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News & Politics News & Politics

The Children of Ferguson: On the Front Line

Posted by on Aug. 21, 2014 at 4:04 PM
  • 78 Replies

A lesson learned on the front lines

Many of the protesters who line Florissant Avenue in Ferguson night after night bring along their kids — and sometimes they get caught in the crossfire. On Sunday evening, one witness said she saw an 8-year-old girl nearly choke after police tossed tear gas into the crowd.

So, why would a mom or dad risk all this to bring a 4-year-old here? The answer, for every parent with whom I spoke, was the same: The kids of St. Louis need to see this.

Ferguson-Kids-5

A young girl stands with her father and cousin on Tuesday in Ferguson.

IMAGE: AMANDA WILLS, MASHABLE

Racial tension isn’t exclusive to Ferguson; it weaves its way across St. Louis. In fact, many parents walking with their children by their sides aren’t even from Ferguson; they come from all over the area to participate. For them, it’s about more than Michael Brown.

The roots stretch deep into a long history of predominately black neighborhoods battling small, daily wars with white authorities. Residents have told me repeatedly that racial profiling has gotten out of control. To them, it seems as though officers are looking for excuses to arrest young black men. The image of these men slammed against police cars while cops cuff them is one that the children of Ferguson — and other parts of St. Louis County — are growing up with, rearing a violent nature that perpetuates in a never-ending cycle.

Many parents marching in Ferguson are young, some in their early 20s.

Many parents marching in Ferguson are young, some in their early 20s. They've lived these scenes over and over — and they are doing everything they can to change it for their kids.

Tierra Gates, who walked alongside her three children — ages 3, 4 and 7 — on Tuesday, said she wanted them to see the unrest firsthand in order to better understand why it was happening and that it was OK to be angry — and even more acceptable to talk about it.

“I don’t keep anything from my kids,” Gates said as her middle child curiously pressed every button and turned each knob on my camera.

"We do everything as a family," she added, looking down at her youngest child clinging to her leg.

However, Gates says she is aware of the danger that rolls in through Ferguson after the sun goes down. Unlike a lot of parents here, that's when Gates packs up her family and heads home.

Ferguson-Kids-4

Tierra Gates' children, ages 3, 4 and 7, on Tuesday in Ferguson.

IMAGE: AMANDA WILLS, MASHABLE

But some parents want to expose their children to all of Ferguson’s unrest — even the darker sides.

Ebony Starks, 25, had her three children with her on Tuesday evening. They marched slowly, hand in hand, with groups of protesters who slowly started to increase in numbers — markers of a heightened energy that often comes just before violence sets in at night in Ferguson.

Ferguson-Kids-6

Ebony Starks' son on Tuesday in Ferguson.

IMAGE: AMANDA WILLS, MASHABLE

Starks said her children — ages 5, 8 and 11 — were here on Sunday evening when cops threw tear gas into the crowd.

“It really was scary,” she said. “The [police] didn’t care if kids were around or not.

They just threw it. My babies were all here with me.

They just threw it. My babies were all here with me.

Still, Starks and her kids returned on Tuesday because she said police brutality is something her family routinely encounters, and it's important to face it head on. Starks said a police officer slapped her in the face in front of her children in February after she didn’t follow his orders during a domestic disturbance call.

“The police showed them firsthand why not to trust the police,” Starks said.

by on Aug. 21, 2014 at 4:04 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Ms.KitKat
by Gold Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 4:05 PM

http://mashable.com/2014/08/20/children-of-ferguson/

c/p for the full story

Billiejeens
by Ruby Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 4:11 PM
9 moms liked this

Take them home.

Read a book to them.

Tell them about Black on Black crime in Chicago.

Read a book to them.

If you think showing your kids that "whitey is out to git ya" - you're the problem.

Take your kids home - read a book.

