Ferguson Rapper Tef Poe: 'Americans Don't Tear Gas Other Americans'

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Demonstrators protesting the shooting death of Michael Brown make their voices heard on August 17, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Violent outbreaks have taken place in Ferguson since the shooting death of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer on August 9th. 

The rapper Tef Poe -- real name Kareem Jackson -- from Ferguson, Mo., published an essay in Time this week on the events that took place after police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Mike Brown on Aug. 9. Read the piece here.

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"A week before all of this madness," writes Jackson of the police response to the protests in Ferguson, "I never thought I would see German shepherds and sniper rifles directed toward children and adults alike with my very own eyes."

In a particularly powerful passage, he describes the state of racial inequality in America: "We live in America but we are clearly not included as Americans. Americans don’t unleash a completely militarized force upon other Americans. Americans don’t tear gas other Americans. Americans don’t drive tanks over the front yards of other Americans."

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So far, few artists other than rappers have been willing to address the situation in Ferguson. Jackson ends his piece with a vow to continue the struggle. "They cannot kill us all. They cannot throw us all in jail. We want justice for Michael Brown and every victim of police brutality."