The Michael Brown grand jury case was doomed to fail before it even started. The decision was made to try to cool down the protest and the anger and to create an illusion of due process to appease the public. What is more alarming than the result of the grand jury was the decision to release it 8pm local time. All the chest pieces were now set: that National Guard was put on alert, the national media swarmed in to broadcast the reaction with questions and placing gasoline on already fiery build up to an unpopular and downright wrong decision, and we had protesters and rioters (yes there is a difference) ready and we the people prepared not to be surprised.
I remember just seven short years ago when some said the election of Barack Obama as President was supposed to be the beginning a post racial society where we saw the world without color or prejudice. The reaction and the behavior since has been much different. I am not sure in the world of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and the 24 hour cable news cycle that the violent interactions between black citizen and police are more obvious or mainstream that racism and subversive racism is more apparent but the protest in Ferguson has become a “Mockingjay" moment. People have seen too many miscarriages of justice from Michael Brown to Oscar Grant even going back to Rodney King and have become tired, angered, frustration, and now enraged.
I understand what a cosmic farce the grand jury was and allow me to explain. Johnnie Cochrane once said that a grand jury would indict a ham sandwich. All a grand jury does is say that there is probable cause to hold a criminal proceeding where a defendant has the right to a trial and legal defense. This grand jury was unguided and misdirected by the prosecutors who provided through tons of evidence and witnesses to the wall and did NOT take a stand to recommend charges against the accused.
The accused did not get a through cross examination of the details of what happened that night. We all know that the conclusion was decided before the grand jury even started and the public’s intelligence was insulted. The angles were being made and the chest pieces were being played all along. When someone stacks the deck and then is surprised why people are so upset of the result it is because we saw the trick, we saw the hand in the cooke jar red handed. We see time and time again that justice as “just us” and continue to see that there are two legal systems in this country. We see that one person’s life does not have value of other lives and that this system will continue to operate because it benefits those in power and those in control.
I agree that the case of Michael Brown was different from most others. The accused was an actual police officer and Mr. Brown was suspected of committing a crime directly before. Mr. Brown may have not have been an angel but there are real questions of what happened between him and the officer accused of killing of him. Was killing Mr. Brown the only choice that he had? I agree that Mr. Brown should have been arrested and sent to county jail that night but we may now never know because there will be no trial.
With that said, with the rioting and the protest, with the anger, and the boiling points of having seen all of this before, what do we do next? Burning down businesses, Black businesses, and destroying property and becoming a criminal in a blaze of anger only perpetuate the stereotypes that the public has for African Americans and minorities in general for years. Now is not the time to destroy with anger and fire but to build with a movement of words and non-violent actions, to build support, coalitions, alliances. It is time for to re-think about how we raise our children, how we interact with the police, how we spend our money and how we treat each other.
I know while those who are outraged that another white police officer has killed a black teenager for the x-teeth time, we must remember that black teenagers kill other black teenagers daily and there are no riots and no anger for them. There is no anger when a African-American life is taken by another African-America, it is our huge dirty not so secret. It is time for our hypocrisy to end and take ownership of the “Black on Black” crime that plague our streets. Yes, we have our own business to handle, but we must value our own lives before we expect others to.