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.
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.
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.
Salt N Pepa
Noted broadcast news anchor and radio correspondent Jacque Reid has made a name for herself over the years with big-name gigs at BET 'Nightly News,' CNN 'Headline News' and the 'Tom Joyner Morning Show.' She's had sit-down interviews with both President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama. Yet, she has remained committed to keeping her professional image separate from her private one.
On Jan. 11, this poised Southern belle will become the first black news journalist to venture into reality TV with her new VH1's show, 'Let's Talk About Pep.' The show centers on Salt 'N' Pepa rapper Sandra "Pepa" Denton and her three gal pals, which include Reid.
The Clark Atlanta University graduate knows that the public is used to seeing her "so serious," but her television venture allowed her to open up.
"I don't sit around with all of my girlfriends and talk about orgasms and sex toys. This forced me to say out-loud different things I was feeling," Reid shared with BV Newswire this week.
Some of those topics include her desire to have a baby and perhaps before tying the knot with Mr. Right. The premiere episode of 'Let's Talk About Pep' finds Reid discussing the idea of having a child before marriage with her friend and hunky 'Why Did I Get Married' star Lamman Rucker.
"The baby stuff – I don't really talk about as much, and the orgasm stuff, I don't talk about it at all, so it gave me an opportunity to focus and hone in on things that were going on with me," she explained.
She describes dating in New York City as "really hard" but believes that people will relate to the show and her on-going struggle.
"I think it's always the perfect time to focus on women and relationships because it's a never-ending situation trying to deal with relationship drama," Reid laughed.
"We're all past 35, and it's something that so many of us go through and it can be something that all women, and men too, can relate to."
In between juggling her many hats, including co-hosting on D.L. Hughley's morning radio show and her bi-weekly appearances on 'Tom Joyner,' Reid is hoping to produce a documentary and write a book in the near future.
But, in the meantime, she's stopped being anxious about her new foray into reality television.
"After I saw the pilot, I realized this is a good thing, and I let myself have fun and go with it."
'Let's Talk About Pep' premieres on VH1 on Jan.11 at 10:30 p.m. EST.