EDITORS NOTE: This article was written by LBS member Nicole Nave during the earlier protesting in Ferguson, MO.
“We are home!’’ is all that I can make out from the screams that are happening a block or so from me. These are the screams of my neighbors as they take on the National Guard, Ferguson police or whoever else it is who feels like shooting black people tonight. I am having difficulty breathing with the air layered in tear gas and the gun powder resin. My body is also in pain from hunger. There is no food in the fridge since all the grocery stores are empty around my house. There is no delivery from the local pizza place. I will not eat tonight, and that is ok. Tonight is not about how I as an individual am effected by the riots but how we as a community are.
Black people have been the main target for law enforcement for many years. Their duty is to “protect and serve” the people. I guess it clearly comes down to who is really considered to be ‘’The People’’.
Are ‘’The people’’ those who get rubber bullets shot at them for having signs in their hand and demanding justice for an unjust crime?
‘’The People’’ couldn’t possibly be the ones who are getting threatened with dogs who are trained to bite and attack on command.
‘’The People” are most likely not the ones who are not allowed to walk around their neighborhood at night with the fear of being stopped and searched without any warranted reason. There is no way in hell that ‘’The People’’ could be those who live in the 63135-63136 because those who do have never been treated like ‘’The People’’.
Ferguson Missouri and St. Louis have always been cities that determine who ‘’The People’’ are and it has clearly been based with skin tone as a main factor. The city is divided into a color class system. Those who are ‘’The People’’ can roam their neighborhoods free with no worry of being gunned down by the police in broad daylight. Those who are ‘’The People’’ get to see their children off to college without a worry of; ’will the summer allow them to even make it there’’. See in Ferguson Missouri being ‘’The People’’ means you get the right to live; while those who aren’t ‘’The People’’ will never have the luxury of life.
There have been many people both black and white who have had comments about the riots. Majority of these who speak are ‘’The People’’ and those who don’t realize that they aren’t. The riot is not about the looting, but the bigger question is when will we be ‘’The People’’? When will I get to go outside and not worry about my six year old brothers’ life? When will I get to be protected instead of harassed by the police. When will I not wake up to an empty refrigerator with no food source available.
We must no longer wait to become something they never wanted us to become. We cannot allow them to validate how we operate in this world. But we must take it. We must take it back with our streets. We must take it back along with our businesses. Most importantly we must take it back with our schools. If we can educate ourselves we will never have to worry about ’’The People’’.
Assata Shakur said; ‘’Nobody in the world, nobody in history, has ever gotten their freedom by appealing to the moralsense of the people who were oppressing them’’.
So ‘’The People can call the riot what they would like because it wasn’t meant to make sense to y’all. You can make post about how stupid you think the residents of Ferguson are for burning down their neighborhood. You can call us thefts, thugs and whatever else it is that your ignorant heart’s desire. Just know I will gladly starve for mine. I will gladly sit with my eyes damn near swollen from the tear gas that is seeping into the house from the protest for my people. My community was never meant for white’s and those alike to invade and police it. We will now protect ourselves because we are the only one’s who truly care about us. To Michael and all those who have physically been hurt by the recent events in Ferguson and across the country. On behalf of the community I am sorry that we did not come soon enough. We are here now and we will make sure that are community is seen and treated as ‘’The People’’.
-Nicole Nave reporting from the war-zone 63135,Ferguson MO