I can't even begin to describe the range of emotions that I am feeling after all that has transpired in Ferguson, Missouri and across this country. I started the day on Monday really not paying attention to the news cycle, because working in the news, sometimes you just need a break, and I was on a break. I started to tune in once I was made aware that the Grand Jury in Ferguson had indeed reached a decision and that the decision would be revealed later in the evening. Initially, I wondered why the prosecutor's office in St. Louis County would wait such a long time to deliver the decision. Everyone who hasn't been living under a rock lately knows that much of the country has been watching this play out for the last four months. The country has heard in several media reports that Missouri's Governor Jay Nixon had ordered the National Guard in the ready position. We also knew that schools had closed early for the Thanksgiving recess in anticipation for the announcement. We also knew that police around the St. Louis area were ready to help keep down the anticipation of violence had it broken out. I 'm not sure if a day or nighttime announcement of that Grand Jury decision would have stopped what ensued on Monday night after Robert McCulloch read that the jurors decided there was no probable cause to indict Ferguson Police Office Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown. With that said, nothing annoyed me more than the images that I watched play across my television screen; the rioting in Ferguson, the looting, the fires, the bricks being thrown through windows. If my memory serves me correctly it was Michael Brown, Sr.; the man who lost his son, the young 18-year-old who lay dead in the middle of a street for more than four hours, who called for peace and non-violence no matter the outcome. So why didn't we all respect his wishes? As I have watched both Michael Brown, Sr. and Lesley McSpadden over the course of these months nothing has been clearer to me that they are people of grace and so much dignity. So again I ask why the rest of America couldn't demonstrate that?
I'm mad as hell at the media coverage of the aftermath of the Grand Jury decision reading. I know that somewhere in the St. Louis area there was peaceful and non-violent protest happening. However, we didn't see that because it wasn't sexy enough. I'm mad as hell because as the President of the United States was speaking on every single channel playing his remarks we saw pictures of Ferguson, Missouri burning to the ground. These pictures were playing in a box right next to the first African-America President of the United States. The President, a man who represents progress in this country after its torrid history with race had to be heard while the country was reminded of what salvages people of color can be. I'm mad, as hell because no one but a small group of people realizes that race relations is serious problem in America. We as a country must address this issue and start to have real and honest conversations about how to tackle this extremely sensitive issue and move forward.
I'm mad as hell because so many people after the Grand Jury decision was revealed said they weren't surprised or that they expected this outcome. My question, why weren't you surprised that another young black man's life was taken? On top of all of this, I read today about a black man in Columbia, South Carolina that was sentence to prison because he killed a police K9. I don't know all of the circumstances of that case but if I were to look at the Michael Brown case next to this South Carolina case I would think that the dog's life was more important than that of the black man. Which brings me to another reason why I'm mad as hell. I'm mad as hell because my young nephews have to grow up in a country where they have to continuously look over their shoulders because of the color of their skin. I'm mad as hell because people on certain news channels are looking to older civil rights leaders to invoke change when the change is going to come from the younger generations. I'm mad as hell because I want this country to be a place where everyone respects each other. I want this country to be a place we all can live without fear of each other.
I'm mad as hell because after watching Darren Wilson in his first television interview he let the world know that he would do everything the exact same way over and over again. I'm mad as hell because while Darren Wilson can tell his side of the story, Michael Brown cannot; he will never tell his side of the story and although the forensic evidence is suppose to do that for him even that was robbed of him in front of the Grand Jury. I'm mad as hell because Darren Wilson says he after everything that happened has a clear conscience. But Mr. Wilson, you shot and killed someone, even if you feel your killing was justified under the law, you took someone's life and you can't honest say that you are walking around with a clear head. I'm mad as hell that there's this shoot-to-kill mentality of some police when it comes to young men of color. I'm mad as hell that in response to questions about feeling remorseful he simply continued to say he did his job that day. I'm mad as hell because I'm under the impression that a police officer's job is to serve and protect and not to shoot and kill and unarmed teenager. I'm mad as hell because the finger pointing just hasn't stopped. There has been blamed put on everyone from Al Sharpton to Jesse Jackson, to President Obama and Eric Holder. I'm mad as hell because a prosecutor's job is to prosecute not to protect a criminal and having reviewed the Grand Jury documents myself it's easy to feel the infliction and voices of the person just come off the page.
Now in order to move forward from the tragedy that happened to Michael Brown, we must be honest with ourselves. We have to first understand the wrongdoing from both sides. I want to state that Michael Brown by all accounts was no saint but in the same vain killing him was not the answer. Again, we must be honest about what actually took place in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9th, 2014. In order to move beyond this and move beyond this anger and protest we have to create some real and honest dialogue with each other. We must listen to each other and we must be willing to hear the difference within each other and seek common ground. We must stop the finger pointing because it gets us nowhere. If we want the change we seek we must all be willing to come to the table, sit and look at each other in the eyes and be willing to have and open and honest conversation about how we can all live and prosper in this country. In order to do that we have to understand that there is a clear divide of race in this country. We should all learn from history and make strides to be a better human race.