Today is Sunday November 23rd, 2014. It’s the beginning of the week, a new week and all last week we were waiting for the grand jury decision on whether or not Officer Darren Wilson would be indicted for the shooting death of Michael Brown. Last night, the evening news reported that we were waiting for the decision.
Maybe it’s me but I think that after Tuesday or Wednesday, it would have been suitable, appropriate even, to start using the past participle, been in their descriptions. After all, we’ve been waiting for the decision now for more than a full week. What bright spot jumped the gun in the first place?
It’s no big deal really, we do want them to get it right; so prolonged deliberation is a good thing, isn’t it? On the other hand, it’s been said that when it takes this long to make a decision, somebody’s going to get screwed.
And it’s even more of a big deal because while we’re waiting for this supposedly just decision, law enforcement, both state and federal, are mustering their troops in preparation for violent attacks coming from those doing the most waiting. This gathering occurs at the same time and on the same breath from those that speak to the public of being patient.
Well, the public has been patient; the Brown family has been patient, even as information is continually leaked to the public. And despite such inflammatory action, the public is still waiting for the decision.
As the country too shares in the watch, concern should arise for who the citizens of Ferguson will become by the time the decision is announced; an announcement that we now know isn’t really that immediately forthcoming. What will their state of mind be by the time the siege really takes off? And most importantly, where will they be, as a community, once the smoke clears and everything settles?
As others arrive in signs of solidarity, I’m hopeful that there will be enough of a local contingent to quash any irresponsible actions planned or enacted by such outsiders. But as I listened to a Peacekeeper from the city relate how a young man in front of him at a protest exclaimed how he had come prepared to die, I fear for the fatalist viewpoint of many of those protesting.
It seems some have already chosen death as an inevitable outcome and if that be the case then I wonder why they’ve come to Ferguson in the first place. Actions taking place there are supposed to be about the assurance of a continued life for young black men and women; not a cavalier acceptance of physical defeat and wasted existence.
So let’s have no more talk of going anywhere to die. That’s how all of this began; with a death. It’d only be fitting if it all ended with a promise of life, for everyone concerned on both sides of the aisle. So as we begin another week of waiting, let’s remember that in truth, the only thing that should die moving forward is the mindset of those in law enforcement who consider young black lives worthless and suspect.
And let’s remember our real history; trust me, it’s as exciting as anything in any movie. Let’s recall our historic troubled places: Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas. Let us not forget those real heroes of our past who’ve lost their lives doing just what you’re doing now: Evers, Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney. Let’s remember that they died so we don’t have to and let’s try to honor their wishes. After all, this is nothing new and we’ve truly been here before.