I’m trying to make sense of the Ferguson decision and realize sadly, there is no sense. I’ve put my faith in a system that failed to deliver.
The memory of Michael Brown is now tarnished by injustice, and the violent, destructive aftermath of that unfair decision not to indict the policeman who shot an unarmed teenager.
And the rampage continues. In Cleveland, Ohio, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed Saturday after brandishing a fake gun on a playground.
In both cases, young boys were engaged in activities that cause alarm; but don’t merit shooting to death. Brown was caught on camera stealing from a convenience store; Rice shouldn’t have been playing with a gun that looks real.
I think about my African American friends, many whom are parents, who are having the “talk,” once again with their children about how to behave when confronted by police, especially white police. I’m thinking about how they’re trying to explain Ferguson in a way that instills hope that the system can still work.
From a blog post by my friend Ken:
I Hate When I’m Right
…When it came to race, she (my daughter) believed that racism on a whole wasn’t as bad today as my wife and I portrayed it to her. I don’t think she was being Pollyanna with race in America; she was merely taking into account her personal experiences with it. Even though I knew she was wrong, I wanted her vision to be right…
…My daughter was wrong (again), but I hope that what she and her generation sees, that I cannot, will some day come to pass. Until then we have Ferguson.
On a positive note, today is the 136th birthday of Marshall Taylor, known as Major. Another friend, Demetrice Miles, president the Major Taylor Cycling Club of NJ wrote:
On November 26, 1878, the world was blessed with the birth of Marshall Walter Taylor. Marshall Taylor was a phenomenal athlete and competitor who rose above the circumstances of the times in which he lived to become a world class cycling champion.
More importantly, Marshall “Major” Taylor was of person of strong moral integrity and conviction…
As members of MTCCNJ, we carry the torch and banner of a man worthy of celebration… When you think it is too cold outside or you think you are too tired to do anything, THINK about what Marshall Taylor had to go through in his lifetime just to have the honor to compete…
Perhaps linking these events is too much of a stretch. Perhaps more role models are needed for young people to keep them from stealing cigars or waving fake guns. Perhaps more kids should ride a bike.