“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
I don’t feel incredibly comfortable writing about the verdict in the Michael Brown case, but I feel equally awkward not writing about it. A child died, ultimately, no one will be held accountable in the eyes of the law.
Let that sink in, a life gone and no one serving time, but his parents in a lifetime of “Why our son?”
I am in Orlando reminding my daughters not to touch every single surface because we are in one big, pulsing, germ dome. Other parents are teaching their sons not to look suspicious or be in an environment where they might be accidentally murdered, because they are in a giant, pulsing country of potential harm.
Here’s the thing, I’d throw rocks. I would throw batteries, hurl obscenities and demand justice. No doubt in my mind. I am not the grieving parent, so where does that leave me? I have the obscenities dancing in my head, but the layers between me and the fiery center of this grief are significant. I can hurt and rail, as we all should, because this is a fundamentally broken system. However, I can take my white privilege, or, if that term makes you uncomfortable, just look at it as a place in this world, world where young people are being killed, and say, “No more.”
Long after the networks are broadcasting carefully edited clips of teargas and looting, we can address the other kind of looting, the stealing of young lives in the name of law? Preserving the peace? We can say that we do in fact see race and that we see that it’s long since overdue to acknowledge that black people have been getting the short stick sideways.
Michael Brown is gone, our resolve should persist.
“Race is there. You’re tired of hearing about it? Imagine how fucking exhausting it is living it.”