gratitude-a-thon day 473: grateful there wasn’t more violence, but that’s about all

nelson-mandela-quotes-about-racism

I wanted to write a light and airy post today. I wanted to talk more about gratitude, when so many people have their minds on it, as they bake pies and consider the pilgrims and Plymouth Rock and those silly hats with the buckles. Thought I might take this moment to engage someone to consider getting into the habit of gratituding. You know, strike while the turkey, I mean iron is hot, kind of thing.

But I can’t think of anything, but Michael Brown’s family this morning, who has not only lost their child, but has also been smacked in the face by a Grand Jury who appears to have been watching Wheel of Fortune instead of listening to the case. How else could they have reached the conclusion not to indict Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Michael Brown? 

Indicting Wilson would have meant a public trial. If indeed the Grand Jury was correct in their assessment of this case, would it not have been better to have played this thing out in public? This thing, which has made lucidly clear the fact that although we have an African American president, this country is still riddled with racists.

Ferguson erupted in violence last night. Under a banner that said “Season’s Greetings,” the police marched in a line down the street throwing tear gas into the crowds of people who were feeling angry and  powerless. I am not a violent girl, but I had rage last night. I wanted to go out on Elm Street and protest. I just knew my voice wouldn’t be heard. And you know what? I’m guessing that’s what every one of the citizens who were being gassed in Ferguson felt like last night, like their voices weren’t being heard either. Take away power and you take away dignity.

What are we doing?

I haven’t got any answers. But I think we just all need to be clear about one thing. And that is that if you think racism is no longer a thing in America, you are 100% wrong. It’s still alive and kicking. It’s still one of the issues of our time. It’s still killing us.

Here’s what Michael Brown’s family had to say in response to the announcement:

“We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions.

While we understand that many others share our pain, we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change. We need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen.

Join with us in our campaign to ensure that every police officer working the streets in this country wears a body camera.

We respectfully ask that you please keep your protests peaceful. Answering violence with violence is not the appropriate reaction.

Let’s not just make noise, let’s make a difference.”

“Let’s not make noise, let’s make a difference.” Yes. Let’s try and do that. In the name of Michael Brown. Because would this have happened if Brown had been white? It’s a simple answer, and I’m pretty sure it’s no.