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.
For Brooklyn-born Tionna Smalls, playing matchmaker to TLC singer Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas hasn't been much different from doling out advice to lesser-known women.
Smalls has been professionally giving her two cents to anyone who will listen for some three years now, and her new VH1 show is simply providing a different forum.
"I wrote an independent book called 'Girl Get Your Mind Right,' and I got an advice column at Gawker.com, but I don't consider myself an advice columnist," she told BV Newswire this week.
Smalls encountered a great deal of criticism for what she describes as not being "proper" enough while at Gawker, which eventually led to her column being pulled by the Web site's creator and managing editor, Nick Denton.
"People said I was faking it for the white people," she revealed. "Before I got that column, I went nine months without one check, so the first time I got a check I was not thinking about the ins and outs of the business [but], would I have done it the same way again? No, I would use less Ebonics."
She says people at Gawker became jealous of her popularity and that Denton canceled her column abruptly because he said the site wasn't "going in that direction anymore."
But where one door shuts, another one opens.
The Discovery Channel signed Smalls to a development deal and though it didn't pan out, VH1 called her last year to help find the Grammy Award winning former chart-topper a man.
"What people are going to like about 'What Chilli Wants' is [how] Chilli and I have different personalities and the difficulty is finding a guy that meets her standards," Smalls said. "A lot of times she is not over a lot of things with stuff in the past, but I can't judge her. That's what it is."
But things between the two women have been heating up – and not in a good way – in a very public forum. Smalls took to Twitter last week and indirectly lashed out at Chilli.
She wrote, "I may be nobody, but seriously, you're nobody either but a glimpse from Christmas past."
Smalls added, "You and I both know who made you relevant then dissed and dismissed your ass. I didn't eff nobody in the game to get to where I'm at."
When questioned about whether she was beefing with Chilli, she let loose: "Me and Chilli, we have two different personalities and sometimes in this business, older people feel like you should know your role. But what they don't understand [is] I am not going to change my attitude for nobody."
"I got over a few things over the past few weeks,' Smalls confessed. "I was not her friend before the show. I got to know her and she got to know me. People are making it a bigger deal than what it is."
And though she is staying mum about what exactly set her off to lash out at the person she's been advising on love, it definitely seems like their working relationship is over.
"I spoke to her after the show," she said. "That's it, and we aren't besties. We did our job for the show. This is what it was. I had to find her a man and she had to listen."
Ultimately, Smalls hopes that women with huge lists of what they want from a man understand that there will be some things that are more important than others.
"He could have a big ding-ding, but no job," she stated.
She also urges women who find a man they love to maintain a hobby.
"A lot of times, women get a man and lose their whole self. You got to keep yourself and a hobby. That's the main thing women need to do."
Smalls said she won't be playing professional matchmaker anytime soon.
"People are writing [me saying] they will pay me to hook them up," she laughed. "I'm not a matchmaker. I'm just trying to tell her real advice, but [maybe it is] something I should look into. They think I'm the black Patti [Stanger] now. "
In addition to building a new Web site, TionnaSmallsOnline.com, she's opening a "diva store" called Lovey's in Brooklyn, which will be filled with her signature hats, jewelry and bags.
Smalls is behind the scenes working on a few television ventures and plans to re-release her book 'Girl, Get Your Mind Right' with a major publisher later this year.