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.
Lance Gross has come a long way since his days at Howard University, where he contemplated a career as a professional track and field athlete. Making the decision to pursue his dream of acting and taking the jump to move to Hollywood has proved to be life changing.
This week, the 28 year-old actor will star opposite heavy-hitters like Academy Award-winner Forest Whitaker, Regina King and America Ferrara in the romantic comedy 'Our Family Wedding.' The film tackles the topic of an interracial couple who decided to get married and the difficulties they face when they meet each other's family.
It marks, perhaps, the first wedding movie to tackle the subject of what happens when a Latino and African-American decide to tie the knot.
For Gross, the timing to shoot a wedding film couldn't have been better. The Oakland native is marrying 'America's Next Top Model' winner Eva Marcille in July. So wedding planning has really been on the brain.
"It's weird, working on this movie...was like a really bad test run of my wedding," he joked. "But, I felt like this is all the stuff that went wrong [and] it went wrong in this movie, so it's not going to go wrong on my wedding."
The NAACP Image Award-winning Tyler Perry discovery added, "I caught myself pulling things I didn't want for my wedding from this movie, like no goat at all...and a better cake."
Unlike Marcus, his character in the Rick Famuyiwa-directed film, Gross said the most stressful part of planning his real-life nuptials has been "writing the checks because I write the checks and I gotta pay for it."
After the large-scale wedding, complete with four hundred guests, the couple will honeymoon in Portofino, Italy.
Then, in August, Gross will begin shooting the sixth season of the hit TBS series 'Tyler Perry's House of Payne,' where he stars as Calvin Payne.
"It's definitely a lot more relaxed doing a film -- working with Tyler Perry is unlike any other sitcom show," he shared.
Perry has been known to pack in a hectic shooting schedule of three or four episodes a week, with only one day for rehearsal, which Gross said is "the best boot camp you can get."
In between 'Payne' and the film promotion, Gross revealed that he got really close to nailing a part in the upcoming revival of August Wilson's play 'Fences' opposite Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. He's staying positive that one day he'll be bigger than Will Smith.
"I'm a person who believes in the law of attraction, so if you claim it, it's going to be," he said.
"I didn't expect Tyler Perry to walk in my acting class and basically give me a job. I knew it would be hard work to break in, but I was always hopeful and knew it was going to happen."