Let's not forget, we've overcome much worse than Ferguson
I really wanted to write something poignant last night but all I could do was cuss at random intervals for about 4 hours straight. Then I moved on to kicking trashcans all over my house. I’m still oscillating between those two stages.
I knew it was going to happen just like it happened. We knew it was coming. We’ve had many conversations saying he will not be getting indicted for killing Michael Brown because history had written that conclusion. We made Facebook statuses about Darren Wilson being a free man when the governor of Missouri declared a state of emergency. We knew.
But knowing didn’t stop this from feeling the full punch to the chest, knocking the wind out my sails and leaving me deflated. It’s like when you try to brace yourself for impact; it is still going to hurt like hell no matter how much you think you’ve prepared.
Darren Wilson is not even going to stand trial for shooting unarmed Black teenager Michael Brown. Darren Wilson is not going to have to answer for killing Leslie McFadden’s son, Mike Brown. Darren Wilson is sitting at home, free as hell even though he killed Michael Brown Sr.’s junior because prosecutor Bob McCullough stood behind his podium and waved the “Open season on Black folks” flag.
And I’m sitting at home infuriated for another day that we’re being told that Black lives mean nothing.
I am supposed to talk about productive rage but I already did that 3 month ago when Mike Brown was first killed (How to Channel Your Anger Over Michael Brown’s Death Productively). Now that his killer is just as free as he was then, and even moreso (because he’s $400,000 richer and someone’s husband), all I have is blinding rage. Because the system gives so little damns about us that it can’t even pretend.
Those people who are rioting in Ferguson? Well, I can’t say I blame them. Because anger can be so palpable that it gurgles up your throat and makes your flesh break out in hives. We rage because feeling powerless makes you want to burn something to the ground. We’re supposed to keep the peace, right? But white boys can create mayhem in the streets over a pumpkin festival and because their sports teams lost a game. No tear gas is sent their way as they do this. NONE. But WE can’t take to the streets because Black people are being murdered systemically. “You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” – Malcolm X
Maybe tomorrow, I’ll be able to think clearly and talk about what we need to do next to effect change. But today, I rage. I rave for Lesley McFadden, who did not get justice for her son. I cuss to the high heavens for Michael Brown Sr. who had to bury him. I am furious for every parent who has to tell their Black son and daughter that staying alive means being more obedient than a trained dog when standing in front of a man in blue.
All lives matter but we have to keep saying “Black Lives Matter” to remind people of our humanity, which is far too often forgotten. We keep having to fight for the most basic of rights and the most basic things to LIVE.
Last week, I went to a private screening of the movie Selma, chronicling the 3 months that Martin Luther King Jr. spent in Selma, Alabama in the summer of 1965. I wept throughout that film for many reasons but one of them was because I recognized that the same battles they had then are the ones we’re having now, 50 years later. THE SAME. We knew the road would be long but who knew we’d be at the same checkpoint after all this time?
When this pain feels duller and throbs instead of stabs, we can get up and know that in spite of it all, we are neither helpless nor powerless. We’ve come through much worse and we still stand; we will remain standing and keep fighting.
We were manifested from ancestral excellence, and in the words of an old Mexican proverb “They tried to bury us but they didn’t know we were seeds.”
Still. We rage.
Luvvie is a serial ranter and blogger who talks pop culture at Awesomely Luvvie, technology at Awesomely Techie and is the head behind DumbestTweets.com. She can also be found on Twitter (@Luvvie), Facebook and Instagram.