PENNIES FROM HEAVEN

VANDALISM VICTIM GETS QUARTER MILLION DOLLARS

Natalie Dubose of Natalie's Cakes. Her bakery was trashed by rioters for no reason.

Natalie Dubose of Natalie’s Cakes. Her bakery was trashed by rioters for no reason.

The Tech Explosion giveth and the Tech Explosion taketh away, or vice-versa. In a heartwarming turn of events, a Ferguson, MO woman has received over $263,000 dollars in donations to help rebuild her bakery which was damaged in the riots following the Ferguson decision. This online outpouring of support is a great thing to see, especially in the wake of the senseless violence and destruction that has taken place.

Ferguson Riots in Response to Grand Jury  Decision

Ferguson Riots in Response to Grand Jury Decision

Oddly enough, social media due to the Tech Explosion had a huge role in allowing protesters to readily organize. In addition, various splinter groups formed with the intention of going too far and destroying property. Ironically, black protesters rioted, destroying black-owned businesses, in black neighborhoods. There were definitely white-owned businesses impacted as well and it is truly unfortunate that this incident is so racially polarizing. Destroying your very own neighborhood in order to make a point seems, to most people, to be beyond all common sense. That, however, is an issue for a separate study on human behavior and crowd psychology.

In the most ironic incident of all, the actual church attended by Michael Brown’s own family was burned to the ground. The Flood Christian Church was completely destroyed.

Store burned down in Ferguson, MO.

Store burned down in Ferguson, MO.

One would hope that online support would build for the other businesses that were destroyed or damaged. There were numerous businesses negatively affected, with multiple incidents of entire buildings being burned to the ground. This devastation is so reckless, so inconsiderate and so senseless that most people can not even attempt to comprehend it. An auto parts store, a convenience store and many others were completely destroyed. The question is, Why would a business owner want to rebuild under these circumstances, unless they see an outpouring of support from the level-headed members of the community?

The posting for Natalie’s Cakes at GoFundMe.org is continuing to raise funds literally by the minute.

Natalie's Cakes PhotoJPG

Natalie of “Natalie’s Cakes Bakery” takes comfort in the huge outpouring of support online.

It is truly incredible to see, with the power of the Tech Explosion, how stories such as this can create a positive outlook from a horribly negative situation.

Let’s look at the true impact of the Tech Explosion on this entire situation. From start to finish, effects of the Tech Explosion have greatly impacted every facet of this situation.

1. As soon as Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown the story and images went viral. Unfortunately, rumors, misinformation and outright lies were quickly spread on Facebook and Twitter. False and misleading eyewitness testimony from numerous sources is clearly contradicted by the evidence presented to the Grand Jury. However, due to the power of social media, misinformation and falsehoods were accepted as fact by a large portion of the public. This is due to the recent nature of news spreading virally. Protesters were made up primarily of young people, who get their news from Twitter and Instagram and never, ever watch network news coverage or read the New York Times.

2. In an attempt to try to counter the negative public perception, the Ferguson Prosecuters Office released video showing Michael Brown manhandling a store clerk as Brown apparently steals a box of cigars. The release of this video goes viral, and protesters turn violent in reaction to what they perceive is an attempt to discredit Brown, who is now dead.

3. The media firestorm ensues, with endless coverage of protests, leading to a buildup to the Grand Jury Decision. Ultimately, the Grand Jury decision is made in favor of not indicting Officer Wilson. This leads to an enormous response on the streets, including widespread vandalism. Numerous businesses are attacked and looted. The protesters destroy parts of their own community, including Natalie’s Cakes bakery.

4. An online outpouring of support ensues, highlighted by the GoFundMe.org posting for Natalie’s Bakery. Now, the social media influence swings in the other direction. The power of the Tech Explosion leads people nationwide, and beyond, to support those who have been negatively affected by the riots.

5. On the other hand, online support also comes about, supporting Michael Brown’s family.

6. In addition, support builds online for Officer Wilson, who decided to resign from the police force in order to not be a distraction to the Ferguson Police Department. There are reports of an anonymous woman raising over $500,000 for Officer Wilson’d defense and legal fees that could be growing to far more money.

In the case of Natalie’s Cakes, the GoFundMe.org post clearly struck a chord with many people. The owner of this small business, Natalie Dubose, is now the beneficiary of an incredible amount of support. According to the site, the Natalie’s Cakes posting was created by Kristine Froeba. The site has raised well over $263,000.00 from over 8,000 donors in only 5 days. Now, that’s the power of the Tech Explosion!

Looting in Ferguson.

Looting in Ferguson.

Again, if you take a step back and look at the impact of social media and the Tech Explosion, initial false statements and rumors lead to the initial protests and riots, the subsequent release of the security camera footage, leading to more riots, the ability of protesters to easily organize to create havoc, and then the eventual outpouring of support for victims of the violence.

This drastic social change is so new to all of us that we haven’t fully wrapped our heads around it. Public perception can now be quickly influenced, protesters can easily organize, causing potential havoc, and good-hearted citizens can make a change for the better…All of these fueled by the Tech Explosion.

Multiple sites have sprung up to help other businesses as well. Again, this is the incredible power of the internet and social media for both good and bad. Maybe you too have felt a desire to help those affected in some way. Maybe the Santa Claus in all of us will help make some miracles for these innocent victims of random violence.

Here is a partial list of sites to help businesses that were damaged, looted or destroyed:

Beauty World, A small beauty supply store heavily damaged on South Florissant Road.

Cathy’s Kitchen, A restaurant on South Florissant.

Cose Dolci Bakery, Another bakery on South Florissant.

El Palenque, A Mexican restaurant damaged on South Florissant.

Faraci’s Pizza, A small pizzaria on South Florissant.

Little Caesar’s, Independently owned pizzaria, burned down South Florissant.

Dellwood Conoco, A gas station burned down on West Florissant Avenue.

Fashions R Boutique, A women’s boutique burned down on West Florissant.

Ferguson Market & Liquor, A shop repeatedly looted and damaged on West Florissant.

Flood Christian Church, A church attended by Michael Brown Sr. burned on West Florissant.

Sam’s Meat Market, A local market that was repeatedly looted and damaged on West Florissant.

Solo Insurance Services, on West Florissant.

STL Cordless, mobile phone shop looted and damaged on West Florissant.

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