Two guys — a blogger and his friend — after watching the blu-ray of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part One on the friend’s giant plasma TV:

Blogger: “So, let me get this straight. You were cheering for Katniss and her friends in their rebellion against the evil oppressors.”

Friend: “Right.”

Blogger: “But she’s acting in an anti-authoritarian way.”

Friend: “Well, yeah. But the authorities in The Hunger Games is totally evil. The’re the empire trying to crush the rebellion. The government in The Hunger Games is lying. They say they’re carrying out justice with justifiable force, but in fact they’re abusing their powers to take advantage of people. If the citizens remain silent, they’re casting their votes for the continuation of oppression. They’re answering a higher call. They’re putting their lives on the line for the good of others.”

Blogger: “Okay, that’s what I was hoping you’d say. Because I want to remind you of something….

“When #Ferguson was in the news a few months ago, and I expressed anger about injustice, and said that I hoped God would show mercy on the oppressed and bring justice against the oppressors, you told me to back off. You kept saying, ‘This isn’t about oppression or racism. This is about Michael Brown disobeying a cop and reaching for his gun. You do that, you’re going to get shot. The cop had a right to defend himself.

“I told you that I thought there was more to it than that. I said that, regardless of Michael Brown’s resistance, I thought it was extreme and irresponsible for the cop to get out of the car, pursue him, and shoot him in the street, and claim that those many, many bullets were fired in self-defense. It didn’t sound right at all. But you… you told me that if I supported the protesters, I was casting my vote for anarchy. You said I was voting against law and order.”

Friend: “Well, that’s different. You don’t dive for a cop’s gun when all he’s done is ask you to step out of the road.”

Blogger: “I agree. That was a stupid move. But consider this: That incident does not happen in a vacuum. It happens in the context of Ferguson.”

Friend: “Do you live in Ferguson? Do you know what life is like there?”

Blogger: “I’ve read many personal testimonies. I have friends who went and joined the protest marches, and came back with very different experiences than the kind of stories being told on FOX News. I closely followed the journalists who were down there reporting what they saw and experienced, instead of the FOX News reporters who sat behind their desks and tried to convince us that this was just a case of a bunch of black troublemakers disrespecting the authority of the our blameless white law enforcement. And I saw and heard enough of testimonies to be convinced. I sense, in the near-unanimity of the Ferguson community’s anger, something genuine. This is the kind of community anger that comes from years and years of oppression. Their behavior seemed consistent with the voices that have cried out, throughout American history, for civil rights, standing up bravely against racism and injustice.”

Friend: “But why favor what the protesters say over what the cops say about what life is like there? Cops are human too.”

Blogger: “Because, whether they like it or not, the people who were saying that the law had the moral high ground were people who spoke from a place of privilege, not from a place of poverty. Jesus spoke relentlessly about caring for the poor, about being among them, about serving them.

“And anyway, did you see the news today?”

Friend: “What now?”

Blogger: “Today the United States Justice Department made this report — and I quote: In Ferguson,

…blacks were disproportionately targeted by the police and the justice system.

Blacks make up 67 percent of the population in Ferguson. But they make up 85 percent of people subject to vehicle stops and 93 percent of those arrested. Blacks are twice as likely to be searched as whites, but less likely to have drugs or weapons.

The report found that 88 percent of times in which Ferguson police used force it was against blacks and all 14 cases of police dog bites involved blacks.

“Go back and read that one line again. ‘Blacks are twice as likely to be searched as whites, but less likely to have drugs or weapons.

“Now… if you live in that community — one that is routinely abused and unfairly targeted — and you’re walking down the street, and one of your abusers yells at you, do you think it’s remotely possible that you might snap? That you might lose your temper?

“I’m not saying I think Michael Brown did a heroic thing by reaching for the cop’s gun. I think it was probably a moment of weakness, a moment of lost temper and loss of restraint. But still, that moment — and even more so, the protesters that filled the streets in response to the entirely unnecessary pursuit and killing of that angry but unarmed young man — sounds to me like a Mockingjay moment. A moment when prejudiced, abusive authorities thought they could just do what they so often do — target one particular community unfairly, and carry on with the status-quo of prejudice, exploitation, and arrogance.”

Friend: “Hey, look!” [He points at the television.] Have you seen this? It’s the new trailer for Insurgent.”

Privacy Preference Center