Decades of segregation and inequality in Ferguson, as well as most American metropolitan areas, have fostered a racial inequality exacerbated by the criminalization of not just poverty, but the criminalization of black and brown bodies. Too many whites are too willing to believe that a black body poses a threat.
It's hard to continue. I wish it was my kids' bedtime. I wish the dishes were done. I wish the house was clean. I wish America wasn't racist. I wish Mike Brown was in police custody. I wish Darren Wilson admitted guilt. I wish America admitted guilt.
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.
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.
Having failed so miserably earlier this month to express our justified anger at the ballot box, this Thanksgiving weekend, along with its Black Friday promotions, throughout the holiday season, and for whatever necessary days or months to come, we have been given the opportunity to express our justified rage, anew.
I don't think the fate of Darren Wilson as a human being really means anything to the ruling class. At the end of the day, people like Bob McCulloch aren't protecting Wilson so much as the system that he stood for.
This is a sad day. 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.
Last year, Mazy was aware and confident enough in herself, after coping with a lot of self-shame and bullying, to share with her family, second grade class and elementary school that she had always known she was a girl.
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.
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.
By Bridget Bland, BlackVoices.com
She's amassed eighteen Emmy Awards, been chosen as one of Time magazine's "Most Influential People in the World" five times over and been at the top of Forbes "Richest Americans List" numerous times.
We know her net worth is currently at two and a half billion dollars and would like to think that we know Oprah Winfrey's life story inside and out.
A little black girl from rural Mississippi is abused. She grows up promiscuous and gets pregnant. After a miscarriage, she is shipped to live with her father who provides strict discipline, which results in the teenager excelling in school. She wins beauty pageants and transitions to working as a television news reporter and anchor in Baltimore. She gets her own morning talk show in Chicago and competes with Phil Donahue. Soon thereafter she effortlessly catapults to become the most successful talk show host of all-time and the first African-American woman billionaire.
But that's not it.
There seems to be more to learn about the reserved media mogul -- and some of it is shared for the first time on 'Oprah: The E! True Hollywood Story,' debuting this Oct. 17, 2008 at 9 PM on E!.
Some of Winfrey's closest friends, including her best friend Gayle King, celebrity chef/ and talk show host Rachael Ray, 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' special correspondent, Lisa Ling, and superstar singer Alicia Keys are a few boldfaced names offering insight into the life and legacy of the multi-media powerhouse.
Shortly after helping Ray to launch her own talk show, reports surfaced that Winfrey and the Food Network star were in a tiff about the direction of Ray's show. In the new E! show, Ray sets the record straight, calling the rumors, "complete garbage and utterly ridiculous," adding, "I've never feuded with Oprah. I've never disagreed with Oprah. I've never not taken Oprah's advice 'cause my momma ain't raise no dummy."
Ling offers an intimate look at how vulnerable Winfrey was when her beloved dog, Sophie passed away. Ling reveals that Winfrey had a true breakdown causing show producers to halt production after a video montage of her late dog over the years.
When Winfrey speaks, America listens. The 'True Hollywood' show highlights some of the most controversial shows she has done, including the court battle that she won against cattle farmers in Texas after speaking out against beef, as well as the ups and downs of her very public weight battle. It also touches on how her viewers donated $15 million to post-Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. But, also how criticized she was after endorsing Presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama.
The show also features never-before-seen footage from inside the Johannesburg courtroom where dorm matron, Tiny Virginia Mokopo -- of Oprah's Leadership Academy for Girls -- went on trial for alleged abuse. Mokopo has pleaded not guilty and the case has been postponed until later this month.
'Black Enterprise' magazine's Sonia Alleyne reflects on Oprah's legacy in the 'True Hollywood' show, adding, "Living a life of service for Oprah is the reason she's here. It's the reason she exists."
King, Winfrey's best friend and confidante, echos that sentiment, saying that she doesn't think that Oprah should be counted out in 2010 when her show's syndication contract ends.
"I know she still so loves doing what she's doing," she says. "She's never done anything for the money, but she's in a stage in her life where if she wanted to go to her home in California and sit under a tree and read a book for the rest of her life she certainly could do that."
"But, the truth of the matter is Oprah loves working," she adds.
With her new television network, The Oprah Winfrey Network, OWN, launching Fall of 2009, we're betting King knows her best friend well.