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.
Arguably two of the most talented singers in the record books, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston have made names for themselves as commercially successful pop vocalists.
The careers of the two iconic beauties mirrored each other throughout the 1990s, with many people drawing comparisons between them. Both women were aligned with two of the most influential men in the music business, Tommy Mottola and Clive Davis, respectively, and both have survived controversy only to rise to the top of the charts again and resurrect their careers.
In our latest round of Tale of the Tape, we stack up "Mimi" and "The Voice" to see whether they had more in common than just their cultural impacts.
(M) Place of Birth: Long Island, N.Y.
(W) Place of Birth: Newark, NJ
(M) Also Referred to As: "Mimi"
(W) Also Referred to As: "The Voice"
(M) Humble Beginnings: Carey's parents divorced when she was 3, leaving her mother to juggle several jobs to support the family. When the songstress moved to New York to pursue a singing career, she also worked several part-time jobs to pay the rent, in addition to attending beauty school and singing as a backup singer for several artists.
(W) Humble Beginnings: Whitney lived in housing projects in Newark, NJ. Her parents divorced when she was a teenager, and she chose to live with her mother. After performing her first gospel solo at New Hope Baptist Church at the age of 11, she was fortunate enough to sing background vocals on Chaka Khan's hit single 'I'm Every Woman.'
(M) Connections to the Business: Dance/pop singer Brenda K. Starr (Mariah was a background singer for the 'I Still Believe' singer)
(W) Connections to the Business: Blues and gospel singer Cissy Houston (Whitney's mom); Dionne and Dee Dee Warwick (Whitney's cousins) mariah and Whitney
(M) Album Debut: 'Mariah Carey' (1990)
(W) Album Debut: 'Whitney Houston' (1985)
(M) Record Company Affiliations: Columbia, Virgin, Island
(W) Record Company Affiliations: Arista
(M) Total Number-One Singles: 18
(W) Total Number-One Singles: 11
(M) Total Number-One Albums:6
(W) Total of Number-One Albums: 5
(M) Total Number of Albums Sold: Over 160 million (albums and singles)
(W)Total Number of Albums Sold: Over 140 million (albums)
(M)Total Marriages: 2
(W)Total Marriages: 1
(M) Children: 0
(W) Children: 1 (Bobbi Kristina with former New Edition singer Bobby Brown)
(M) Luther Vandross Affiliation: In 1994, Vandross and Carey recorded a duet of Lionel Richie and Diana Ross's hit ballad 'Endless Love'
(W) Luther Vandross Affiliation: Vandross produced, arranged and performed background vocals on Houston's 'Who Do You Love' from her 1990 'I'm Your Baby Tonight' album
(M) Aretha Franklin Affiliation:Carey performed a duet of The Queen of Soul's 'Chain of Fools' with the legendary soul singer at the 1998 VH1 'Divas Live' television special.
(W) Aretha Franklin Affiliation: Franklin is Houston's godmother and appeared in a cameo in the 'How Will I Know' music video. The two also recorded a duet, 'It Isn't, It Wasn't, It Ain't Never Gonna Be,' which appeared on Franklin's 1989 album Through the Storm. .'
(M) Antonio "L.A." Reid Affiliation: The LaFace founder executive produced Carey's 2005 comeback album 'The Emancipation of Mimi,' as well as her subsequent Island Records releases, including her new 'Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel.'
(W)Antonio "L.A." Reid Affiliation: Reid, who previously produced songs on Houston's 'I'm Your Baby Tonight,' was Arista head when her lackluster 'Just Whitney' album was released. What was promoted as her comeback album was Houston's lowest selling album to date.
(M) Michael Jackson Affiliation: In 1992, Carey covered the Jackson 5's hit 'I'll Be There' alongside her background singer Trey Lorenz. She also sang the song at the late King of Pop's memorial service.
(W)Michael Jackson Affiliation: In 2001, the 'I Will Always Love You' singer made headlines when she opened the Michael Jackson '30 Anniversary Concert Concert' looking extremely thin.
(M) Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott Affiliation: Elliott was featured alongside fellow female MC Da Brat on a remix to the 'Fantasy' singer's 'Heartbreaker.'
(W) Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott Affiliation: The 'Supa Dupa Fly' rapper produced and appeared on two Houston tracks: 'In My Business' from 'My Love Is Your Love' and 'Things You Say' from 'Just Whitney.'
(M) Fugees Affiliation: Carey and the Fugees were both signed to Columbia Records in the 1990s. More recently, the Fugees' Wyclef Jean just recorded a song called 'Mr. Autotune' with Carey's husband, Nick Cannon, in 2009.
(W) Fugees Affiliation: Fugees front woman Lauryn Hill produced and sang background vocals on 'I Was Made To Love Him,' a spunky update of Stevie Wonder's 1960s classic 'I Was Made To Love Her' on Houston's 1998 CD 'My Love is Your Love.' Wyclef Jean produced what became Houston's third best-selling single and the album's title track 'My Love Is Your Love.'
