In this catalytic moment driven by cataclysmic circumstances, what we have witnessed across America since the non-indictments of officers in the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner may be new to a generation, but it is not new to a nation.
Police brutality is real and wrong. But what we as the American public should consider are the profound pressures applied to law enforcement officers in high-crime areas and how said pressures often inform the distance between the officers and the communities they are obliged to protect.
I was lucky enough to be granted executive clemency in 1997. Since my release I have continued to advocate for prisoners who are stuck in prison, sentenced to tremendous amounts of time for small amounts of drugs.
In cases such as Eric Garner, we must look beyond the badge. If the forearm cutting off Mr. Garner's air passages belonged to a man with any other professional occupation he would face consequences in the court of law.
Throughout the years I tried to learn as much as I could about the marine ecosystem. I felt I needed to do my part to keep the Adriatic and the life that dwells within it safe, for the sake of humanity.
Wednesday's announcement of no indictment in the shooting death of John Crawford III, and the subsequent release of the video and audio detailing his last moments, relay a sequence as old as any, one with which we have become all too familiar.
"Mommy," he piped up from the back seat in his sweet little voice, "I don't like people who have different skin color than mine." My brain sort of froze, but I stayed on the road as I gulped in discomfort.
I see a common theme in the African American community -- a tolerance of the current state. "This system wasn't made for us, that's just how it is," I hear. This mentality permeates through world famous academics, and is widely read in higher education.
Beloved, I woke up late to black rage. I don't want the same for you. This rage will help you experience the very heart of Christ, the heart that is upset by every instance of oppression and misuse of power.