Crawford, father to two young children, did have something in his hand, but it wasn't a rifle or a shotgun. Rather, it was a toy BB gun he had picked up from the shelves in the store to buy.
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.
A headline is not a eulogy. A headline's purpose should be to help us to determine what's important in a news event. And while I realize the constant assault of our newsfeeds leads to higher-stake headlines, what's important is that a teenager -- not an "honor student" -- has been killed.
Sadly this is the reality our country lives in. Many Americans, young and old, do not pay attention to local or state elections. Less than 18 percent of registered voters cast a ballot in Michigan's primary this year.
We grasp tightly onto our dirty, old habits of prejudice by focusing on the surface issues of race, when instead I believe the world is much more dynamic and simplified if we infuse a larger dose of humanity back into it.
To the modern right, black gain is white pain. The more respectable among them have learned that if you pretend to believe that racism does not exist, despite the undeniable evidence, you can perpetuate white supremacist outcomes indefinitely.
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.
The crime of killing someone is now turned into a battle of narratives where the only other person who could challenge the narrative is dead, and millions of people simply believe that the unarmed black man deserved his fate.
The election of Barack Obama was the Lexington and Concord in the latest great battle of race in America. We are a nation at war with itself. For all of our desire to move beyond the narrow confines of many of the events of our tragic history, we cannot. The president's election gave new life to what had been lying dangerously dormant for the better part of 50 years.
If you happen to be a follower of Jesus who believes LGBT people have suffered injustice at the hands of the church, your response to that injustice is a moral question.
f I put myself completely in the shoes of Trayvon Martin or Michael Brown, or even a black man denied the opportunity to board a taxi cab, I must accept the reality that my world and my America isn't their world and their America.
For the majority of unarmed black folks who everyday fear for their lives, despite them doing nothing wrong, my advice to you is stop leaving the house unarmed. Arm yourself with knowledge of the system, civics and politics
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Despite good grades, accomplishments, pleasant manners and common sense, many of our sons are seen as aggressive or prone to violence. When they transgress, as kids will always do, they are judged on a double standard.
It's time to listen to the hopes and fears of all Americans. It's time to recognize the injustices that we must eliminate to ensure all Americans can pursue their dreams. And we must do it before the rage our nation has witnessed permanently supplants hope.
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.