We should be asking how we can best respond to crime in ways that help communities to be safe, healthy, healed, and whole. We should work to prevent crime before it's too late. We should hold people accountable for the harm they have caused, but we should do it in ways that create opportunities for different choices in the future.
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.
While President Obama should be applauded for reaching past the partisan gridlock in Congress that has made it impossible to improve the lives of millions of families torn apart because of strict immigration laws, his emphasis on families over felons seems outdated and a rhetorical step backward, not forward.