Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Heavier Heart

I can't believe that at the age of 55 years old I am still shocked and saddened by the injustices in our judicial system.  I always think the best of people and think "right" always wins out, but time and time again I am proven wrong.  My world view is very different as a white mother than my friends that are black mothers.  I can't totally understand the fear and terror of raising a black male, but can understand the total dismay and pain of the repeated outcomes of our system.  The scales are tilted against black youths and I can't understand how the scales of justice still aren't balanced. 

The Grand Jury decisively declared that no criminal charges would be brought against Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown.  I sat there listening to the Prosecutor read the decision and try to explain away how a cop can shoot an unarmed young man 12 times and nothing happens to him.  I can't wrap my head around that.  I am not blaming the citizens on the Grand Jury.  They are doing their best in a very difficult situation.  I do blame the prosecutors giving no guidance in the possible litany of charges and the law.  None.  I blame the decision by Governor Jay Nixon a week ago to bring in the National Guard to patrol the streets of Ferguson.  I blame the Prosecutor that decided that announcing the Grand Jury decision would be best to deliver at 8pm.  Every step that was made since the tragic death of Michael Brown by the local and State government has wreaked of cover up.  

Seriously, hundreds of people anxiously awaited the announcement in the streets of Ferguson.  Crowds kept growing. Schools were closed in advance of the announcement for fear of the aftermath.  The anxiety of what was to come was manipulated and toyed with by those people in charge.  It was apparent that "they" knew the outcome and it wasn't going to please the masses.  By every single decision made, it felt like the government was the matadors and we, the people, were the bulls.  The red flag being shaken in our faces, taunting us all.  

The longwinded, unsatisfying outcome was presented at around 8:20pm Central Time Zone.  First of all, what f**king nerve for them to plan for 8pm and be late!!!!  Just adding more tension in the air!  The media types immediately went to their people in the streets to report on the unrest.  They, too, were ready for the worst and tried to hype whatever they could in the immediate aftermath.  It seemed tense but somewhat under control.  When I woke up in the middle of the night and saw the images of burning stores and cars, my heart sank.  I will never understand the destruction of one's own neighborhood.  These aren't big box stores being burned to the ground these were small, mom and pop stores.  Neighbors'.  It happened in Los Angeles after the Rodney King verdict and they burned down buildings all around their own neighborhoods.  What good does that do?  Seriously?!  I can empathize with the despair and the anger, but not destroying businesses of innocent bystanders.  

The person who came out the very best in this entire tragedy is Michael Brown's father.  He repeatedly has asked for calm and peaceful protests since his son was killed.  He has gone out of his way to thank neighbors for their support.  The statement the Brown Family put out was clear, thoughtful, and brave:   

We are profoundly disappointed the the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions. While we understand that many others share our pain, we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make positive change. We will need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen. Join with us in our campaign to ensure that every police officer working the streets in this country wears a body camera. We respectfully ask that you please keep your protests peaceful. Answering violence with violence is not the appropriate reaction. Let's not just make noise, let's make a difference.  - The Brown Family

​Sadly, many people didn't listen. Justice was not served. 12 bullets. Overkill, no matter how you slice it. 

​Sidebars: In two days, it is Thanksgiving and many people are not feeling it at all. ​Please take the time on Thursday to thank the people in your life. Take a moment to think of others that may not be as lucky. I must give a shout out to my dear, dear friend Steve on the passing of his Dad. It feels that November has been a very tough month for loss, so this Thanksgiving I want to hold on even tighter to the people that I carry in my heart.  Wishing every one a moist turkey and many laughs with your friends and family.

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