Business owners, volunteers, both black and white, worked Thanksgiving Day, to clean up broken glass–damage from recent rioting and looting. The story didn’t “bleed,” so it didn’t grab the headlines. What did workers want people to know about Ferguson? That Ferguson was, and still is, a great place to live.
Meaningful changes require cooperative efforts. There’s no room for vengeance. Violence begets violence. If Michael Brown’s life mattered, then Darren Wilson’s life has to also matter. Why? Because if one believes that all life is sacred–one life can’t hold more value than another.
Darren Wilson, tried, convicted, found guilty in the court of public opinion. How dare a grand jury overturn that decision–the audacity. What was in the hearts and minds of Darren Wilson and Michael Brown on that fateful August night? Many claimed to know. How was that possible without making assumptions?
All law enforcement officers were out of control? All young African-American males were criminals? A white police officer shot an (unarmed) young black man? Did circumstances matter? Would it have been different if Michael Brown had been shot dead by an African-American officer–under the same conditions?
Should only black police officers confront black suspects? Of course, that’s not always possible. Could someone stranded on the freeway refuse assistance from a white highway patrol officer because they’re African-American–or vice versa? I hope not, but it’s probably happened. We have to trust each other at some point.
For some, the plethora of forensic evidence will never matter. Too much damage done, for, far too long. Law enforcement and the justice system untrustworthy–just like they’ve always been.
Others have pre-conceived notions about Ferguson, Missouri. Isn’t Ferguson just another suburban enclave, drowning in changing demographics? Isn’t it chock full of backwoods to big city bigots in positions of power? Therefore, only flawed grand jury findings, could flow from a polluted pool.
What if Officer Darren Wilson, tired from media attention, did the unthinkable–took his own life? And I pray that he doesn’t. One life sacrificed for another–to restore balance. Leaving two grieving families–one black, one white, instead of one.
Eye-for-an-eye–vengeance is mine. What does that say about us as a civilized society? The path to change isn’t always the shortest. Violence hardens hearts and minds.
Black Friday non-stop shopping is in full swing. There will be, hopefully, only peaceful protests today. Snow is melting, with warm southern breezes. Take time to reflect on the example set by Dr. Martin Luther King. Because, I believe every life matters.