This video shows a group of young African American kids, aged 6 to 13, from Ferguson, MO speaking candidly and sarcastically about the issues in their community in light of the 2014 Ferguson, MO riots and ongoing tension between the mostly black community and the mostly white law enforcement, ignited over the death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown. After shoplifting from a convenience store, Brown was walking with his friend when they were stopped by a white police officer, Darren Wilson, who had been notified of the robbery. An altercation ensued, and Wilson fatally shot the unarmed teenager. This incident spotlighted ongoing, systemic racial profiling and racial discrimination in Ferguson, and prompted larger conversations about stop and frisk laws around the nation. In the video, the kids all wear t-shirts that say, “Racism is not over. But I’m over racism,” and highlight the ignorance that white people often have over the topic of racism, using phrases such as, “Is racism still a thing?” The kids answer, “Just because Beyonce is on your playlist, and you voted for Obama, it doesn’t mean our generation has seen the end of racist drama.” The kids go on to present statistics about systemic racial discrimination, such as stop-and-frisk policies and job discrimination. This video, from the activist site fckh8.com, uses kids and a lighthearted tone to contrast with the heavy subject matter. In doing so, the video exposes and pokes fun at the racial issues, particularly between whites and blacks, and America’s lack of acknowledgement over issues that clearly still exist. At the end, a white man comes on screen and says that the first step to combatting racism is acknowledging it.
The kids in the video acknowledge a lot of issues that have long been ignored or unaddressed. What do you think is the effect of using kids instead of adults in this video? Would people have taken the video more or less seriously if adults were speaking?
The kids employ heavy sarcasm in the video. Why do you think the makers of the film made this creative decision?
Who do you think is the intended audience of this video, and do you think it was effective?