Greetings and salutations from the sand, sun and surf of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and the densely fog shrouded island of Nantucket! Great to be with you on this Tuesday morning, the 25th day of November, 2014, a grey day here at the Hyannis/Hyannis Port Waterfront; although very busy, as the Cape and Islands, as well as the rest of the nation, readies itself for “Thanksgiving” coming up in only a couple of hours…
People of Ferguson, Missouri will not be giving much thanks to the JUSTICE system here in the U.S. however, especially after St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert McCullough handed down the ‘verdict’ last night around eight p.m. central ‘time’. A decision about whether or not to charge Officer Darren Wilson (Ferguson Police Department) with the crime of murder, or second degree murder, or voluntary manslaughter, or involuntary manslaughter, or nothing at all.
The whole world watched this decision by a St. Louis Grand Jury of 12 regarding the officer’s brutal killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager with his hands in the air, the international signal of surrender, on August 9th of this year, sending chills up the spine of anyone who has a heart in this country, none so much as the oppressed citizens of Ferguson, who were understandably outwardly ANGRY regarding this rather contrived piece of judicial ‘prudence’ in 21st Century America.
Last night “Bob” gave a 20-30 minute speech about how everyone, including 7 eyewitnesses who were apparently ‘wrong’ in what they actually witnessed, seeing the whole thing go down with their own two eyes, should just ‘take their word for it’ and be good boys and girls and simply go about their collective business, for ‘there is nothing to see here folks’. Yes sir, “Bob” gave the world quite a performance, there is no doubt in my mind he may be up for an Oscar come March (fingers crossed!). How no one noticed his nose growing as he spoke is still a mystery though.
“…no probable cause exists to indict Officer Wilson”.
No probable cause because you made that so. You sir, no one else. Let’s take a good look at this man, Bob McCullough for a moment shall we? First off, he is a St. Louis County prosecuting attorney. Second, he is the chief law enforcement official for the county. Three, he has been in office since 1991. Fourth, his father, mother, brother, uncle and cousin worked for the St. Louis Police Department. Six, father was killed in the line of duty. Seven, this is the man who was in charge of ‘instructing’ the 12 man grand jury by giving them all of the evidence in the case (highly unusual), without giving any real unbiased direction. With many law scholars crying foul when the Governor of Missouri, Mr. Nixon, fell asleep at the wheel after the shooting, a window when he should have appointed a special prosecutor instead of McCullough, as he was too close to the police culture to really possess that unbiased point of view.
John Gaskin III, a community activist in the St. Louis area, put it best in an interview with Chris Hayes of “All In” (weeknights, eight sharp, only on MSNBC, great coverage by the way!), when he said last night, “…if Bob doesn’t want an indictment, there won’t be an indictment, plain and simple.” Going on to lament, “…my confidence in the Justice system is at an all time low tonight.” A sentiment echoed loudly by protestors around the country as this ‘verdict’ has become ground zero for racial tension in America today. With the many police forces around the country acting like an occupying army, outfitted with machine guns and tanks; as opposed to the humble and intended job description of a neighborhood police officer whose duties are simply–
to ‘Protect and Serve’.
WE, as a people, are a FORCE–the mightiest. England learned that lesson 238 years ago. Tyranny of any kind is wrong. It was wrong in 1776 and it is wrong in 2014. When an officer of the law is afforded the luxury of taking a young man’s life with no penalty or explanation other than “Bob’s”, there must be a response. Albeit a peaceful one, it must also have teeth. For that is what these people–real live human beings, with emotions and fears, love and life just like you Darren Wilson–have been fighting tooth and nail against. TYRANNY.
Most young black men in the United States feel as though they are targets of police aggression and suppression. Whether or not this is accurate, which it is, is irrelevant. The problem is systemic and must be addressed as such if anything is to be done to correct the ship’s course. Correcting it before it hits an iceberg it can’t recover from. Namely, having a police force that is representative and caring of and about the people and community is serves. Not an enemy of it.
Without hope, most youth are lost in a system that cares nothing about them. Thrown back out into a cold, hard world that offers no opportunity or guidance, little to no love while simultaneously trying to kick out any legs of the stool they may be standing on, desperately holding on to try and get a better life for themselves and their families. Income inequality, lack of proper education and nutrition, coupled with police tactics that are not helpful to the peace of mind a community needs to thrive all spell another Michael Brown victim in the future. With again, no responsibility for actions taken therein by the police force of fill in the blank community USA. As this nation slips further and further into the racial divides we experienced in the 1960’s, with civil rights and voting rights being at the epicenter of this thing WE all call JUSTICE.
The ARC of the moral universe is a long one, but in the end always bending towards that sweet JUSTICE!
Have a nice day!
PRESERVE THE WILDERNESS! Peace~M