On Saturday, August 14, 2014, a young African American male named Michael Brown was killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. The aftermath of this violence manifested itself in a period of civic chaos, confusion, anger, and yet another forceful reminder that racism is still alive and well in our country. Now, as the investigation into Brown’s death surges on, Victoria Ruiz, the singer of punk bands Downtown Boys and Malportado Kids, has written one of the most powerful, personal pieces about “the spectacle that has been created out of Ferguson” in an attempt to “contextualize it within as many structural realities of racism that we can comprehend.”
Ruiz’s essay examines the illusion of a post-racial United States, the militarization of our police force, the rise of mass incarceration, and questioning the “rights” of the police; Importantly, she also offers first-person anecdotes about her time working as a social worker at the Rhode Island Public Defender.
The piece has been published by The Media, the weekly webpaper which consistently produces some of the most thought-provoking pieces on the internet. Ruiz’s piece, “On Ferguson”, is part of Issue 41, which may be read here.