The uprising has continued for over a week and some are urging for calm others a moratorium. Some our saying the peaceful protest must continue but the rioting must stop, while there is some who say it’s all needed to bring attention to the matter. I believe the uprising must continue until the family of Michael Brown and the people of Ferguson see Darren Wilson brought to justice in the court of law. The news media is ready to move on to the next story but they can’t because of the endurance of the people in Ferguson. Cops in Ferguson are aggravated and ready to get back to business as usual but the unrest won’t let them.
It took hours to remove the lifeless body of Mike Brown from the sweltering hot concrete. It took close to a week to get the name of the officer who shot him multiple times in broad daylight in a residential neighborhood. At this rate, it may take another week or weeks to know if Darren Wilson will be indicted on criminal charges. That in itself is the problem. The people are tired of waiting. The lack of transparency in the midst of a controversial shooting has created more mistrust, speculation and frustration.
The black community has seen this story before and we are tired of the same narrative. Black man shot, and then the smear campaign is injected by the media to incite the stereotype of a thug deserving of his fate. Most of black America cries injustice while majority of white America is silent or cries justified shooting. Majority of the Federal, State, and local politicians are silent but watching nervously because many of them hope that this issue of Race, police brutality, and racial profiling is something that will just go away. Civil rights leaders our out their fighting while their names are dragged through the mud by complacent sell outs and anonymous bigots. Some famous people have courageously spoken out while a great many feel no obligation to the struggle. I guess they’re too “happy” to know what’s really going on. Police brutality and racial profiling have invaded African Americans rights to LIFE, LIBERTY, and PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS for far too long. Mike Brown’s LIFE was taken. His freedom to surrender, plead the fifth, or have due process was robbed. Mike Brown’s pursuit to happiness in obtaining higher education to become a productive citizen is gone! Most of the time police don’t stop you unless there is probable cause to. There is no indication to date from the police department of why Officer Darren Wilson initially stopped the two young men. If the witness account is true that this incident escalated to Mike Brown’s death because they were walking in the street verses the sidewalk then we are dealing with circumstances of unethical origin through selective enforcement/racial profiling. Police officers are enforcers of the law that suppose to serve and protect it’s citizens, they are not suppose to be the judge, jury, and executor.
The subject of Race is uncomfortable for many blacks and whites but nonetheless a topic that can no longer be ignored or deflected. America has maintained the ongoing insanity of inequality against people of color for centuries. The reminder that elements of this country’s dark past still exist and affects black citizens is something no one is willing to address. “To ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it”-Dr. King
In this moment in time the opportunity for reform cannot be missed. Police killings of unarmed black men are sparking up like wild fires all across the country and people are refusing to ignore them. We cannot allow another Mike Brown, Eric Garner, John Crawford III, Ezell Ford, and countless others who never make it into the spot light to die in vain. Dr. King approach was non-violent but he also practiced civil disobedience. In other words, fuck a curfew, we have our first amendment right to peacefully assemble and there is no time limit on it. If they wish to infringe on hundreds of people Constitutional right then Ferguson should be prepared for the legal consequences. So have your cells charged and cameras phones ready because in 2014 the revolution will be televised.
I urge the African American citizens of Ferguson to also strategize for the long-term and register to vote. Politics is local. Please learn more about the candidates who claim they are representing you and if they are not remove them from office. Talk to our youth about their rights, “if you don’t know your rights you don’t have them.” Control the narrative on social media. Don’t allow detractors to distract us from the real issue which is “police brutality” not “black on black crime”. Remember when black people commit crimes against each other there is no delay on being brought to justice and being punished to the fullest extent of the law, but when a white officer commits acts of violence against citizens is usually desk duty or suspension with pay instead of facing a court of law. Don’t allow exploited images of alleged shoplifting, possible drug use, or images of the victim in hip hop attire be an acceptable excuse to why a young black man was gunned down repeatedly despite his effort to surrender. Strategize to create policy and laws for the police department in the name of Michael Brown. It’s not enough to write the laws if we are not there to vote and support them. I believe police need less discretion, more oversight, and tougher penalties like permanent removal from the force when negligent acts of killing an unarmed citizen occurs along with criminal charges.
The real question to everyone reading this is what are you prepared to do?
Are you willing to go to jail? Are you willing to register to vote? Are you willing to engage your elected official and hold them accountable? Are you willing to march? Are you willing to boycott? Are you willing to assemble and demonstrate nationwide? Are you willing to sign petitions? Are you willing to get out and vote this November? Are you willing to draft a bill and see it passed? Are you willing to mentor? Are you willing to support African American issues? Are you willing to put your money where your mouth is? Are you willing to lead? Are you willing to follow? Are you willing to be united? Are you willing to sacrifice? Are you willing to fight?
Let me know where ever you are what you are willing to do.