Shooting of Michael Brown: The Straw that Broke Social Justice’s Back
I am tired, exhausted of thinking about Michael Brown. Feeling like that if I defend Michael Brown I am betraying my friends and spouses of people whom I respect in law enforcement. Conversely feeling like defending Darren Wilson feels like betrayal to my friends in actively involved in protests…
…The non-indictment of Darren Wilson has kicked off a firestorm of debate. Was he justified in the shooting of Michael Brown? The evidence suggests he was a police officer who was defending himself against an attack. Regardless of race, Mr. Wilson felt like was in danger. Protesters feel other things could have been done to prevent his death. Mr. Brown was a young man in the act of surrender and was shot anyway. The people in the later camp believe “justice was not served.”
If we accept the fact that Mr. Wilson was justified in shooting Mr. Brown, a larger question still remains. What do we do now, how do we prevent another tragedy like this from happening? No matter what Mr. Brown’s death started a conversation and debate. I recently described my thoughts about Michael Brown’s shooting as being angered by this. I stand firm that I am angry.This anger along with everyone else’s has a context. This event lit a fire for me about “Social Justice” .
For me it is the straw that broke the camel’s back. Something has to be done. Persons living in poverty just don’t have the same opportunities as others. It’s not “their problem to fix” and they can’t just “suck it up”. People are angry about Mr. Brown’s death because it brings up questions about equal rights, opportunity, and justice. Questions that have been raised for years. This is catalyst for me being angry about his death.
A challenge facing america’s youth is the “School To Prison Pipeline”. Here are the facts about the school to prison pipeline..
My anger lies not with Mr. Wilson, it lies with a system that continues to ignore the needs of our youth. A system that dooms children to failure and leaves them little or no option to achieve something. This is what is getting lost in the debate about the merits of Mr. Wilson’s actions. This is creating a gigantic smoke screen to issues of race, equality and justice.
This is where the anger and distrust comes from. We need to ask what can do as a community to level the playing field. Yes I am angry and we all should be looking at these statistics. However this should not fall solely on Mr. Wilson’s shoulders. How can we change these statistics together? What do persons in law enforcement see that are viable solutions to these statistics? What do people in social justice circles see as solutions? How can we break the cycle of mistrust between the police and their communities? Now is a time to work together so tragedies like this can be avoided. We need to work together to find answers. Sadly, Mr. Brown’s death provides us a stage for us to work together and develop solutions to anger and mistrust. Let’s promote peace.