Ferguson wants justice for Mike Brown and a better forever.
As a news maker, part of my job is to pontificate what should be said about current events and when it should be released to the public.
So, after leaving morning meetings today at Philly.com and The Philadelphia Daily News, my brain locked in on story mode and I began thinking: how do I talk about Ferguson… again?
I considered getting some thoughts from locals about the scale of the protest that will follow if the grand jury refuses to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. I toyed around with maybe writing my opinion on the video that surfaced that shows Officer Wilson two hours after murdering Mr. Michael Brown, Jr., with no bruises, cuts or even a hair out of place. I shuffled through a few more ideas before stumbling across a video released yesterday called “A Communique from Ferguson.”
The nearly 10 minute video, where at one point a frustrated young black man eloquently remarked how he doesn’t want to see a better tomorrow, instead he wants a better forever, made me realize that enough had been said – at least for the moment – about Ferguson from people like me, and that it was time to step off my soapbox, shut the f*ck up and listen.
When I closed my mouth, turned down my brain and opened my ears, what I heard was that many in that St. Louis town are weary and expecting the system to fail, which explains why people are boarding up their businesses, buying ammo and, if you believe the hype, joining the Missouri chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.
One young brother suggested that if there’s no indictment, that people will lose hope in America. Another brother said no indictment will be “a declaration of war” from the state, the police and the entire system itself, to poor black and brown people.
The new, youthful voices unearthed in Ferguson during the last few months have made it clear that the devaluing of black life and the fear of the black body are not exclusive to their southern community, instead its a “nationwide problem… an American problem,” remarked one young black woman in the video.
Ferguson is speaking and their words are not threatening, they’re enlightening and, at the very least, substantive. I recommend that we – journalists, clergy, thought-leaders and activists – just for a moment stop writing and discussing Ferguson and really listen to what those people on the ground are saying and, THEN respond with solutions, compassion, opinions, and above all, LOVE.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™