On Monday a grand jury chose not to indict Officer Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, on a street in Ferguson, Missouri, in August. Innumerable people were immediately outraged, erupting in fury. The criminal justice system must be reformed to promote civil rights for African Americans.
Through daily moral consciousness we must all counter the proliferating voices of racial and ethnic and religious division that are regaining too much respectability over the land.
There is no doubt that black lives matter to the parents of black children. Our fear is rooted not in our ability to love and provide for them, but rather the realization that comes with daily reminders around us that their lives matter only to us.
We are at a watershed moment in the battle against racial profiling. We have much to do to achieve racial equity and healing in America - a long agenda of changes in our economy, schools and political system - but we have the power now to end the epidemic of police killings of people of color.
I don't think the fate of Darren Wilson as a human being really means anything to the ruling class. At the end of the day, people like Bob McCulloch aren't protecting Wilson so much as the system that he stood for.
So many of us feel so powerless, unable to affect substantive change, unable to do anything other than hurt. Powerless does not mean there isn't work to be done. It is silence, inactivity, complacency and disconnect that are the enemies of justice, not rage.
Saying "all lives matter" is nothing more than you centering and inserting yourself within a very emotional and personal situation without any empathy or respect. Saying "all lives matter" is unnecessary.
Ferguson provided us with an opportunity to engage in a much-needed national dialogue over how police are trained, what authority they are given, what weaponry they are provided, and how they treat those whom they are entrusted with protecting.
This is a sad day. The grand jury's decision is yet another sign that all of America's sons' lives are not yet valued equally in the eyes of our courts. All of America's fathers, mothers and children should stay outraged and in motion for progress until we are finally what we say we are: One Nation, Under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All. The path to these goals is focused advocacy and, where necessary, non-violent direct action. Those are the strategies that led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Acts 50 years ago and the outlawing of racial profiling in New York City just two years ago. Today we are all Michael Brown. Tomorrow we must ensure each of our lives is valued equally in the eyes of our nation's laws, law enforcement officers, and courts.
Police officers should approach Ferguson protesters with caution and fully respect their constitutional rights. That is the clear message from recent court awards and settlements against police force abuses against demonstrators.
By Ryan Henderson Last summer, every day after baseball practice, I'd buy a slush from the same Quik Trip convenience store in downtown Ferguson w...
We are asking courageous New York City Council members to exercise their oversight power by passing the Right to Know Act, which would strengthen police accountability and transparency by requiring officers who stop us to identify themselves.
Government abuse of the grand jury system has become so notorious and problematic, it caused New York Court of Appeals Judge Sol Wachtler to famously say nearly 30 years ago that if a prosecutor wanted to, a grand jury would "indict a ham sandwich."
All over the country black people have been stopped, harassed, arrested, injured and even killed at the hands of the police meant to protect them. From Brooklyn to Baltimore, Atlanta to Anaheim, cellphone videos are waking up the rest of the population to the fact that overly aggressive policing is not new in America, especially in black America.
Even as verdict after verdict continues to excuse White authority figures of their wrongdoing, the Black community is expected to understand that police officers have a very hard job.
All the bad news about men behaving badly offers us an opportunity to speak out, to ask the deeper questions, to redirect the messages our boys and young men are getting from a patriarchal and reptilian-brain-driven culture that is dangerous to women and men, children and the Earth.