Words matter. As some media outlets have framed the ongoing protests in Ferguson as chaotic riots, others have portrayed them as part of a community and youth-led movement. Part of the reason the protests are getting so much attention nationwide is that they link together the death of Mike Brown with many systemic issues that particularly affect young people and people of color. As Carimah Townes notes on Think Progress, “At the heart of this dynamic movement are youth who want both justice for victims like Brown and [Vonderrit] Myers and larger changes in the political and economic system.”
The most poignant recent example of this view of the protests came from MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry show. On Monday, Melissa Harris-Perry interviewed a Ferguson activist who was all of 11 years old.
“Young people are once again making their voices heard. Since the shooting in August, they have been there on the front lines, protesting, organizing, lobbying for change in the way their communities are policed,” said Harris-Perry, introducing the young Marquis Govan, who made national headlines when he addressed the St. Louis County Council about police using tear gas on protesters. He told the council, “The people of Ferguson, I believe, don't need tear gas thrown at them. I believe they need jobs.”
Watch the interview right here:
Related Reading: Despite What the Ferguson Prosecutor Says, Public Outcry is Good.
Sarah Mirk is Bitch Media's online editor.