A silent protest in Love Park, downtown Philadelphia orchestrated by performance artists protesting the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson. The onslaught of passerby’s wanting to take photos with the statue exemplifies the disconnect in American society. Simply frame out the dead body, and it doesn’t exist.
Here are some observations by one of the artists involved in the event:
I don’t know who any of these folks are.
They were tourists I presume.
But I heard most of what everything they said. A few lines in particular stood out. There’s one guy not featured in the photos. His friends were trying to get him to join the picture but he couldn’t take his eyes off the body.
"Something about this doesn’t feel right. I’m going to sit this one out, guys." "Com’on man… he’s already dead."
There were a billion little quips I heard today. Some broke my heart. Some restored my faith in humanity. There was an older white couple who wanted to take a picture under the statue.
The older gentleman: “Why do they have to always have to shove their politics down our throats.” Older woman: “They’re black kids, honey. They don’t have anything better to do.”
One woman even stepped over the body to get her picture. But as luck would have it the wind blew the caution tape and it got tangle around her foot. She had to stop and take the tape off. She still took her photo.
There was a guy who yelled at us… “We need more dead like them. Yay for the white man!”
"One young guy just cried and then gave me a hug and said ‘thank you. It’s nice to know SOMEBODY sees me.’
Hearing how some people reacted negatively hurts my heart…it really hurts knowing what these people said and it makes me realize America still has a long way to go, we still have a lot to learn and we have a lot of growing to do as a country and a culture…we’re a young county but that’s not a good excuse, we’ve been around long enough to know how to react respectfully to something so sensitive even if we feel it doesn’t pertain to us. Just when you think you’re in a good spot your realize you are nowhere near where most of us strive to be, we are nowhere near where most of us hope to be and it saddens me because I have never experienced anything like this so it’s easy for me to feel like racism and blatant rudeness just doesn’t exist anymore but it does and it breaks my heart but I’m not going to let it make me angry and eat me up I’m not going to feed it but I’m going to fight against it with kindness, I’m going to fight against it with interaction, and I’m going to fight against it with every fiber of my being because it’s a disease and like cancer it will spread if we don’t stop it in time…it’s disgusting, during times like this we should be coming together and being respectful of one another’s sensitivities but we aren’t and it hurts but I’m awake and I needed that, I was so sheltered but I’m awake now…and oh god, the IRONY of this protest being in love park and how some people reacted in the complete opposite manner…it’s sad, but I’m also thankful for the humble positive reactions of people, I’m glad this protest was done.