The Power of the Hashtag–
“You don’t do shit but TWEET,” one angry social media user wrote, accusing Deray McKesson of being all bark and no bite. By now, most of us know Deray as a young, passionate activist who shares his experiences on the front lines of the movement via Twitter, daily. Over the course of a year, Deray has managed to become somewhat of a Twitter (and real life) celebrity, acquiring over 200,000 followers and counting (Beyonce’s one of them).
If you don’t know Deray, you may not be following the news close enough. He basically lives on CNN. The young activist, a former school administrator, quit his job and set out to stand up against injustice at the hands of the state nationwide. Named one of Fortune’s “World’s Greatest Leaders”, Deray McKesson has made an indelible mark on history and continues to do so through his tireless work. But today, when I opened my eyes and logged on to Twitter, I was surprised to find that Montel Williams, of all people was up in the middle of the night, sending nasty tweets to Deray for no damn reason.
Over the weekend, video footage of a ridiculously abusive police officer surfaced online. Officer Eric Casebolt arrived on the scene of a pool party in McKinney, Texas on Friday evening, and acted like a complete jackass. After pinning a young girl to the ground and pulling her by her hair, the officer then pulled his gun on unarmed teens who were in the vicinity.
I was going to stay silent on this issue, because frankly, it is going to drain me to write this. But after I heard that three of the shooters involved in the deadly Twin Peaks Shooting were “accidentally” released from jail, I just had to give my three cents.
Weeks after the death of Freddie Gray, the city of Baltimore is still recovering from protests. Many people have been critical of the way some Baltimore residents have reacted to Gray’s death, however, Prince decided that he didn’t want to be one of those people. He wanted to help.
John Legend has gained much respect over the years for his artistry. The award winning singer/song writer never disappoints when it comes to his music. Recently, Legend has used his platform to speak out against police brutality, and has been very vocal about racial tensions in America. Now, stepping in to an Executive Producer role, Johnny boy is taking things a step further with a new film that will be airing on HBO on May 18th.
Usually, I just do a “Tweet of the Week.” But given everything that’s going on in the world, I thought it would be better to feature tweets from people all around the country, highlighting their thoughts on the death of Freddie Gray and the protests/riots in Baltimore. The responses have been pretty interesting. I didn’t think it would be appropriate to cover anything else on my blog today, so instead of doing typical coverage, I wanted you guys to see real opinions/thoughts/commentary on the matter.
And now Maryland has a state of emergency. Because you ignored the actual state of emergency of brutality and poverty and called it "life".
— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) April 27, 2015
😂😭😭😭😭😩😫🙈 @insanityreport: the country founded on violent revolution and folks saying “violence is never the answer”.
— Alicia (@deroach_Ismoke) April 27, 2015
You know how many black kids in Baltimore need food, but now all of a sudden Whole Foods wants to send food down- to the National Guard
— Carolina Bama (@Awkward_Duck) April 28, 2015
— The Patriot (@ThePatriot143) April 27, 2015
— Lynda (@LyndaG1963) April 27, 2015
— H Shalom Ratcliff (@BiGMuscle84) April 28, 2015
Another image you won't see on CNN. pic.twitter.com/UHhha3aaQo
— Tim Fair (@PointWellTaken) April 28, 2015
@realDonaldTrump Why don't those thugs focus on growing their daddy's real estate fortune?
— pourmecoffee (@pourmecoffee) April 28, 2015
The #BaltimoreRiots are not merely a Baltimore city problem; the chaos that will increase is from a nationwide police brutality problem.
— Dr Simon R R Atkins (@DrSimonAtkins) April 28, 2015
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) April 28, 2015
— Johnetta Elzie (@Nettaaaaaaaa) April 28, 2015
— Kemberlee Kaye (@KemberleeKaye) April 28, 2015
I have absolutley no respect for the people rioting and looting in Baltimore only respect for those protesting with no violence.
— Omar Esquivias (@OmarOfRivia) April 28, 2015
Fuck Donald J. Trump
— Waka Flocka (@WakaFlocka) April 28, 2015
— Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) April 28, 2015
— Casey (@pari_passu) April 28, 2015
I've never seen a situation were violence didn't beget more violence. Freddie Grey died violently so what you expect? #BaltimoreRiots
— Charlamagne Tha God (@cthagod) April 28, 2015
— Nahwì Gud Pham (@TR4M4INE) April 28, 2015
— Problematic Genius (@SankofaBrown) April 28, 2015
How does looting stores and burning your city down have any impact on the case? This has nothing to do with justice. #BaltimoreRiots
— Joshua Waldorf (@JoshuaWaldorf) April 28, 2015
These citizens stand up for their own city, against the few bad apples, makes me happy. Inspiring people standing that line. #BaltimoreRiots
— Mr. LXC (@MrLXC) April 28, 2015
— NBCWashington (@nbcwashington) April 28, 2015
.@LipstickYoda c'mon now. You know the unsaid was "no violence against property." Violence against Black bodies is always to be justified.
