Well, that happened: Using hashtags to scream silently

By on December 9, 2014
121014wellhappen.lead

Screenshot from Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer. ANDREW MUNZ

#WeCantBreathe

“Man, they’re protesting in the streets,” I said, looking through my Twitter feed.

“Who?” my friend asked.

“Everyone! Because of the Garner grand jury ruling.”

“The what?”

He had no idea what I was talking about, and, after a quick game of catch-up, he still wasn’t familiar with Eric Garner’s death at the hands of an NYPD officer. I guess I could have been more annoyed by my friend’s ambivalence, but it’s a testament to Jackson Hole’s Hole-ness that we can so easily miss out on the outside world as we huddle under ourWyoming blankets. This is no one’s fault, but rather, just the way life tends to work out here.

Garner’s death should never have happened. So many have watched the footage of the incident and have come to the same conclusion, agreeing that the grand jury’s ruling is unfair and one-sided. The United States is notorious for breeding an overly entitled police force, and excess force is abused daily. Injustice is injustice, black or white, and we should be thankful that we have a peaceful community protected by a dedicated police force.

We can breathe up here at 6,200 feet. But so many elsewhere are unable to.

#HandsUpDontShoot

A video showed Ferguson protestors marching through the streets of Gerald and Rosebud on their way to Jefferson City. As the protesters walked, they passed a series of white protestors supporting the grand jury decision to clear Darren Wilson for the death of Michael Brown.

“Grand Jury was right! Justice was served!” read one sign. Nearby, a small “trap” of fried chicken, beer and melon was set out. One protestor wore a white mask, not unlike a Ku Klux Klan hood.

Anyone claiming that racism is not an issue in this country is willfully ignorant or getting their news from all the wrong sources. Watching videos like this one only emphasizes our society’s slippery slope toward more social injustice and violence among citizens. The protests in Missouri and across the country have been covered extensively, but I fear that, like the Ebola “epidemic,” these news stories will disappear into a whirlpool of spin and rhetoric.

I can only hope that, for the sake of our country’s future, the Journey For Justice will continue.

#BlackStormtrooper

The release of the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens has broken the Internet more than Kim Kardashian’s exposed ass on the cover of Paper Magazine. While the 88-second trailer is full of nostalgia without actually showcasing any characters we’re familiar with, many people have focused on John Boyega’s appearance.

“Stormtroopers ain’t black!” one Twitter user posted, referencing Boyega’s costume. Many people expressed the same outrage, referencing plot points that supposedly negated the existence of black soldiers in the Star Wars Universe.

That being said, Ridley Scott’s upcoming Moses movie, Exodus: Gods and Kings, features Sigourney Weaver as Tuya, the

Pharaoh’s mother. And yet, #WhiteEgyptianQueen is not a trending hashtag.

John Boyega has since defended his character’s presence in the Star Wars trailer, stating: “Get used to it.” It’s a phrase that should have been adapted by the whole country during the civil rights movement of the 1960s, but unfortunately racism still lingers, as all encompassing and elusive as the dark side of the Force.

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