We have to start imagining a new reality -- this will mean fewer police and more social workers and teachers. This will mean creating more economic possibilities and investment that preserves and does not displace our communities. This will mean confronting decades of disinvestment in our communities.
Mothers across the country are taking to the streets to demand accountability and change in American policing that criminalizes African Americans regardless of actual crimes committed. The deplorable failure of a grand jury to indict Darren Wilson for killing unarmed Black teenager Michael Brown is just the latest evidence that the system is beyond broken.
We now all have the chance to examine the evidence -- released last night -- in the grand jury's decision not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson, who fired multiple bullets into Michael Brown. But the verdict on America's criminal justice system is already in for many Americans: guilty, for treating young black men differently than young white men.
Decades of segregation and inequality in Ferguson, as well as most American metropolitan areas, have fostered a racial inequality exacerbated by the criminalization of not just poverty, but the criminalization of black and brown bodies. Too many whites are too willing to believe that a black body poses a threat.
Whether you're in the business of helping people or not, it's hard to sit back and watch a situation like Ferguson unfold. With information coming at us via social channels, muddied like a game of telephone, it can be difficult to discern which side is right or wrong (as if it's ever that simple anyway), much less take any sort of action.