Tuesday, August 19, 2014

how the rest of the world sees uhmurkah's shitty drawls....,


WaPo |  In many ways, the chaotic situation in Ferguson, Mo., seems like something that shouldn't happen in America. As WorldViews has noted, many of the hallmarks of the conflict are reminiscent of scenes from the Arab Spring and the Ukraine crisis – our former colleague Max Fisher has even wondered how American journalists would cover Ferguson, if only it weren't happening "here."
There are plenty of foreign journalists reporting on Ferguson, however, and for them, Ferguson is international news. Their coverage of the shooting of Michael Brown and the subsequent unrest can offer a refreshing viewpoint on America's many problems. They can also reveal a lot about how such disturbances are viewed at home.

For most Americans, the most familiar foreign news outlets covering Ferguson will probably be the British ones: Not only is there a shared language, but some British outlets, most obviously the Guardian but also the BBC and the Daily Mail, have made big pushes into the U.S. news market. Notably, some publications are treating the conflict as they might a war zone — the Telegraph has sent its Afghanistan correspondent, Rob Crilly, to cover the protests, for example (he was arrested while reporting this weekend).

British coverage of Ferguson has emphasized the racial drama that lies behind the riots and the scale of the police response. And while Britain has had its own problems with race and riots (most notably the 2011 events in London and elsewhere, also caused by a police shooting involving a young black man), some journalists are struck more by the differences than the similarities. "While the [London riots] were at their worst, people were calling for rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons to be used against the rioters," Abigail Chandler of the free newspaper the Metro writes. "Ferguson is a living example of why we should be immensely grateful that those tactics were never used during the U.K. riots."

The German media leveled harsher criticism. Zeit Online, a centrist news site, saw the death of Brown as testimony of deep-rooted racism in the United States and concluded that “the situation of African-Americans has barely improved since Martin Luther King.” The publication went as far as to say that the “dream of a post-racist society, which flared up after the election of [President] Obama, seems further away than ever before.” Such criticism was echoed by its conservative competitor Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of  the biggest newspapers in Germany, which also specifically singled out the U.S. president for his failures: “It seems like mockery that [Obama] is still called the most powerful man on earth.”

Spiegel Online, a centrist, left-leaning publication, discussed Ferguson with Marcel Kuhlmey, an academic who studies police reactions. Kuhlmey told the site that in Germany, “weapons are the last resort, but in the U.S. police officers make use of them much faster” and went on to say that the “last time the German police owned assault rifles [which are being used in Ferguson] was during the Cold War.” The expert concluded that police officers “would never proceed like this in Germany." Fist tap Vic.