Monday, August 11, 2014

We Are Michael Brown

Note: This post is "off topic" as far as chronic illness goes. 
But I have to write this, if only for my own sanity. 

This morning I wandered down to the common area, which is nothing unusual.

I was met with a staff member, a young mother of three children. My interest in obtaining medication and lying back down (I've been sick for a few days...more so than usual) was abated however, when she asked me if I'd seen the news.

I told her I had not. I'd parted with technology for a few weeks save for brief moments.

Her voice became higher pitch. This mother of three started to speak of a scenario that doesn't happen in Missouri. One where a white cop shoots a black teen for no reason other than his own ego. I made almost to correct her, as this is what happened in Florida with Trevon Martin last summer.

But before I could attempt to rationalize this to her (more so for myself, as this kind of evil just...can't happen so close to home), she detailed another cop within the same street arrested a woman and -- as camera shows -- robbed her.

He took her wallet, dumped the money out on the sidewalk, can tossed the wallet away. As if in this act he could wipe her entire existence even from where she stood.

 Members of the community, in an outrage, seized the town, looting material goods to symbolize their hatred toward the clean image of a nation that is so unfathomably riddled with dirty cops.

And after looking away from the computer, I looked at this staff member. She is two years younger than me at age 25. And she has two little boys who are biracial.

Could this happen one day to someone I genuinely care about?

Now that is the image I saw before coming back to my apartment, where I proceeded to vomit. And shriek.

We have learned nothing as a people. It is known that those who do not draw wisdom from history are doomed to repeat, and in this case one could easily recall the Trevon Martin case in Florida in 2013.

But this is even far more serious. This murder symbolizes the police's contempt for those who do not bow to orders, especially those who are of dark skin. Not only that, but the fact that this happened in broad daylight, on a busy street, in a lackadaisical manner (video footage is available all over the Internet)...the police intend and expect to get away with it.

The civil rights so valiantly fought for by those such as Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and even Ruby Bridges are being trampled upon...just because an"officer" (I will not humor this animal the title as such) in uniform became irate when an 18 year old young man wouldn't get out of the street when ordered to.

A precedent is being sent that if you disregard an out of line officer barking menacing, needless orders or  attempt to evade an unnecessary pursuit, then that officer has a right to take your life.

Especially if you are a young black man.

When civil rights in this country are trampled upon after so much went into enacting them into law, how dare we be surprised when what follows is civil disobedience? If anything this should have happened sooner. If anything, the numerous times that law enforcement and the judicial system has abused their power should have been called to task long, long ago.

I do not want to be citizen of a nation where we teach the horrors of the holocaust, but bring concentration camps to other countries (Guantanamo Bay) to imprison their own inhabitants.

I do not live in a time where lynching someone for the color of their skin in fine, and I do refuse to sit back in silence as it becomes somewhat of a fad for law enforcement to repeat this practice, only this time using a gun in favor of a rope.

I will not pledge my allegiance to flag that represents itself to be One Nation Indivisible when this in fact we are so divisive that we are just as Rome, almost ready for the fall.

Dr. King had a dream. Do remember what it was? He dreamed that one day his four little children would one day live in a nation where they weren't judged upon the color of their skin, but of the content of their character.

He gave is life for that dream. We devote one measly day in January to this man and his dream, in a brash declaration that we have achieved.

We have so very far to go, and -- crestfallen -- I daresay we may never arrive. And while I didn't ever expect perfection or even what could be called real "equality", I NEVER EXPECTED THIS TO BE THE NATION I INHERITED.

The demonstrators who took part in their protest collectively cried out "We Are Michael Brown". This was because we are now in a time once again of "us" versus "them". And the lines of "us" and "them" are rather hazy, for this is not an issue that is black or white; rather, it is a pandemic of the Human Condition where we are called to stand for what is right...but heretofore we figured it was ok to sit, for there must be enough on their feet already.

But now, it is a time to put the words of the most poignant speeches we claim be inspired by into action:

To the ones who have looked upon two police cruisers tailing one ghetto car containing one sixteen year old kid who wasn't wearing a seatbelt and shook our heads in disbelief,

To the ones who cry out in visceral pain when hearing the term "water boarding"

To the ones who are avid reader's of Orwell's work and have been shuddering at the likeness this time has with 1984

To the ones who are afraid to send their children to school

To all of those who are parents who have lost their sons

To all growing weary of a world we struggle to find our voices only to not be heard

To the ones who are committed to making history, because enough is enough;

We are Michael Brown.

Expect Us.

"And when this happens, and when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Nego spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God almighty we are free at last!"
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"I Have A Dream" at Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.
1963

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