My intentions were to write a well thought out and researched piece about the current situation in Ferguson, MO that resulted from the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, Jr. I have been following the story closely since the very beginning and have related to the passion felt by those seeking justice.
But as I sat down to write, the coherency that I envisioned seemed to be hindered by the the combination of sadness and anger that I feel, and have felt every time a story like this one is put into the forefront. For a young man who was soon to attend college, and who had dreams of starting his own business. A young man who I’m sure wasn’t perfect, but did not deserve to die on August 9th.
This incident and ones similar to it continue to highlight the racial divide in this county. As much as we would like to believe that America is this utopian melting pot, we still have a long way to go before true equality is established.
I don’t know what the solution should be, which is extremely frustrating for my solution-oriented brain. But if nothing else I hope that the media attention that this case is receiving causes each of us to examine ourselves and how best we can support the change we wish to see.
What racially-motivated ideas/perceptions do I hold and how do those ideas/ perceptions manifest?
What might I be doing better to promote equality for all individuals, independent of race/ethnicity?
How can I help to create a society where individuals aren’t judged based on the color of their skin?
In what individual way can I contribute to the passing of legislature that supports a just and equitable society?
The eternal optimist in me continues to believe that change is possible, so long as I make it my personal responsibility to support change through my thoughts, words and actions.
Despite its release in 1971, the words of Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On?” still hold true today. One line from that song really stood out to me: “For only love can conquer hate.” Not only do I want to support change through my thoughts, words and actions, but I desire that unconditional love be the foundation upon which change occurs.