This is a sad day. The grand jury's decision is yet another sign that all of America's sons' lives are not yet valued equally in the eyes of our courts. All of America's fathers, mothers and children should stay outraged and in motion for progress until we are finally what we say we are: One Nation, Under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All. The path to these goals is focused advocacy and, where necessary, non-violent direct action. Those are the strategies that led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Acts 50 years ago and the outlawing of racial profiling in New York City just two years ago. Today we are all Michael Brown. Tomorrow we must ensure each of our lives is valued equally in the eyes of our nation's laws, law enforcement officers, and courts.
We are in a state of emergency, a time of challenge and controversy, but not because of the protestors. That state of emergency will continue until we stand, become uncomfortable, and demand a justice system that addresses the manifestation of pain in protest, the further chipping away of respect, and the real state of emergency our country faces.
This is consistent with the cultural logic that makes it okay in America to use brutal force when confronted by a Black villain. Thus, how can a grand jury indict Officer Darren Wilson when he was battling The Hulk?
We now all have the chance to examine the evidence -- released last night -- in the grand jury's decision not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson, who fired multiple bullets into Michael Brown. But the verdict on America's criminal justice system is already in for many Americans: guilty, for treating young black men differently than young white men.
I can't speak. My country has scarred me once again. How can I go to work in the morning on a train full of people who care not? At a workplace of people who missed the story because of football or reality television?
Perhaps the call to examine this one case would be understandable if justice came more often, but we've seen these unjust acts in communities of more color for far too long.
On March 22, 1991, a visibly shaken and angered President George H.W. Bush said he was "sickened and outraged" by what he saw on television. That was the beating of black motorist Rodney King by a swarm of LAPD cops.
The convenient spectacle of "violence in the streets" obscures the perpetuation of "structural violence" everywhere.
The gradual ground we have gained regarding our civil rights should not be confused with the literal stalemate we have had with the U.S. justice system regarding our human rights for more than 200 years.
These things happen all the time, right? They will happen forever, right? It's nice to think they won't. It's probably best to think life won't always be like this. Optimism is good. But I know I'm going to have to tell my future children about this country. What should I tell them?
The tragedy of Michael Brown's death, unarmed and shot by a member of the Ferguson police, is now followed by the tragic failure of the local courts to force the policeman to stand trial. This cannot stand without a measure of accountability. And on that score look no further than the prosecutor's office.
Deep down, whether I want to admit or not, I know the truth. The racism that James Baldwin knew and ultimately made him leave the country isn't really gone. It's just changed its form.
To understand this moment, we have to understand that Ferguson is yet another unraveled thread in the closely woven fabric of racism that has cloaked this country for 500 years.
The world of short blogs and 140 characters is symbolic of the all too prevalent overly simplified analyses, and sensational headlines that might generation "likes" and "retweets," but do not bring us to a better understanding of people, communities or our history.
The only thing left to do is to unite and use the power of our voices to make a difference. Instead of using violence, use your voice to stand up for injustice in the world. Form collaborative partnerships within the community that can truly make a difference.
My daughter and I were standing in the middle of the baseball field in Inwood Hill Park, looking up at the stars, when something told me to check to see if the decision was finally announced. "NO INDICTMENT" stared back at me, taunting. I fell to my knees, crying. Yet again I was that kid watching an injustice occur right before my eyes and feeling helpless to do anything about it.
Saying "all lives matter" is nothing more than you centering and inserting yourself within a very emotional and personal situation without any empathy or respect. Saying "all lives matter" is unnecessary.
So many of us feel so powerless, unable to affect substantive change, unable to do anything other than hurt. Powerless does not mean there isn't work to be done. It is silence, inactivity, complacency and disconnect that are the enemies of justice, not rage.
By Karu F. Daniels, AOL Black Voices
Scandal has rocked another prominent member of the black gospel industry.
Revered televangelist Juanita Bynum nearly came thisclose to meeting her maker after suffering a near fatal attack at the hands of her estranged husband yesterday.
Authorities said that the nationally renowned clergywoman was assaulted by her preacher husband in the parking lot of an Atlanta hotel early Wednesday.
According to published reports, Thomas W. Weeks III, who is the founder of Global Destiny churches, met with Bynum at Renaissance Concourse Hotel near Atlanta's airport to try to reconcile, police said.
About 4 a.m., they broke out in fisticuffs in the parking lot until a hotel bellman pulled Weeks off, Officer Ronald Campbell told the Associated Press.
"She was bruised up and battered," Campbell said. "She had purple bruising around her neck and upper torso."
No charges had been filed by Wednesday night against Weeks, who left the scene according to police.
"I am currently recovering from my injuries and resting well," Bynum is believed to have written on her "official" MySpace page today. "There are so many great things happening for me in my future, and so much to look forward to concerning my destiny, this too shall pass. The bible says in Proverbs 4:25 'let your eyes look right on with fixed purpose and let your gaze be straight before you.'"
Hallowed be thy name.
Bynum, a Pentecostal preacher who was born in Chicago and lives in Hempstead, N.Y., has administrative offices in Waycross, Georgia.
The former homemaker, welfare recipient, drug offender, hairdresser, anorexic and flight attendant got a big break when Bishop T.D. Jakes invited her to speak at one of his conferences several years ago.
After the two reportedly had a falling out, Bynum's ministry blossomed further after her 'No More Sheets' sermon -- on breaking free of sexual promiscuity -- at a singles event.
The message became an anthem for female empowerment, galvanizing the already divorced diva into the stratosphere of the black celebrity clergy elite with best-selling books, inspirational CDs, DVDs and sold out speaking engagements.
She has used terms as "Prophetess," "Minister" and "Dr." as a prefix to her name.
Bynum, 48, recently shared the national stage with Yolanda Adams, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Fantasia, Smokie Norful, Fred Hammond, Coko, The Caravans and Dr. Bobby Jones on 'BET's Celebration of Gospel.'
Bynum and Weeks, 54, were married in 2002 in a lavish, televised wedding that would make black rich bridezillas blush.
The enterprising evangelist is expected to make her acting debut in the forthcoming big screen adaptation of 'Mama I Want to Sing' -- starring Ciara, Hill Harper, Patti LaBelle, Lynn Whitfield, Billy Zane and Kim Porter.
MORE ON BYNUM:
WHAT IN GOD'S NAME?: Check Out Juanita Bynum's Bruises
UPDATE: According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper, Weeks surrendered to Atlanta police Friday.
Bond was set at $30,000 on a charge of aggravated assault and $10,000 on a charge of terroristic threats, and a magistrate ordered Weeks to have no contact with Bynum or her sister, Tina Culpepper.