I felt it necessary to wait awhile before posting my thoughts here on the blog regarding the grand jury decision announced in Ferguson this past Monday. I, like many others tuned in, gritted my teeth through the all formal jargon and shook my head as the press conference revealed what most of us already knew.
There would be no indictment.
I am saddened by the fact that so many of our young children are losing their lives at the hands of the very individuals who signed up to serve and protect our communities. The fact that they are being told by repeated offenses that their lives aren’t as important as those who have done far worse. The fact that they are destined to lead their lives almost as if they don’t have a chance before they even get started.
As a mother, my heart broke. I did not know Mike Brown, but I wept for him and the pain his family must be experiencing. I have always been able to see the good in the world regardless of the circumstances but will be the first to admit that something changed within my spirit that night. There was no other adult present for me to vent my frustration to or share my fear with, only the innocence of my children as they slept. I was raised to believe that there is good in all races and have experienced it firsthand, but I immediately began to wonder if that was enough. Enough to continue holding on to the hope that someday the world might be a better place. That we won’t have to endure such tragedy and face the harsh realities of a failed justice system time and time again.
At only eight years old, my son’s father and I will now have to have talks with him that will undoubtedly take away a piece of his childhood innocence just to prepare him for what lies ahead because of the social injustice he is sure to experience as a result of the color of his skin. The thought that no matter how much we love and teach our children right from wrong, they are still living in a world that could take them away from us at anytime frightens me to no end. The logic that we’re trying to raise strong black men but having to teach them to dial it back a bit when in the presence of corrupt law enforcement upsets me.
Where do we go from here?
I see the world differently now. Yes, we have made many advances in our fight for equality but those accomplishments are no longer enough. This is not just about protests and social media campaigns for the moment but more so about what will be done for the long-haul. Although it would be easier to continue going to work everyday, coming home to my quiet neighborhood and living the “safe” life I’ve worked so hard to create, I can no longer rest easy. There is much work to be done.