September 12th, 2014
Overheard: Conversations about Ferguson

Weeks after the shooting of Michael Brown, the media seems to have moved on. But the stark reality of racism in modern America had a solid fifteen minutes of fame before more important news (all SEVEN seasons of Girlmore Girls are coming to Netflix!) crowded it out of the spotlight. Below is a collection of some of the best Ferguson related conversations overheard in the past weeks.

Conversation 1
White girl 1: I know everyone’s talking about how racist the police are, but I don’t really get it. That kid looked like a total gangster, you know. Plus he had stolen cigarillos. Who knew what he was capable of?
White girl 2: I know. Like, the police NEVER harass me and I’m like 1/16 Cherokee. So I would know if we had a ‘race’ problem in the US, you know? But I’m just super polite to the police whenever they pull me over for speeding and I’ve never gotten a ticket! Not even that time I was going 90 in a 55 MPH zone.
Conversation 2
White guy: So, uh, this Ferguson stuff, huh?
Black guy: Yeah.
White guy: It’s horrific! It’s really such a shame.
Black guy: Yeah.
White guy: I’m really avidly following this story. I’m really invested. I was even thinking about going down there myself. Or donating 50 bucks. Or something.
Black guy: Yeah.
White guy: I guess what I’m trying to say is, I almost minored in African American studies. I’m one of the good guys!
Black guy: Okay. I’m going to go now.
White guy: Wait! I voted for Obama! TWICE!
Conversation 3
Small town cop 1: All these fucking riots over some thug just because he was going to air-conditioning school or whatever. But we gotta stand strong with the Ferguson PD, am I right?
Small town cop 2: We don’t even need to stand strong. We’re the ones with guns, remember?
Conversation 4
Black mother 1: I talked with my son last night.
Black mother 2: About?
Black mother 1: About the fact that his skin makes him a target. About how even sticking his hands into his pockets while wearing a hoodie could get him killed.
Black mother 2: Ah. I did that with David last year, but after this whole Ferguson stuff, I spoke to him about it again last week.

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