Ferguson.

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This powerful photograph was captured by Whitney Curtis for The New York Times. "In another day of demonstrations, protesters chanting 'Don’t shoot!' marched in front of the St. Louis County prosecutor’s office on Tuesday, demanding the arrest of a police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager."

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  1. Glitch says:

    Something seems off about this photograph.

    The thing that stands out most for me is the strange combination of garments. We've got desert tan tactical boots of some sort, woodland MARPAT Marine Corps camouflage BDU bottoms, olive drab tactical shirts, and matte black helmets. There's also the fact that aside from the shoulder patches and backplates that read "Police", there are no badges or nametags or other individual identifiers.

    The photograph caption describes these as officers in riot gear, but this is NOT riot gear. I even checked to see if it was some regional district-specifc quirk, and Google image search quickly reveals that Ferguson Police employ actual riot gear, with the unified black and blue outfits and the riot shields and vests you would expect.

    What's going on here? Why the hodgepodge gear that looks like someone raided a military surplus store? Why do they have rifles (seemingly the Ruger SR-556?), but lack holstered sidearms? Why is the photograph set a good distance away from police lights in the background, on the other side of a fence? Was this perhaps staged? The SR-556 is popular with police and military forces, but it's equally popular with Airsoft enthusiasts.

    I honestly don't know what to think. There are a lot of odd inconsistencies here that I find to be unpleasantly niggling. Can someone help me look into this more?

    I'd really like this to just be a case of unusual equipment choices of the same gun-crazy police force that allowed the event that sparked this civil unrest to happen in the first place, but I'd rest easier knowing the truth about this photograph rather than take it at face value.

  2. Now you might think that the goobers on various right wing sites would be on the side of the protesters. After all, they claim they are being oppressed by the government, they expect cops to kick in their doors and take their guns (or is it the Obama immigrant child soldier militia, I can't keep that straight), FEMA is going to put them in concentration camps, the Antichrist is about to slaughter the Christians, UN armored cars already prowl the streets, and the militias gather at the Bundy ranch to push back against the federal government. Surely they would stand in solidarity with their black brothers against the iron heel of gubmint oppression.

    Let's check..........

    Nope, they are having a collective orgasm over the death of another unarmed black teen.

  3. Once upon a time there was a thread about racism.

    In the thread, a commenter came along and said a word beginning with a very special syllable.

    The commenter believed they were being terribly clever! While other commenters might foolishly assume the word was derived from an ethnic slur, its author was in fact setting an ingenious linguistic trap for all the ignorant rubes.

    At the first sign of offense taken, he leapt to his virtual feet and cried "AHA! That word is in fact unrelated to the racist slur!"

    Then he explained what homonyms are.

    Sadly, everyone had been through this etymological rigmarole a million times. They had seen it all before. It turns out it wasn't clever or funny at all!

    It was as if the very effort to invoke a racist term under a veneer of discursive legitimacy had become obvious. The winking, transgressive pleasure of innuendo was no more.

    "But don't they know it's not really a racist term?" said the commenter. "How could everyone be so dumb? It's a perfectly legitimate word."

    Sadly, no-one was fooled.

    The End.

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