*The frustrations of American youth concerning the recent police deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown are evident in sustained protesting and in artistic expressions on the streets and online. Plus, in the cries out in the form of digital art forms that plead for attention concerning police brutality against blacks.
“Young people have decided that enough is enough and that its no longer a time for slow incremental change or for compromise. And that what we need right now are radical shifts in our social system, in our economic system and in our criminal system,” said Alica Garcia of #BlackLivesMatter, a ‘co-creator of the new civil rights movement.’ in a YouTube interview.
Still the traditional marches and rally’s take place, and thanks to modern platforms like social media and digital podiums we see perhaps more creative protests then we did in the civil rights era of the 60s. Today’s youth are sounding off in ways unique to the times on the world wide internet. Read below for three varying instances.
Although, many of the digital works are non-threatening others are not so, and range from violent imagery with faked death plots to wanton and murderous. Scroll through to the end to see videos and photos.
A deadly example is 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley’s expression, he took to twitter and announced his plans to make himself known for doing something ‘right,’ he said. To finalize his broadcast intent he took to the streets and allegedly killed two NYPD officers; Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, execution style.
Ismaaiyl Brinsley’s twitter post on the day of the NYPD officer double murders
Two more poetic examples follow, a reported 17-year-old, J-Jon releases a song on YouTube entitled “C.O.P (Criminals With Permission).” The song went viral garnering heavy attention. Rumors spread that the artist was found dead blocks from his house two weeks after his release of “C.O.P.”
Watch J-Jon’s video here:
EURweb found that tales of J-Jon’s death were removed from major online news sources and chalked up later as rumor. Its confirmed that the rapper is still alive and online making more videos. A good question is were the death rumors apart of J-Jon’s presentation; a type of ‘protest artistry; ‘ sensation suspense and subplot.
The second example, more mild in its sway, was emailed directly to EURweb. Spoken word artist, 17-year-old Christopher Xavier did a stand up piece entitled, “I Can’t Breathe.” It too, is an impassioned cry out about the deaths of Garner and Brown coupled with artistry and in place for mass attention.
“We aren’t valued. I’m sorry but that’s a sad truth,” Xavier says in ‘I can’t breath.’ He later inquires, “Officer why you always got to bother me. I didn’t do nothing.” With a perplexed face, in his video presentation, he asks the courts ‘how don’t you see something wrong with the death of the innocent.”
Watch Christopher Xavier’s video here:
“Its a different moment today. So the needs are different, the conditions are different. So its really important that leaders and elders in particular are listening to whats changed and listening to what’s needed,” Garcia said.
There are several groups country wide that are active for passionate young people who want to join and collaborate with other youth. They include the Black Youth Project, Millennium Activist United, and Hands Up United. Also, Dream Defenders, and Dignity and Power Now are available to those who want to participate in organized protest efforts.
In her video interview, Garcia told Dena Tackruri at the Post News Group that her organization, #BlackLivesMatter advocates ‘those type of tactics that really shake up the comfort level.’
Questions to ponder:
The idea of a new civil rights movement is a growing buzz term. Considering the potential for speedy mass dissemination of ideas and agendas, because of the internet; if indeed we are going there (a new civil rights movement) will its effect outreach the movement of the 60s?
We experienced change because of the 60s movement; what are the possible outcomes for a movement of today?
New terms: Online video protest, sensational protesting