Sweet_Faith
by Gold Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 4:28 PM
6 moms liked this

This article is biased and stereotyping the entire  police department, which by the way stereotyping is a racist thing to do, especially in the case of Brown. How about teaching their children not to break the law and use Brown as an example since that's what this is about because if Brown hadn't committed any robbery breaking the law he'd probably still be alive today. So next time one of these parents need to dial 911 to get help from their local police they'll think twice and thinking I can't trust the police forget dialing 911. See the stupidity and ignorance there? Everyone knows if someoone's trying to break into your home, you will dial 911, I guess trusting  your local law enforcement is there then since you need their help to possibly save your life and your children's lives. Sadly, many police officers have died in the line of duty protecting the law abiding citizens and ALL police officers put their lives on the line everyday for you, me and everyone else.They are fathers, husbands and have families, they are people too and should be respected. SMH

Canvas_says
by Silver Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 4:49 PM
6 moms liked this

 So kids need to see civil disobedience, looting, inciting and violence all based on a one sided story that most evidence currently doesn't support? No, I will keep my kids home and teach them to think first, fact find, and when necessary act within the law.

Ms.KitKat
by Gold Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 5:23 PM
1 mom liked this

I disagree, I do not believe the article is biased. However, I think it gives a view of one segment of the population in Ferguson and their thoughts and feelings about their daily lives in their town. You might not agree with their view as their view may be biased. But it is also their own perspective. Each of our own persepctives are naturally biased and skewed. I think this article is very clear in showing one group of people and their persepctive from their own shoes and through their own eyes.  

Quoting Sweet_Faith:

This article is biased and stereotyping the entire  police department, which by the way stereotyping is a racist thing to do, especially in the case of Brown. How about teaching their children not to break the law and use Brown as an example since that's what this is about because if Brown hadn't committed any robbery breaking the law he'd probably still be alive today. So next time one of these parents need to dial 911 to get help from their local police they'll think twice and thinking I can't trust the police forget dialing 911. See the stupidity and ignorance there? Everyone knows if someoone's trying to break into your home, you will dial 911, I guess trusting  your local law enforcement is there then since you need their help to possibly save your life and your children's lives. Sadly, many police officers have died in the line of duty protecting the law abiding citizens and ALL police officers put their lives on the line everyday for you, me and everyone else.They are fathers, husbands and have families, they are people too and should be respected. SMH


Ms.KitKat
by Gold Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Although I persoanlly would never directly expose my children to such first hand violance, this article I beleive illustrates the thinking of these parents and why they have chosen to do so.


Quoting Canvas_says:

 So kids need to see civil disobedience, looting, inciting and violence all based on a one sided story that most evidence currently doesn't support? No, I will keep my kids home and teach them to think first, fact find, and when necessary act within the law.


Sweet_Faith
by Gold Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 5:28 PM
2 moms liked this

These children should be home, not out on the streets with the crazies breaking the law. Sorry, but these parents are teaching their children to hate and to be racist because we all know the majority of those in Ferguson turned this whole case into a racist thing when it never was.Not to mention telling their children not to trust the police which is telling them to not respect them. So, maybe one day when these kids grow up and for some reason get stopped by an officer mouthe off to him and not comply which will cause them more problems. What these parents NEED to teach their children is to NOT break the law and that's the bottom line.

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

I disagree, I do not believe the article is biased. However, I think it gives a view of one segment of the population in Ferguson and their thoughts and feelings about their daily lives in their town. You might not agree with their view as their view may be biased. But it is also their own perspective. Each of our own persepctives are naturally biased and skewed. I think this article is very clear in showing one group of people and their persepctive from their own shoes and through their own eyes.  

