I think about my teenage years: Broke. Confused. Horny. Doing stupid shit. Which brings us to Ferguson. Which brings us to Mike Brown. Which brings us to a militarized police force that enforces laws on a community that it doesn't know.
We see and hear stories about the first days of school, school shopping, the buying of books, and the concern, hope, and joy, for those in preschool, kindergarten, middle school, high school, and college
Whether it's 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012, or 14-year-old Emmett Till in 1955, racial prejudice still informs access to adequate education, employment opportunities and advancement, well beyond the streets of Ferguson, Missouri.
I didn't say anything when things were said to me. And that's the same as saying it was acceptable. There are a hundred reasons that I was quiet for too long, but the biggest of all, was because it happened so much.
If you are white or Republican, you are likely to think the racial component of the shooting of Michael Brown is getting far too much attention. If you are black or a Democrat, you are likely to feel the opposite is true. This divide suggests we don't live in a post-racial America like many would have you believe.
I watched the movie amid the tragedy and turmoil in Ferguson, MO, and I couldn't help but draw a connection. While time may have passed since that disgraceful era, the legacy remains. I tried to recall all the news reports of unarmed, white men being shot and killed by police, and I couldn't think of any.
It has been quite an eventful summer, and not in a good way. It seems as if the world is falling apart, even in parts of the world that are leading democracies, like us right here in the U.S. Most feel helpless and frustrated when we watch the news, and wish we could do more to stop the chaos.
Is it just me, or does everyone else's newsfeeds read like the world is going to hell? I mean, seriously, the torrent of bad news is so unrelenting th...
I am convinced that recent events in Ferguson have become a mirror to the nation. This may very well be a critical moment in history, if we take a time to stop and listen to each other.
Can we as a society cut through this vail and begin to know and understand those different from ourselves, to have the ability to walk in the shoes of another, to break down these "us" versus "them" notions that separate? First, we must abolish the denial systems that prevent many of us grasping our social privileges.
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.
Sadly, Ferguson is not just another example of racism, but of white America's denial of its racist past and present (as the so-called "counter protest" groups in Ferguson reveal). This is a cycle that must be addressed if there is to be any hope that America's racial divide can ever be healed.
It can be comforting to think that the police protect us from the "bad guys," unless of course you are profiled as that "bad guy." Violence is most dangerous when it masquerades as good.
One possible way to empathize with the plight of my fellow Americans is to imagine a world where statistics from the Pew Research Center, NAACP, and other reputable sources are reversed.
This week was dominated by news from Ferguson -- but much of what was really happening went untold by the media. While TV viewers were mostly presented with endless images of tear gas, violence and division, a fuller depiction would have revealed a community challenged by adversity, underrepresentation and institutional failure that responded with remarkable empathy, kindness and trust. At HuffPost, in addition to covering the protests, the failure of those sworn to serve the citizens of Ferguson, and the entrenched role of race, we also tried to shine a light on how the community came together -- cleaning up, handing out food, and raising money. There was a lot more love than looting in Ferguson, more compassion than conflict. How the media covers a crisis matters -- and showing only one side breeds cynicism about what we can become. The brave citizens of Ferguson have risen to the occasion. I hope the media will join them.
At first I was confused. Then I thought, "Wow, New York is really racist." But then I realized: The difference between New Yorkers and everyone else is that they say out loud what everyone else is thinking. Most of the rest of the country, including my hometown, need to catch up.