Frank Ocean seapunk

On Sunday afternoon, a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri shot the unarmed 18-year-old black man Michael Brown, and witnesses say that Brown had his hands up, attempting to surrender. Since then, protesters and police have clashed in Ferguson, with a militarized local police force bringing tanks and sniper rifles to demonstrations and firing smoke bombs and tear gas at what appeared to be peaceful gatherings. They also arrested reporters and local politicians and attempted to ban news crews from the site. It was a national travesty. Last night, things apparently settled down in Ferguson, thanks in part to the fact that Missouri State Highway Police Captain Ron Johnson was brought in to command Ferguson police, and that he tried radical solutions like walking with protesters and talking to them rather than gassing them and provoking them. Still, there was something off-puttingly stagey about all the morning-news images of Johnson, a black man, walking among protesters, shaking hands and hugging people this morning. The implication seemed to be that everything is OK now, and that just doesn’t seem possible. Frank Ocean seemed to be having similar feelings this morning. On his Tumblr, Ocean posted a photo from a Ron Johnson press conference, and he wrote this:

You see that black woman standing up there? I wonder if she was called to stand behind the governor because she’s black. I wonder if i’m supposed to think Missouri’s gov’t is pro-black because of her being stood up there with those other black men being all black and everything. I wonder if she was off the clock while she stood up there. If she was off the clock..then i wonder if she was getting paid for her time off like the guy who shot Michael 8 times. What’s that guy’s name by the way?

(via Ocean’s Tumblr)

Actually, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson revealed the name of Brown’s killer this morning. It’s Darren Wilson.

Meanwhile, J. Cole shared “Be Free,” a song about Ferguson, this morning. It samples eyewitness accounts of the killing. Here it is:

Killer Mike also shared some thoughts on Brown’s killing earlier this week.

Comments (5)
  1. In an attempt to avoid the politics regarding the incident in Ferguson, J. Coles “Be Free” stands as a polarizing and deeply affecting emotional piece of music. I applaud his effort to rise above the racial issues surrounding its context, but the reality of his pleading is unavoidable. Song of the year IMO.

    • Why would anyone want to “rise above” the racial issues surrounding its context, when they are the core of the issue? Unless I didn’t understand what you mean.

      • His words:
        “Rest in Peace to Michael Brown and to every young black man murdered in America, whether by the hands of white or black. I pray that one day the world will be filled with peace and rid of injustice. Only then will we all Be Free” – Cole

        To me, that appears like someone who is directly responding beyond the core reality to make it his case clear that, white or black, “shit needs to stop.” A plea stemming from exhaustion rather than anger.

        I immediately felt a energy similar to Lennon’s “Imagine’ after hearing the song. I guess I see his words as a cry for help rather than voice of anger. Regardless, its a deeply affecting song.

  2. It really depresses me that the “radical solutions” were to walk and talk with the people, and gassing them was the go-to way to handle it. Why is it not the other way around? Whilst America always prides itself as the land of the free, democratic and all that, I’ll only believe it when I see it!

  3. Actually, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson revealed the name of Brown’s killer this morning. It’s Darren Wilson.

    And actually, the police chief then went on to gratuitously assassinate Michael Brown’s character with a video. Completely inflammatory, fucked up and bullshit.

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