Quoting Sweet_Faith:

This article is biased and stereotyping the entire  police department, which by the way stereotyping is a racist thing to do, especially in the case of Brown. How about teaching their children not to break the law and use Brown as an example since that's what this is about because if Brown hadn't committed any robbery breaking the law he'd probably still be alive today. So next time one of these parents need to dial 911 to get help from their local police they'll think twice and thinking I can't trust the police forget dialing 911. See the stupidity and ignorance there? Everyone knows if someoone's trying to break into your home, you will dial 911, I guess trusting  your local law enforcement is there then since you need their help to possibly save your life and your children's lives. Sadly, many police officers have died in the line of duty protecting the law abiding citizens and ALL police officers put their lives on the line everyday for you, me and everyone else.They are fathers, husbands and have families, they are people too and should be respected. SMH


Ms.KitKat
by Gold Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 8:52 PM

I absolutely agree, these children should be at home. The middle of a roit is not place for children. My relationship with the police is a positive one. I view PO to be available to my community to protect and serve. 

I am trying very hard to put aside my experiences from those experiences of these people of ferguson which seem very different. They have had a very different experience of police officers. 

I think the questions we need to be asking is why this happened and what can be done to correct it . The Police Department of ferguson has a lot of work cut out for them to regain the trust of the people they serve.

Quoting Sweet_Faith:

These children should be home, not out on the streets with the crazies breaking the law. Sorry, but these parents are teaching their children to hate and to be racist because we all know the majority of those in Ferguson turned this whole case into a racist thing when it never was.Not to mention telling their children not to trust the police which is telling them to not respect them. So, maybe one day when these kids grow up and for some reason get stopped by an officer mouthe off to him and not comply which will cause them more problems. What these parents NEED to teach their children is to NOT break the law and that's the bottom line.

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

I disagree, I do not believe the article is biased. However, I think it gives a view of one segment of the population in Ferguson and their thoughts and feelings about their daily lives in their town. You might not agree with their view as their view may be biased. But it is also their own perspective. Each of our own persepctives are naturally biased and skewed. I think this article is very clear in showing one group of people and their persepctive from their own shoes and through their own eyes.  

Quoting Sweet_Faith:

This article is biased and stereotyping the entire  police department, which by the way stereotyping is a racist thing to do, especially in the case of Brown. How about teaching their children not to break the law and use Brown as an example since that's what this is about because if Brown hadn't committed any robbery breaking the law he'd probably still be alive today. So next time one of these parents need to dial 911 to get help from their local police they'll think twice and thinking I can't trust the police forget dialing 911. See the stupidity and ignorance there? Everyone knows if someoone's trying to break into your home, you will dial 911, I guess trusting  your local law enforcement is there then since you need their help to possibly save your life and your children's lives. Sadly, many police officers have died in the line of duty protecting the law abiding citizens and ALL police officers put their lives on the line everyday for you, me and everyone else.They are fathers, husbands and have families, they are people too and should be respected. SMH


MeAndTommyLee
by Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 11:06 PM
1 mom liked this
I lived in Chicago for too many years. There are two types of justice and it depends on the color of your skin. I'm white and have never had dealings with police; nor has my DH or my children. However, I have witnessed the police say and do things to black teens walking down a public street that pissrd ME off. They provoke, agitate and misuse their power on the daily bases. The police are out of control.

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

I absolutely agree, these children should be at home. The middle of a roit is not place for children. My relationship with the police is a positive one. I view PO to be available to my community to protect and serve. 

I am trying very hard to put aside my experiences from those experiences of these people of ferguson which seem very different. They have had a very different experience of police officers. 

I think the questions we need to be asking is why this happened and what can be done to correct it . The Police Department of ferguson has a lot of work cut out for them to regain the trust of the people they serve.

Quoting Sweet_Faith:

These children should be home, not out on the streets with the crazies breaking the law. Sorry, but these parents are teaching their children to hate and to be racist because we all know the majority of those in Ferguson turned this whole case into a racist thing when it never was.Not to mention telling their children not to trust the police which is telling them to not respect them. So, maybe one day when these kids grow up and for some reason get stopped by an officer mouthe off to him and not comply which will cause them more problems. What these parents NEED to teach their children is to NOT break the law and that's the bottom line.

