▣ Black●ut Friday ▣

Friday, November 28, 2014

Assuming that you’re not living under a rock, you know by now the far-reaching effects of the verdict of the Mike Brown case. Announced on Monday evening at the Clayton Courthouse in St Louis (just 2 miles from my house), Officer Darren Wilson was not indicted, reminding us all that America is not the angel we pretend she is. Or really, our system is not the Bible we preach it to be.
Unfortunately, we are in the midst of a national wakeup call and the national holiday season that lauds "the Bible"-we all know capitalism and Christmas go hand in hand, right? Alas, we have ourselves a Grinch. But...the Ferguson verdict is not a metaphorical Grinch. We are our own Grinches. If you recall in the Dr. Seuss story, the Grinch's heart grew when he heard the Whos singing Christmas carols after he had stolen their presents. The singing echoed up to Mount Crumpit and flooded into the Grinch's ears, mind, and soul, miraculously invigorating him with Christmas spirit. Not the spirit of materialism, but the spirit of higher power.

Sounds like something we could all use right about now. Today, the Friday following Thanksgiving, usually marks the consumer-craziness we call "Black Friday." This year, we #shutitdown and turned it into Blackout Friday. And, oddly enough, some of today's events weren't all so different from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "how the Whos took Christmas back." 

I attended a peaceful protest today at the St Louis Galleria, only about a mile from my home. The protest was indeed peaceful-and very effective. We marched around the mall for about an hour, chanting protests often in sing-song; peacefully inciting mall-goers (and a ton of media) to watch or (better yet) join us; demonstrating what Mike Brown's death looked like (a symbolic 4.5 minutes spent lying on the ground for the 4.5 hours he spent on the ground after being shot by Wilson); and we shut the mall down. By the time I entered the mall at around 12:30, the storefronts on the second floor already knew about the protest and had locked their doors. By the time I left the mall at around 2 pm, it was shut down! A job well done, and a job far-reaching. Shoppers flock to the Galleria from all over-rich and poor, young and old, black and white and brown and yellow... and specifically on Black Friday, for the spirit of red & green. We're all "Who" shoppers in the greater scheme-it doesn't matter who you are~we all participate in holiday materialism. The protest reminded the Whos and the Grinches of the Galleria that the true spirit of humanity/the holidays is love and unity. 

I wish you a good start to your holidays, and remember to count your blessings, especially at the end of this turbulent year

xo  SFB

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