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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Op/Ed: The Profiting off of Michael Brown's Death, and Other Disgusting Actions in Ferguson

Photo Credit - The Family of Victim Mike Brown
Shooting victim Michael Brown with younger sibling in picture.

Somehow, the REAL story has been lost.

The story was about how a young man was murdered in cold blood on an Saturday afternoon in August, which hundreds of neighbors witnessed the man's body in the streets for hours on end, or a few -- the murder itself.

The Victims' name is Michael Brown.

As of Thursday August 21, 2014, Victim Brown has not yet received a burial service by his

Photo Credit - DailyMail.Uk
loved ones. The family were waiting on the results of two autopsy reports after Brown's shooting death. Brown's survivors have scheduled a home-going and burial service on Monday, August 25.

Still, never fear, the profiteers and attention seeking vultures have entered Ferguson. Attempting, and sadly receiving periled vision measures of success, by driving attention to themselves instead of directly towards the tragedy of Brown's murder.

Whether its' T-Shirts, Face-time in front of a camera, morphing into a "national celebrity" while someone manages a twitter account, voter registration drives, racists rising up to throw fire on frames of ethnic hate or journalists becoming the story; the death of a 18-year-old young man Michael Brown has got lost in the melee of nefarious true intentions.

That is sad.

Journalist Ryan Schuessler on his blog described why after initially covering the Ferguson story for Al Jazeera, he has decided to not go back:
 I had been on the ground helping Al Jazeera America cover the protests and unrest in Ferguson, Mo., since this all started last week. After what I saw last night, I will not be returning. The behavior and number of journalists there is so appalling, that I cannot in good conscience continue to be a part of the spectacle. 
Things I’ve seen: 
-Cameramen yelling at residents in public meetings for standing in way of their cameras 
-Cameramen yelling at community leaders for stepping away from podium microphones to better talk to residents. 
-TV crews making small talk and laughing at the spot where Mike Brown was killed, as residents prayed, mourned. 
-A TV crew of a to-be-left-unnamed major cable network taking pieces out of a Ferguson business retaining wall to weigh down their tent. 
-Another major TV network renting out a gated parking lot for their one camera, not letting people in. Safely reporting the news on the other side of a tall fence.
-Journalists making the story about them.
-National news correspondents glossing over the context and depth of this story, focusing instead on the sexy images of tear gas, rubber bullets, etc.
-One reporter who, last night, said he came to Ferguson as a “networking opportunity.” He later asked me to take a picture of him with Anderson Cooper. 

So, just like Ryan, we decided to make a list of the things we have disturbingly seen from a distance, of course, about the Ferguson story. Here's our list:

So far, the Death of Mike Brown has become an opportunity for:
-Networking in Ferguson 
-Selling Cheap T-Shirts (The DREAM DEFENDERS, we are talking to you) 
-Journalists looking for Five Minutes of Attention 
-Bloggers looking for Five Minutes of Attention 
-The Right Time to register voters? Huh? 
-Rappers who have not had a hit in #YEARS, looking for Five Minutes of Attention 
-Politicians saying stupid things
-Politicians doing stupid things like the African-American Ferguson Township Politician that went on Fox News Hannity Show and somehow expected a fair interview? Really Now? 
-To discuss the problems with failed policing procedures and we did not KNOW THIS already 
-Someone's five minutes of fame 
-An opportunity for the Racists to come out of the shadows, ASAP!

Maybe all of these "Groups" "Individuals" and "Journalists" need to take themselves HOME and let the People of Ferguson and the surrounding community handle this.

Let Mike Brown Family Bury Their Son, Let Ferguson Heal, Let Ferguson's Kids Go Back to School and Go Home Attention Seekers. You are not needed in Ferguson!

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