The Imagery of Ferguson

A good thought piece by Randy Kennedy and Jennifer Schuessler at the New York Times about the similarities and dissimilarities of the images coming out of Ferguson, Missouri, and how they mimic those from the Civil Rights movement fifty years ago.

The closing paragraph quoting University of California Santa Crus Professor Martin A. Gerger should give us all pause:

“We can look at these pictures and say that Ferguson is the same as Los Angeles or Birmingham, because it looks the same,” Dr. Berger said. “But we have to ask not just, ‘What is the same?’ but also, ‘What are the ways in which America has changed?’ To just have another conversation that stops at the level of police brutality doesn’t really get us very far.”

In the same way we can be enraged or engaged by an individual image, we must look deeper than just what is before us. One moment in time can stop us, but if it does not make us look deeper, then what did it matter?

Mark E. Johnson

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