"Ferguson Is Really On Mars"
“Ferguson Is Really On Mars” – is an adaption of a quote from author/activist James Baldwin: “White people are astounded by Birmingham, black people aren’t. They are endlessly demanding to be reassured that Birmingham is really on Mars”
In his essay, Baldwin goes on to say, “…they don’t want to believe still, less act on the belief, that what is happening in Birmingham is happening all over the country.” This quote still rings true in 2017 and is not just true of white people – gaps in awareness today have as much to do with socioeconomic status as they do with race. Many people who are isolated from issues of race, whether due to their race or their wealth, have convinced themselves that what happened in Ferguson is an isolated occurrence. Some erroneously parallel their own experiences and draw judgmental conclusions about why victims find themselves in violent encounters with the police. What these individuals fail to acknowledge or recognize, however, is how their privilege (and separation) impacts their world view.