Sunday, August 10, 2014

I'm Not Going to Write About Mike Brown

The body of unarmed teenager Mike Brown
 four hours after he was shot 10 times
by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer. 

I'm not going to write about the murder of #MikeBrown in #Ferguson Missouri. The truth is: my Facebook "friends" and the people in my community don't care about arbitrary rule of law, police brutality or mass incarceration. A large portion of them will immediately ask: what was he doing? As if shooting an unarmed teenager 10 times could be explained. I live a peaceful life tucked away in a rural suburb away from the "others". An unarmed kid getting shot 10 times by the police is of no consequence to my peer group.

 I hope all of my Christian friends are comfortable today as they give thanks to Jesus for shedding his blood on Calvary. I'm naive enough to believe that blood was the same blood that inspired the 25th chapter of Matthew: 35-46. It's funny: Jesus starts with the least of these, yet we often avoid the very ones he called us to serve. We're passionate about the conflicts in the Middle east, yet ignore the genocide in our streets. This is the point in my rant where people stop reading and classify me as an angry black man. Well for the first time in my life I'm going to embrace that title. I'm mad as hell. I'm tired of watching the news and seeing kids killed by those who swore to protect and serve. This is where someone mentions violence in the inner cities. Well guess what: I hate that too. It's possible to do more than one thing at a time. 

This October there will be hundreds of functions around the country in solidarity with the stop mass incarceration and end police brutality movements. I have donated time and money for this cause, and will wear orange on the 30th as a show of my solidarity with this movement. I'm glad I don't have any children. How could I teach a child to respect and bow down to an authority figure who doesn't even respect their humanity? I know all cops aren't bad; likewise, I  know all black kids aren't angels, but I also know that if black cops were killing white teenagers at the same rate we would have solved that problem a long time ago. Why do you think we don't have an epidemic of black cops killing suburban and rural teens? It's not that black cops are better or more moral, it's because they know it won't be tolerated by greater society. Until we change the system it will stay the same.

Where's our righteous indignation? Jesus flipped out in the temple, that's the kind of Holy anger we should have about injustice in our time. I thank God for Christians like John Brown and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. They weren't afraid of cutting against the grain. That blood shed on Calvary meant something to them. This rant is why I have very few friends. I would rather be by myself than buck dance and try to assimilate into a normative gaze that views me as other. I pray for the family of Mike Brown and all of the kids who will lose their lives in similar fashion.