By Channing McNeal
There’s been a lot said and written about the Ferguson decision. Depending on what side you came down on it, I’m sure you have a piece that articulates your feelings. This is not why I’m writing. What’s been on my mind isn’t what the jury ruled, America never loved black people and probably never will. What really got at me is the response I have seen from some people, you can guess their racial identity. I’ve seen things like “you didn’t seen white people riot after OJ got off” or “justice has been served”. I get it, you are in support of the decision. But the need to flaunt it in the face of others is something I will never understand. To compare what is happening in America to black youth to one case is the definition of ignorance. The fact that you think justice has in any way been served just shows how small of a picture you’re seeing.
While this situation is about Michael Brown, it is about so much more than that. This is about a system where being black means you simply are less than. I usually hate statements like this but in this case it is 100% true; if you are not black you simply cannot understand what it is like to be black. To live in a constant state of fear for your life. Don’t tell me about how far we have come when unarmed black boys are getting killed right and left.
I will say the looting and vandalism is not the answer. Hurting our own communities will help no one. But I am not in a position to admonish those people because even I can only imagine that frustration. The pure rage at the fact that someone who looks just like you can be shot 6 times and nothing is going to happen about it. You will never be able to explain to me how you can shoot someone 6 times in self-defense. Did the first two not do the job? People aren’t rioting and protesting because they don’t agree with the decision. People are taking action because there is clearly no other option at this point. Being peaceful has not helped. The judicial system has time and time again turned its back on us. We are left with no other choice but to force our voice to be heard. If you think that this is an illogical response, then I’m sure your people were not brought to this country in slave ships to work as animals for nothing. Your people were not systematically lynched, raped, and murdered for no reason but the fact that they were there. Your people probably weren’t considered 3/5s of a person. And your people probably aren’t the ones getting gunned down in the street. People of all races get shot every day and that is a much bigger issue. But the response by those groups is inherently different because our experiences are different. Don’t talk to me about how black people are reacting wrong until you go through what we have went through.