Social media explodes after Ferguson

Social media explodes after Ferguson

by Githmie Goonatilleke, Staff Writer

On August 9, 2014, 18 year old Michael Brown was shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson. Angry about Brown’s death, citizens from Ferguson and many other cities began protesting. This resulted in buildings burning down, robberies, more arrests, and seemingly uncontrollable riots.

Many people who didn’t join in on the rioting took to the Internet to show their opinions. Since then, social media has erupted.

Although the situation at Ferguson happened in the late summer, people are still protesting today, both on the streets and online.

“I’ve seen a lot on Tumblr,” said Emily Chun, a freshman, who saw much talk of Ferguson on social media. “There was this one picture of Darren Wilson at the hospital with his bruises on his face and next to it was a picture of Michael Brown’s grave and it was like ‘look at the comparison of the two injuries’.”

“I’ve seen it on Instagram, Twitter and the news stations. On Twitter there are a lot of posts about how it’s about race. It’s just annoying because it gets into my feed. I’m trying to scroll down, and I just see people lighting stores on fire,” said Olivia Lorenzo, another freshman.

Recently five players of the St. Louis Rams saluted Michael Brown by putting their hands up because many believe that during the shooting Brown put his hands up to surrender.

“I think they’re making a statement, I don’t know if they have the right to force their opinion on other people because a lot of people do believe that [Darren Wilson] should be innocent and a lot of people say that he’s guilty,” said Jake Gess, a freshman who thought the message was “definitely brave.”

“I don’t think it was right for them to act that way, so publicly, without really knowing what happened because we still don’t really know what happened,” said Chun, who believed otherwise. “The people in charge of them apologized but the team themselves did not apologize.”

“I think that’s none of their business. I understand if you’re trying to remember [Michael Brown] but they should not make a big a deal about it,” said Lorenzo who somewhat agreed with Chun. “I think it’s important but I don’t think it’s important enough to be all over social media.”

“I think they have a right to be angry about this but I don’t think they have a right to forcefully put their opinions out there because even though I agree with their opinions they’re still forcing their opinions on people who may not know enough or may not have their own opinions,” Gess said.

“They have every right to be angry. When I first saw it I was angry. Even if you take away all of the details, at the end of the day it’s still a 28 year old white man shot this 18 year old, unarmed kid,” said Chun, agreeing that social media users had the right to be angry.

Chun also believed that “people should not be allowed to say these kinds of things without knowing.”

“You can’t just say ‘how dare you be racist to us’ in the name of Michael’s Brown’s case,” she also added.

“I think that they [the media] should just give us the truth because if they gave us the truth in the beginning we wouldn’t have to go through these humongous riots, we wouldn’t have to go through these violent encounters with the police and the citizens. We could have prevented this and still sent the message that told everyone the story,” said Chun.

“It’s like an annoying game of telephone. There were so many people who witnessed this thing,” said Chun, noting that “no two stories were alike.”

“It makes me upset that that’s what we’ve come to – that an innocent life can be killed and people can forget about it. I thought by now the human race has gotten past discrimination,” Gess said.