I just read this article describing how five members of the St. Louis Rams football team walked on to the playing field today with their hands in the air, a gesture that now means, “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” as a show of support for justice and the people of Ferguson, Missouri. The story of the tragic event in which Michael Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer is read in different ways by different people. To me, the event was simply a flashpoint for the anger and hopelessness that are a natural result of our country’s institutionalized, systemic racism. Shirley Chisholm said: Racism is so universal in this country, so widespread and deep-seated, that it is invisible because it is so normal. I see only glimpses of racism, so I attended the rally on November 25 in downtown Portland to be reminded of this truth.
Not knowing that he would become famous for the picture of the “hug felt around the world,” I took this picture of Devonte Hart: