Saturday night I was scrolling through my news feeds on Twitter. Then, unfortunate news tweets show up in droves on my smartphone: “black young man unarmed shot dead in Ferguson, Missouri.” The headlines were different but the titles remained the same.
Days after, analysis after analysis and commentary on white-on-black crime, police brutality and distrust as well as racial injustice followed.
History repeated itself over the past few days as rioting and looting ensued, and intense police response of a militarized kind against peaceful protesters unfolded in a scene similar to that of a major battle in a far of country.
But, my deep concern is how we are carrying on as Americans and how will we carry on months to come? We watch the coverage and we make our opinions known in our jobs, in our places of worship, around our dinner tables and at the water cooler, but, will we remember months and maybe even years after.
Will their be change in ourselves and in our communities and will we work one day at a time, together, to improve and make things better after all of this.
We can no longer continue as a community and as a country get angry every time an incident like this occurs, only to go about our lives in a complacent fog.
Critical Thinking In The Midst Of Obvious Racial Tension
Michael Brown, 18, was shot and killed by a white police officer. The ugly and horrific details that followed after created an explosive reaction that developed after years of built up tensions.
President Barack Obama has announced a Federal investigation from the Justice Department and the F.B.I. independent from the Ferguson, MO. Police Department’s according to the latest reports.
Late Friday evening, news sites like Politico released the name of the police officer who shot and killed Brown. A rough sketch from the Ferguson Police Chief, Thomas Jackson, regarding what happened on the day that officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown.
Understandably so, our first assumption and diagnosis of the incident being racially motivated makes absolute sense at first glance. However, all of us must critically consider the fact that no one has been officially charged with a crime and that a thorough investigation at the time of this article has yet to be done in completion.
We don’t even know WHY the young man was shot. Apart from the fact that he was a young black male, which was more than enough to be upset, we do not know why this young man was a target. It is the search and acquisition of the truth that will not only move us to consider the issues of racial prejudice, injustice and profiling, but, also move us to consider the direction we will go with regards to providing justice, peace and closure for the the family of Michael Brown as well as healing and regained trust for the community of Ferguson, MO.
President Obama also spoke on the issue of violent responses to what was happening in Ferguson. According to the Associated Press, “Obama said there was ‘no excuse’ for violence either against the police or by officers against peaceful protesters.”
Peaceful protests, involvement in ones community and considerate and calm conversations that are filled with wisdom of old and history taught leads to a rebuilding and refocusing of a community that can strongly stand against injustice for all!
Rebuilding A Hurting and Angry Community
Over time, we’re finding out that Black Americans in the city of Ferguson, Mo. have dealt with the racial tension for several years. The lack of community connection and trust between the community and city officials and the police is next to nothing based on the reports from multiple legitimate news agencies and from people on the ground.
Of course, when a community lacks positive, legitimate connection and communication with leaders that are supposed to represent them, the system breaks down.
If you were not being represented or seen as someone who matters or who has value you would be angry, frustrated and upset too!
Black America, and really, all Americans, have healing and realistic connecting to do with one another. Most have had enough with ignorant, closed-minded thinking and commenting from people who lack the time or patience to understand the other side of an issue. America is in great need of realistically considering the injustices that are taking place both outside of our own communities as well as within our own communities.
We cannot afford to any longer cry foul when something happens in our community by someone else that doesn’t look like us or represent us, and yet, turn our heads when we do it to ourselves. On the same note, we cannot allow misrepresentation and mistreatment to take place only to leave it as a problem for the next generation.
Releasing and letting go of our stereotypes, our assumptions and our previously poisonous teachings about communities or cultures apart from us, and embracing our neighbors from across the street, across town and state is what will lead us to true resolve that is filled with real results and real changes.
The change cannot take place from JUST the Federal government. It has to take place from our own places. Change has to be a two-lane highway connected from our house to the White House and back.