— dara tafakari (@dtafakari) April 28, 2015
Irony is Ray Lewis asking for no violence.
— dunc city (@whduncan) April 28, 2015
— Michael Darling (@mikedarling905) April 28, 2015
— Lisa (@footenotes) April 28, 2015
— Cole M. Sprouse (@colesprouse) April 28, 2015
I don't understand what looting a liquor store and a drug store in your own community is gonna do to change a societal problem..
— Doug Baldwin Jr (@DougBaldwinJr) April 28, 2015
There is no excuse for rioting and destroying your own community! The violence in Baltimore needs to stop! #BaltimoreRiots
— Star Parker (@StarParker) April 28, 2015
white ppl: joins military to serve country that was built off of genocide and enslavement of human beings
also white ppl: no violence plz
— tasmi (@tasmiimlak) April 28, 2015
Yall don't even have enough respect for Freddie Gray mother even when she said NO VIOLENCE today.
— Darien Coleman2️⃣ (@dglizzy__) April 27, 2015
— Rob Hill Sr. (@RobHillSr) April 28, 2015
My heart hurts for #Baltimore. When you destroy your own community, you destroy your self-respect. Where do you go from there?
— Christine Sierra (@SierraSez) April 28, 2015
"Why are Black people destroying their own neighborhood?" You mean the neighborhoods y'all gonna gentrify and kick us out? #BaltimoreRiots
— Dizturb'd Wun (@dizturbdwun) April 28, 2015
— Kim Moore (@SoulRevision) April 28, 2015
Not about black on black crime or blacks "destroying their own community" – whites are statistically more violent & #Bmore been neglected
— Sam White (@samwhiteout) April 28, 2015
— ΞXΓЯΞMΞ⚡BЯΞA₭Հ (@breakbeatjunkee) April 28, 2015
Maryland governor just said "The violence began yesterday at 3pm." This sums it up: Violence against Black people does not count.
— jesseWilliams. (@iJesseWilliams) April 28, 2015
— 10 Pc. Boomin (@CheckTheResume) April 28, 2015
— Hᴀʜɴ Aᴍᴇʀɪᴄᴀ (@HahnAmerica) April 28, 2015
— Joshua Emmanuel (@big_man_joshy) April 28, 2015
"violence isn't the answer? cool. we shouldn't have gone to war after 9/11 then. since we preaching peace." #BaltimoreRiots
— angela (@dogsruIe) April 28, 2015
— Davon Magwood (@davonmagwood) April 28, 2015
— Pitt Griffin (@pittgriffin) April 28, 2015
"Violence and looting isn't the answer!"
Native American ancestors looking at white people like… pic.twitter.com/nCLNSSk2bE
— Saint Pest (@KidFury) April 28, 2015
America has a history of fucking shit up to get what it wants. Anytime blacks do it though, they wanna play "Who Let The Dogs Out".
— (tee-durl), M.A. (@TheTDExperience) April 28, 2015
— Colin Daileda (@ColinDaileda) April 28, 2015
There’s still unrest in Baltimore after Freddie Gray’s death. If you haven’t been following the news, or simply just need a break form being inundated with images of Black lives lost at the hands of the police, I completely understand.
When unarmed teen Mike Brown was gunned down by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Mo., there was an international outcry demanding justice for Mike, and people like him. After the unjustified fatal shootings of Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, etc etc, people everywhere were looking for a way to express their hurt, to express their pain, and to show their solidarity. Ray Mills and his good friend Londrelle Hall found a particularly unique and admirable way to channel their feelings about the death of Mike Brown. These two Atlanta natives and founders of “Run For Justice” made the decision to run from Atlanta, GA to Ferguson, Mo., until they reached the destination where Mike Brown had been slain.
In light of the recent findings by the Department of Justice, deeming the Ferguson Police Department corrupt, as well as the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday”, which many know as the March on Selma, I thought it appropriate to talk to one of our generation’s Freedom Fighters. Though, during our interview, he didn’t give me the impression that he thought of himself in that way, in my mind, and in the minds of many others, he has certainly made a major contribution to our nation’s history, and our continued struggle for equality and social justice.
Check out my interview with Ray Mills below: