25 Nov

Meanwhile in Ferguson…that’s the facebook post, friend Chris Tera posted tonight, followed by a Happy Thanksgiving greeting, admittedly a sarcastic one.

As I waited to hear the grand jury decision on the Michael Brown case, my tv turned to CNN two hours before the announcement was to be made, my stomach tensed, and I couldn’t help but be reminded of feeling this exact same way while I waited for the Rodney King verdict.  Tonight, I scrolled down both my twitter and facebook feeds, keeping up with what people were feeling.  Many black people seemed to doubt an indictment, but still there was hope that for once, justice would prevail.

Then prosecutor, Robert McCulloch, finally came on the television at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time, and gave his lengthy, condescending, as one friend described “knife turning,” slanted completely in favor of police officer Darren Wilson dissertation of the process by which the grand jury came to their decision, which according to them showed there was no probable cause to indict the officer.

Three hours later, I am still sickened by this decision.  I always say that I am not a political person, but as a human being, how can I not be extremely sad, disappointed, even angry, at the decision to not prosecute the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, and will now not even go to trial before a jury to decide his fate?  How can I as a white person not stand up for what is happening to far too many black men and black boys in this country?  How can any of us not see there is something very wrong here, and that all of us, white people especially, have to care, and take action to be part of the solution–to recognize that there are systems in place that are unequal, that black boys’ and men’s lives are being taken under circumstances that white boys and white men’s lives are not.  As black people across the country, and people all around the world who are watching are feeling, can’t we show them, that, yes, black lives matter?  Because black people are truly feeling that they don’t.  Tonight’s verdict proved this to them again.

I am still processing tonight’s events, and what that means for us as a nation, and know that we have to, as Michael Brown’s parents urged us to do, focus on positive actions we can take to make the world a better place–one where black boys are not being shot and killed for carrying toy guns, or stealing a package of cigars, or wearing hoodies on their walk home.  We need to dismantle the systems that allow this to happen without repercussion.  We need to all of us work together to do this, to balance the scales that are way out of whack, to do the right thing that will show every life is a life to be valued.

Here is my facebook poem-a-day, a tribute to Michael Brown and Ferguson, made from my friends’ status updates.


facebook poem-a-day (from your status updates)


ferguson decision is imminent
stay safe, st. louis friends
praying for the people
in ferguson
grief is the
price of love
And there it is.
this is a
fucking heartbreak.
this man has
no decency.
he is on national tv
turning the knife
is that dude
still talking?
we got the message
so stfu already!!!!
no indictment
in ferguson
go figure…
our lives seem
to have no value
guiliani said
that ish
out loud
to your face!
“southern trees
bear strange fruit…”
and apparently so do
the trees in ‪#‎ferguson‬
you cannot
fix a problem if
you won’t even
admit that it is
in fact a problem!
my heart is heavy…
about to
a few
insensitive folk
“communities of color
aren’t just making
this up”
praying for peace
to all parents,
the verdict is out:
go home, hug and
kiss your children
and tell them
you love them

Thanks to contributors: Chris Tera, Mark Santow, LeAnn Coleman Nash, Andrea J Sparkman, Kelly Quinn, Junot Díaz, Donald King (2x), Marcia Wilson, Warren Leach, Carmen J. Head, Marg Cappelli, Denitra Letrice, Ken Harge, Karen Oldham-Kidd, Wendy Grossman (quote from President Obama), David Hayes, Robert L Burnside