Tuesday, November 25, 2014

For The Sake of My Siblings

I have nine brothers and a nephew. That is ten, count them, TEN men that could possibly been seen as a threat and ripped away from my family in the blink of an eye. Well, let me revise that statement: I have 1 Black nephew, 1 Bi-racial brother, 7 Black brothers and 1 White brother. In our family, I can honestly say, that the race of my siblings do NOT matter, ah, but here in America, it matters. Looking at the history of our great nation AND the events of tonight, it is easy for me to see that my youngest brother, my White brother, will not have the same lifetime experiences as the others. The way that they are raised will be the same. The consequences for bad behavior in our house will get you the exact same punishment that has been handed out since I was a kid. My parents haven't changed; what is right and wrong hasn't changed, but somehow, my sweet little brother Jonathan has the possibility of being treated like a HUMAN BEING, while, at some point in their lives, that WILL NOT be afforded to my nephew and my other brothers.

Tonight, America has had the real opportunity to see what the justice system is like. Not a Law And Order episode, but real life. The story of Mike Brown could have taken a real turn towards America actually recognizing that Race Relations are not anywhere close to where we want it to me. It could have given hope to those who had lost it; it could have restored some faith in humanity; it could have been a representation of the justice serving those that can do nothing for her (and that is rare). It could have. But it did not.

Let me be clear, for those of you who don't know-- a grand jury has ONE job, it is to say "hey- this is enough evidence to go to trial." That is it. An indictment does not mean that Darren Wilson would be found guilty or pay the price for shooting a Black child in the street and letting his body fester in the August heat. An indictment does not mean that Michael Brown was completely innocent in this situation. An indictment does not mean that race relations would get better in Ferguson. An indictment would simply mean that the state could move on to TRY Darren Wilson in a courtroom. That is all. So when I see that the grand jury could not even muster an indictment, could not even say that "hey, ONE of these autopsies show something that y'all should discuss at trial", or "hey- there is an UNARMED teenager lying dead in the street and maybe someone should be held responsible for that." The fact that they could not even move on to a trial... you can understand how I would be dismayed. Shocked. Angry. Frustrated. Right?!

This case is not about fairness. It is not about protecting a police officer. It is not about ridding society of a leech. It IS about Blackness in America. It IS about the overreaction of police officers when dealing with Black men. It IS about the awful reality that Black children are far more likely to be killed by police officers than their white counterparts and it IS absolutely about the vast majority of Americans closing their eyes- WILLFULLY- to the suffering of their fellow man. Continuously blaming these victims for their OWN deaths. It IS about Michael Brown, Eric Garner, John Crawford, Ezell Ford, Dante Parker and Tamir Rice. It IS. It IS about my nephew, Justus. My brothers: Jeff, Ronald, Frank, Christopher, Tyron, Les, Joshua, Jackson and Jonathan. My father. My cousins. My neighbors. My city. My state. It IS about entire states showing that they don't give a damn about the lives of more than half of their constituency. It IS about the legal system disregarding the rights of the Black and Brown populations. It IS about an entire system which continues to persecute races unlawfully and without remorse.

It keeps me up at night. It makes me worry. It makes me happy that Lefty and I do not have children that would be subjected to this unkind, unfair and unnecessary treatment. It makes me want to hug my brothers and watch them, wherever they go. I am sad, y'all. The people of Ferguson have been done a huge disservice. The state of Missouri SHOULD be in uproar. Major cities that have large minority populations should be epicenters of (peaceful) protests-- even though they don't deal with US peacefully. The Brown family should sue Darren Wilson, the City of Ferguson, the Police Chief, the Prosecuting Attorney and whoever else they can think of for the wrongful death of their son. As of right now, the legal community that I once wanted to be a part of so badly has let me down...again. And not just me... I have nine brothers and a nephew.


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