(M) Disney Connections: Disney Connections: Mariah Carey has never produced a Disney movie, unlike Whitney, but she still has love for the happiest place on earth. Two weeks after her Bahamas shotgun wedding to Nick Cannon, the couple headed back to the states for a very public vacation at Walt Disney World Resort to relive their childhood dreams. The 'Fantasy' singer, who previously performed at the 2004 Disney Christmas Day Parade, and her new hubby took pictures with Mickey and Minnie Mouse and rode tons of rides, including Space Mountain and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
(W) Disney Connections: 'The Bodyguard' actress appeared alongside Brandy in the made-for-television movie 'Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella,' a revival of The Wonderful World of Disney series and produced by Disney. Houston has also served as a producer for the Disney franchises 'The Cheetah Girls' and 'The Princess Diaries.'
(M) Total Number of Movies: 6 (including 'Precious')
(W) Total Number of Movies: 4
(M) Movie Box Office Grosses: Over $239 million gross worldwide
(W) Movie Box Office Grosses: Over $525 million gross worldwide
(M) Controversies: Marrying a much younger Nick Cannon after dating the 'Bobby' star for just a few months.
(W) Controversies: Caught with marijuana in her and then-husband Bobby Brown's luggage on Jan. 11, 2000, at a Hawaii airport; getting fired from performing at the Academy Awards when she showed up jittery.
(M) Rehabilitations: Hospitalized in 2001 for exhaustion, which led to a physical and emotional breakdown
(W) Rehabilitations: Rumored to have entered drug rehabilitation programs several times in the past decade at the urgency of mentor Clive Davis and her mother Cissy Houston.
(M) Comeback Efforts: Many people counted the Grammy Award winner out of the music business until the release of her 2005 comeback album, 'The Emancipation of Mimi.' Not only did the critically acclaimed record garner 10 Grammy Award nominations, but it was also the biggest selling album of 2005 – amassing 10 million albums sold worldwide.
(W) Comeback Efforts: Houston's 2009 comeback album, 'I Look to You,' debuted at number one and became the best-selling first week sales of Houston's career. To date, 'I Look to You' is also the best selling album by a female in 2009.
(M) Best Friend Forever: Background singer Trey Lorenz
(W) Best Friend Forever: Former long-time executive assistant and childhood friend Robin Crawford
(M) Failed Vanity Projects: Founded short-lived Crave Records imprint, which most notably released R&B girl group Allure's debut project; Automatic Princess Jewelry line
(W) Failed Vanity Projects: Mentored Newark gospel group Sunday; the panned 'Family First' song with Houston, her mother, Cissy and her cousin Dionne Warwick, which was featured on the soundtrack to Tyler Perry's 'Daddy's Little Girls'
(M)Famous Boyfriends: Mexican singer Luis Miguel, New York Yankee baseball player Derek Jeter
(W) Famous Boyfriends: R&B singer/sex tape star Ray J, movie star Eddie Murphy, NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham
(M) Family Feuds: Carey's estranged HIV-positive sister Alison, who has been arrested twice for prostitution, shopped a tell-all book about her multi-millionaire sister in 2000. The tome was never released.
(W) Family Feuds: In 2002, associates for Houston's 81-year-old father, John Houston, sued the pop star for $100 million, claiming unpaid compensation for helping negotiate her Arista Records contact. Houston claimed the dispute arose by people attempting to take advantage of her ailing father, and the suit was later dismissed.
(M) TV Interviews Gone Wild: In 2001, pushing an ice cream cart, Carey appeared on the popular MTV video countdown show 'Total Request Live' for an interview with VJ Carson Daly to promote her 'Glitter' movie. Wearing a small T-shirt and booty shorts, Carey performed a striptease and slurred "I just want one day off when I can go swimming and eat ice cream and look at rainbows." Carey checked into the hospital for exhaustion shortly thereafter.
(W) TV Interviews Gone Wild: The Whitney Houston quotable "Crack is Wack" came from her infamous Diane Sawyer sit-down in 2002. When questioned about her rumored drug use, the troubled singer asked Sawyer to "show her the receipts" for the drugs, among other things. The interview was one of the last that Houston did before taking a hiatus from the media. Her first televised interview since Sawyer did not come until 2009 with a widely-publicized two-day special appearance on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show.'
(M) Famous Celebrity Battles: Detroit rapper Eminem and Carey were at one point rumored to be a couple, then things got ugly. She recorded diss records like 'Clown' and her current single 'Obsessed' aimed at the 'Slim Shady' lyricist. And though, the 'Precious' star is sticking to her story that she never slept with Eminem, he maintains otherwise. He dished on being intimate with her and replied to her latest hit with a song called 'The Warning,' directed at both the singer and her latest husband, Nick Cannon.
(W) Famous Celebrity Battles: Houston and radio-shock-jock-turned-talk-show-host Wendy Williams had an on-air beef that played out in 2003 in which Williams questioned Houston about her rumored drug use. Houston responded with curse words, most notably charging, "If this were back in the day in Newark, I'd meet you outside, but not now, because I'm a lady with class." The New York Times best-selling author has since said she has buried the hatchet and is eager to have the 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' singer on her syndicated talk show.