I can’t bring myself to post about anything other than Ferguson right now. This is the ‘problem’ (or maybe it’s a perk, actually) of not planning ahead and keeping a few blog posts drafts on file. I tried to write a post about things going on in my life this week, or things I’m thankful for… but those all seem superficial when there are such big things happening in our nation right now. That being said, I’ll probably have a more-superficial post tomorrow, because I do have things on my mind and I can only talk about current events for so long before getting depressed. I’ve been watching Ferguson coverage on CNN (watching CNN is probably always a mistake for me, but here we are) and I have felt quite a plethora of emotions.
// Confused. I don’t understand the law, but it seems like Darren Wilson should have been indicted in the killing of Michael Brown. I’m not sure if he’s guilty or not (nor is it my role to decide that), and I’m not going to pretend I know the evidence as well as the grand jurors who heard/saw all the available facts, but it seems like this case should have at least gone to trial. I don’t get it.
// Heartbroken. Obviously and most importantly. I’m sad that racism exists. I’m also sad that people feel the need to resort to violence and destruction to have their voices heard. I’m sad that a young man is dead and that the law says it was justified (at least that’s how I interpret this case not going to trial). I’m sad for his family and friends and community. I’m sad for the store owners who did nothing to deserve their places of business being burned to the ground, and for the employees who no longer have jobs (especially around the holiday season) because stores are closed/destroyed in Ferguson.
// Annoyed. Some of the news coverage about this story and the aftermath seem very sensational, and I’m never sure if I’m being fed ‘facts’ or the ‘best’ (most dramatic) story, which isn’t necessarily the true story – obviously.
// Disappointed. I understand that many, many people were upset by the news that there would be no charges filed against Darren Wilson. However, I simply don’t understand how anyone can condone the violence and destruction that took place in the aftermath. Yes, people want justice, and I understand that. However, justice is not burning buildings/businesses/peoples’ livelihoods. What could possibly be accomplished by these actions? I get there is anger. I understand there is rage. I know there is injustice and racism in our world and that a young, unarmed man was killed. A sad event has taken place and changes must be made, but criminal acts (destruction of property) is not going to be the catalyst for change that people are looking for.
// Optimistic. There have been peaceful protests in Chicago, LA and NYC and other major cities around the USA, which gives me hope that things will change for the better in our country. I hope that protesters continue making their voices heard. I also hope that this motivates people to continue to be active in policies, politics, and injustice happening in our world.
// Uncertain. I feel like I’m not actually allowed to have an opinion about any of this because I’m a white female and I don’t feel threatened by law enforcement. On the contrary, I would trust police officers to protect me against ‘bad guys’ not to be the ‘bad guys’. I certainly have opinions and feelings, but I’m hesitant to say anything lest I appear as racist, insensitive, clueless, etc etc.
In the end, after reflecting on everything that has happened and is still happening as I type this, the one thing that I’m trying to remind myself is that we’re all (as Christians, specifically) called to love one another, and that’s something I need to keep at the forefront of my mind. We’re called to love our oppressors, love the oppressed, love our neighbors, love and respect our leaders, etc. I may not agree with many things surrounding this tragedy in Ferguson, but it’s not my job to judge anyone and their actions/decisions. I know that if we all attempted to love one another more, there would be no room for discrimination, hatred, and acts of violence, so love is where we must begin. Hopefully, through this love and understanding and organization and cooperation and even anger towards injustice, we will overcome the hatred and fear that so many are experiencing, and positive changes will be made in our society as a whole.