With the current news cycle highlighting police brutality against African Americans, it is hard not to contemplate the continuing role of race in American life. Despite our progress as a nation and more broadly as a human race, we still struggle with seemingly antiquated modes of thinking that lead to unnecessary frictions between people.
Instead of arguing about whether Mike Brown had stolen cigarillos, or whether Eric Garner should have allowed himself to be arrested, we should adopt the language of "Black lives matter -- all of them." We all have a stake in creating a better system. But for that to happen, we have to be in this together.
While everyone has their eyes on the U.S. Department of Justice with hopes it will launch federal civil rights actions against Darren Wilson and Daniel Pantaleo, the two police officers involved in the Brown and Garner matters, it's actually equally important for us to focus on local politics. It's there that the power for change lies.