People have said important things about Michael Brown, protests in Ferguson, and a grand jury’s decision not to hold Darren Brown accountable for killing an unarmed black teenager.
Urge to ask Ferguson protestors to "be like Martin Luther King," ignores the how the State actually responded to Martin Luther King.
— Ta-Nehisi Coates (@tanehisicoates) November 25, 2014
The fundamental danger of a non-indictment is not more riots, it is more Darren Wilsons.
— jay smooth (@jsmooth995) November 24, 2014
When Darren Wilson says he saw Mike Brown as "a demon," the problem isn't with his eyes, it's with what America told him demons look like.
— (austin_walker) (@austin_walker) November 25, 2014
Rembert Browne, on the difference between #BlackLivesMatter and #AllLivesMatter:
Marching up 7th avenue on Monday, against traffic, with a melting pot of everyone screaming “Black Lives Matter” — it really got to me. Because it was beautiful. While not a monolith, in times of crises, black people often have other black people’s backs. At least publicly. Because there are still situations where that “us against the world” mentality still feels necessary.
Watching and hearing thousands of white people, asian people, hispanic people, every other non-black people scream, uninhibitedly, “BLACK LIVES MATTER” — in public — alongside all the black people screaming “BLACK LIVES MATTER” — was one of those rare moments when it felt like everyone had our back. Everyone didn’t necessarily know what we were going through, but everyone felt what we were going through. And were feeling things themselves. And moving forward, those participating wanted us to know that we weren’t going at this alone.
All lives do matter. It’s just nice to know, for once, Black is included in “all.”
At The Root, Janee Woods on how white people can be allies to black people:
2. Reject the “He was a good kid” or “He was a criminal” narrative and lift up the “Black lives matter” narrative. Those who knew him say Brown was a good kid. But that’s not why his death is tragic. His death isn’t tragic because he was on his way to college the following week. His death is tragic because he was a human being and his life mattered. The good-kid narrative might provoke some sympathy, but what it really does is support the lie that as a rule black people, black men in particular, have a norm of violence or criminal behavior. The good-kid narrative says that this kid didn’t deserve to die because his goodness was an exception to the rule. This is wrong. This kid didn’t deserve to die, period. Similarly, reject the “He was a criminal” narrative surrounding the convenience store robbery because even if Brown did steal some cigars and have a scuffle with the shopkeeper, that is still not a justification for his killing. All black lives matter, not just the ones we deem to be “good.”
At The Toast, Roxane Gay has words:
How do we talk about race? How do we see one another as human, as having lives that matter, as people deserving of inalienable rights? These conversations are always so tense, so painful. People are defensive. We want to believe we are good. To face the racisms and prejudices we carry forces us to recognize the ways in which we are imperfect. We have to be willing to accept our imperfections and we have to be willing to accept the imperfections of others. Is that possible on the scale required for change?
How do we move forward? How do we survive this egregious legacy we all inherited? I have words, but today they come mostly in the form of questions. I have no idea what to say. Words are failing me. I am not surprised by the grand jury’s decision but I am stunned and heartbroken. I am worried because there will be a next time and a next time, and words will still be inadequate.
The alternative is silence and silence is unacceptable. Last night I felt hopeless and this morning, I still feel hopeless but it is such a luxury to feel hopeless, to sit in my nice apartment, on my overpriced laptop, writing through my feelings while Mike Brown’s parents mourn, while black parents across the country try to explain to their children that they are deeply loved but that out in the world, they are not seen as human.
I have to believe we are going to be better and do better by one another even if I cannot yet see how. If I don’t believe that, I, we, have nothing.
Blogger Javacia Harris Bowser of See Jane Write:
Last night a poem by Langston Hughes came to mind:
I am so tired of waiting,
For the world to become good
And beautiful and kind?
I am tired.
I’m tired of a rowdy few turning peaceful protests into riots. I’m tired of self-righteous racists turning the riots into an excuse to treat black people like animals.
I’m tired of politicians pulling black-on-black crime statistics out of their back pocket whenever asked to address police brutality and racial profiling.
I’m tired of waiting for the white Christian church to stop being silent on issues of racial justice.
I’m tired of feeling like the lives of my black father, brother and husband only matter to me.
I’m tired of feeling helpless.
Feministe commenters say important things over at the Open Ferguson No Indictment Thread, where (while comments are allowed here) continued discussion is encouraged.
And on Saturday, just days before a grand jury decided that Darren Wilson was so obviously justified in killing Michael Brown that the evidence didn’t even warrant a trial, Cleveland police killed Tamir Rice for carrying an Airsoft gun.
A Cleveland officer was less than 10 feet away when he fatally shot a 12-year-old boy carrying a pellet gun near a playground, and video of the shooting is clear about what happened, police said Monday.
The boy was confronted Saturday by officers responding to a 911 call about a male who appeared to be pulling a gun in and out of his pants.
The 911 caller said the gun was “probably fake,” then added, “I don’t know if it’s real or not.” Deputy Chief Edward Tomba said Monday that he didn’t know whether a dispatcher shared that information with responding officers.
Authorities said the boy was told to raise his hands and was shot when he pulled the pellet gun from his waistband, though he hadn’t pointed it at police or made verbal threats.