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

I disagree, I do not believe the article is biased. However, I think it gives a view of one segment of the population in Ferguson and their thoughts and feelings about their daily lives in their town. You might not agree with their view as their view may be biased. But it is also their own perspective. Each of our own persepctives are naturally biased and skewed. I think this article is very clear in showing one group of people and their persepctive from their own shoes and through their own eyes.  

Quoting Sweet_Faith:

This article is biased and stereotyping the entire  police department, which by the way stereotyping is a racist thing to do, especially in the case of Brown. How about teaching their children not to break the law and use Brown as an example since that's what this is about because if Brown hadn't committed any robbery breaking the law he'd probably still be alive today. So next time one of these parents need to dial 911 to get help from their local police they'll think twice and thinking I can't trust the police forget dialing 911. See the stupidity and ignorance there? Everyone knows if someoone's trying to break into your home, you will dial 911, I guess trusting  your local law enforcement is there then since you need their help to possibly save your life and your children's lives. Sadly, many police officers have died in the line of duty protecting the law abiding citizens and ALL police officers put their lives on the line everyday for you, me and everyone else.They are fathers, husbands and have families, they are people too and should be respected. SMH

Sweet_Faith
by Gold Member on Aug. 22, 2014 at 4:27 AM
2 moms liked this

We all (or most of us) want to know the truth, for justice to be served if Wilson is guilty of cold blooded murder and if he's innocent because he was fighting for his life for an innocent man not to be convicted and we'll soon find out what happened. When it comes to the children, they don't need to be exposed to the hatred and violence and told they can never trust the police which is placing hatred for authority in their hearts. They need to be told to not break the law so that they don't wind up dead like Brown, injured or arrested and in jail with a felony background that will affect them for the rest of their lives and hold them back from being successful in their lives. Chris Rock said it best. "Do not break the law" which is a very simple concept and common sense. If someone should get pulled over by the police then comply with them without any confrontation and there should be no problems for the most part.

I absolutely agree, these children should be at home. The middle of a roit is not place for children. My relationship with the police is a positive one. I view PO to be available to my community to protect and serve. 

I am trying very hard to put aside my experiences from those experiences of these people of ferguson which seem very different. They have had a very different experience of police officers. 

I think the questions we need to be asking is why this happened and what can be done to correct it . The Police Department of ferguson has a lot of work cut out for them to regain the trust of the people they serve.

Quoting Sweet_Faith:

These children should be home, not out on the streets with the crazies breaking the law. Sorry, but these parents are teaching their children to hate and to be racist because we all know the majority of those in Ferguson turned this whole case into a racist thing when it never was.Not to mention telling their children not to trust the police which is telling them to not respect them. So, maybe one day when these kids grow up and for some reason get stopped by an officer mouthe off to him and not comply which will cause them more problems. What these parents NEED to teach their children is to NOT break the law and that's the bottom line.

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

I disagree, I do not believe the article is biased. However, I think it gives a view of one segment of the population in Ferguson and their thoughts and feelings about their daily lives in their town. You might not agree with their view as their view may be biased. But it is also their own perspective. Each of our own persepctives are naturally biased and skewed. I think this article is very clear in showing one group of people and their persepctive from their own shoes and through their own eyes.  

Quoting Sweet_Faith:

This article is biased and stereotyping the entire  police department, which by the way stereotyping is a racist thing to do, especially in the case of Brown. How about teaching their children not to break the law and use Brown as an example since that's what this is about because if Brown hadn't committed any robbery breaking the law he'd probably still be alive today. So next time one of these parents need to dial 911 to get help from their local police they'll think twice and thinking I can't trust the police forget dialing 911. See the stupidity and ignorance there? Everyone knows if someoone's trying to break into your home, you will dial 911, I guess trusting  your local law enforcement is there then since you need their help to possibly save your life and your children's lives. Sadly, many police officers have died in the line of duty protecting the law abiding citizens and ALL police officers put their lives on the line everyday for you, me and everyone else.They are fathers, husbands and have families, they are people too and should be respected. SMH


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