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.
Like her legendary character, Drucilla Winters, on the 'Young and the Restless,' actress Victoria Rowell doesn't bite her tongue. The NAACP Image Award Winner had no problem filling the BV Newswire in on her discontent with the show's direction, her next book project and why we need to hold CBS accountable for the representation of African Americans on television.
"I introduced a story line about foster care five years ago that was very authentic," Rowell disclosed.
Rowel says she asked CBS to hire a black actor because black men are the predominant race in foster care. The story line was a huge success, garnering the show an Emmy, an NAACP Image Award and Congressional recognition, but Rowell said she is unhappy with the recent direction it has taken.
"About some weeks ago, they had the young foster son sleeping with his father's girlfriend, and it did not sit well with a lot of people, predominantly black women because African American women make up the 'Young and the Restless' audience," she said.
"I take this very serious, and I think that a sterling story line that received so much positive attention just hit a cord with a lot of people, and this is not the Bill Bell legacy."
"I'm devastated," she continued. "I put in 16, 17 years and doggedly tried to bring in effective change so that the new generation of actors wouldn't say who's going to do my hair...It's 2009 and the show has been on the air for 37 years. We had a cast of eight black actors and now you're down to two. Come on NAACP and Urban League, speak up. Who's asleep at the wheel at CBS?"
Rowell's character fell off a cliff into shallow water, but her body was not discovered. Fans of the actress have started a grass roots campaign, urging for Drucilla's return.
"White actors in daytime are brought back from the dead all the time. Why does it require a national campaign to bring back perhaps arguably the strongest black actress in daytime?," she questioned. "What is that about? Let's evaluate what's keeping the show on the air -- the sponsors, the black hair products, black women clutching detergent bottles. Who's pimping who?"
Despite Rowell's frustration, the Portland, Maine native has a lot of other fabulous things in the works.
She recently tied the knot with visual artist Radcliff Bailey. The couple honeymooned in Spain and spend their time between Los Angeles and Atlanta.
After an international book tour for her New York Times best-selling tome 'The Women Who Raised Me,' Rowell is working on her next book, 'Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva', which will be out next year. The novel is one hundred percent fiction, but Rowell says there are hints of her struggle in its story.
"It's about a protagonist from Mississippi who migrates to Hollywood with no formal training," Rowell said. "She struggles with the disparity that exists for black actresses."
When the book launches, there will be a one-woman show with a limited run, "Whoopi Goldberg-esque," Rowell adds.
Although cities and dates are uncertain right now, Rowell has confirmed there will be an Atlanta show at the Southwest Arts Center.