I have kept up with this event probably a day or two after it happened. I don’t watch the news and Facebook floods my feed with crap that I could care less about so much that I miss things. When I read the initial story I began to cry. Have we no value on human life? I don’t care what he has or hasn’t done in his life. I don’t care his age. I don’t care his skin tone. I care that he is a person. He is a human being and he deserves to be treated as such. I am angry. Have we really not come that far?
I am sure most of you have heard about what is going on but if not I have posted what Wikipedia has to say. Then I will decipher what it means to me.
The shooting death of Michael Brown occurred on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri, United States, a suburb of St. Louis. Brown, an 18-year-old African-American man, died after being shot at least six times by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, 28, who is white. Brown was unarmed and had no criminal record. According to Ferguson police, Brown was a suspect in a robbery committed minutes before the shooting, although the initial contact between Wilson and Brown was unrelated to the robbery. Wilson has served four years with the Ferguson Police Department and two years with another local police department. He had no disciplinary history.
Why the use of deadly force? Say Mr. Brown did commit the robbery. Does that equate the right to be murdered? In case you are not sure; it doesn’t.
Here’s something to know about me. I used to steal stuff when I was a teenager. I also have done some other things as a young adult that were not exactly legal. I did get caught stealing when I was underage and I was not murdered. Has no one else made mistakes as a teenager? Most of us have. 90% of people have stolen something in their lifetime.
I’ll never know what it is like to be a black in America. I’ll never be a black man trying to get through the many obstacles set to hold me back. This is about so much more than Mike Brown or Trayvon Martin. It is about the value of human life. We don’t care. We sit quietly while things happen and do nothing.
I understand that many white people are not happy with the events. There has been unity in this protest. Many have been silent. Afraid of judgment, not knowing what to say, not knowing what to do. For years people have been conditioned to just stay out of it, it’s not your fight. Let me tell you that it is everyone’s fight. If we really, truly want to end racism in this country than more people have to stand up to help. People like me, people like you. Together. Unified.
I understand that I may have offended you with this post. That’s ok. We have to start the conversation and we have to be involved in making our communities better; I don’t want my son to live in a world that hates him simply because he is multi-racial. My son should not first be judged by his skin tone then secondly by what he brings to the table. The same for my boyfriend. For all ethnicities. If you do not think white privilege is real than you are fooling yourself. How many times have you had to consider the color of your skin before making a decision? Not one person had the choice of what we would look like when we were born. Remember that next time you judge someone who is different from you.
In addition to the violence against Mike Brown we also must consider the rights that were violated following his murder. Injustice didn’t start that day and it surely did not end. We need to erase the lines that divide us. What can you do to help? I’ll leave you with a word from Dr. King.