We need to learn from Ferguson so that we will be prepared for the Fergusons of the future. We can prepare ourselves and our communities to respond to violence without letting it overtake us. We can fight evil without becoming evil. We can find the third way that is neither fight nor flight.
My mother's parting words were about tear gas. 'If you're hit by some and can't breathe and your eyes begin to burn, cover your face with this cloth,' she said. It was 1968 and my family was living in Washington, D.C., where I was born.
Mothers have relinquished their boys to demarcations of manhood for centuries, whether it be going to college or the armed services. No woman should ever have to release their son to hate -- and that is what our nation has required of Black women for too long in our nation.
Without question, the complexities we face now are even more difficult to navigate from what those seeking peace during the Cold War encountered. Can "Just Peace" be a model for addressing the messy conflict in Syria and Iraq, which involves the terrorist group ISIS?
It is unfortunate that the media overplays "looting and rioting" much more than it covers the thousands who peacefully protest everyday for justice.
This cause is part of America's great unfinished business. We all have a moral obligation to carry on until the dream of equality is reached in full.
It is unfortunate that few Americans know much about labor history and the Reuther brothers, who built the United Auto Workers union that transformed the broader labor movement and helped build the nation's middle class.
Like establishing a garden or writing a book, building a patio in an uncertain world is an exercise in enlisting the passage of time to advantage: an act of faith.
What is needed is exactly what the Kerner Commission recommended to the country 46 years ago: a comprehensive shift in the priorities of our social spending away from the military-industrial-prison complex and toward widespread development of impoverished parts of America.
No one who cares about the death of Michael Brown, or the scourge of police brutality, can ever choose not to vote, again. Period. Not only did people die so that you could vote, people die because you do not vote.
For decades, American civil rights advocates have connected the dots between the domestic fight for civil rights and the international struggle for human rights.
Scripture tells us that the weeping may last the night but joy comes in the morning. I sure hope so, because my heart is broken. Michael Brown is one of too many men and boys of color targeted and dehumanized by a system that operates as though some people are worth more than others.
There are the large moments. The ones where the Veil is lifted. These are the moments when the music stops and the dance ends. These are the moments when one can keep humming the tune and twirling like nothing has changed or stop to realize that those beyond the Veil have no cause for dancing.
Has America's moral arc bent toward justice over the last half century? By some measures, it appears not.
All three groups have been dehumanized as the "other," the bogeymen that will destroy if they are not destroyed. And all of us know what it is like to be trapped in the ghetto and have the walls close in on them, and all know how it feels when the lynch mob comes.
Have you been paying attention to the news lately? If so, I'm sure some of it has depressed you. Just as history has made us believe that the human race has made progress, reality will tell you the awful truth that we have not come that far at all.