottom in Slate.

Last week, Jonathan Ferrell, a former Florida A&M football player who recently moved to the Charlotte, N.C., area to be with his fiancée, had a horrible car crash. The 24-year-old broke out the back window to escape and walked, injured, to knock on the nearest door for help. Now, Ferrell is dead. The neighbor he asked for aid called 911 (“He is trying to kick down my door,” she cried on the phone), and one of the responding police officers shot the unarmed Ferrell 10 times.

Ferrell, who was African-American, may have been too hurt, too in shock, to remember to whistle Vivaldi to signal he was a victim and not a threat.

So much for “post-racial America.”

Best Commentary.Shattering Myths About Homelessness” by Herb Johnson in The San Diego Union Tribune. They aren’t who you think they are.

Best Question.Why Do We Always Specify the Gender of a Stay-at-Home Parent?” by Kathleen Hogan at The Huffington Post. And will the time come when we won’t anymore? I hope so.

Biggest Contradiction.Hating the Poor but Loving Jesus?” by Craig M. Watts at Red Letter Christians. “Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.” (Matthew 25:45) Jesus’ words, not mine.

And after a short hiatus, the Internet’s favorite puppets are back!

Funniest Video. “Product Testing” by Glove and Boots (via YouTube).

“They might not be crap, but today we find out if they are!”

They are.