The people of Ferguson are fighting a fight I didn’t even know needed fighting, and I’m feeling more and more naïve with every picture of smoke and flames that covers my social media threads this evening. I keep seeing these images of law enforcement that look closer to military, and I can’t help but wonder what the other options for Ferguson could be. I’m not saying this fight is right, but I am asking – how else do you take a stand? How do you fight against a nation that seems to be against your community – against your race? I can’t condone the looting. The images of fires and the groups of activists fighting for their place in this world bring fear… and I’m miles away from the riots. But I do support their fight. What you may find shocking, and I don’t care if you do, is that I’m not concerned with the material aspects that will be lost throughout all of this. I don’t care about your corner store, or the local Walgreens. What makes me fearful is that this country, this place I thought I valued, has let me down. These riots and this legal system make me realize I’m living in an age I thought I was far past, and I’m finding myself emerged in a violent, unjust country that I’d mistakenly thought was free.
You see, I grew up thinking I was lucky to be an American. I grew up thinking we’d already fought for our freedom, and we’d made strides in equality. I grew up thinking this world was evil, but somehow America was spared. Maybe that’s the fault of my parents. Maybe they had more hope for this place. Maybe it’s my fault for thinking we’d overcome such a hurdle when it was obviously grudging along the whole time.
I can’t be sure.
But I can say, I’ve never been so alarmed at the state of my peer’s minds, or the state of the overwhelming majority on this issue. I have never – not once – felt so very far from understanding the hate and violence in racism. I feel as though I’ve aged 60 years, but somehow… I’ve only traveled back.
My heart is aching for Ferguson.
I don’t believe in fighting evil with evil, but I do believe in fighting. And I don’t mean fighting for your freedom, or your right as an American – I mean fighting for your rights as an individual. It isn’t about race, or status, or power. It is about realizing we are all people.
And for some reason… I thought we had more respect for mankind.
So, to all of you who have lived with this racism and hate – I am sorry. I am sorry I didn’t realize just how much it still impacted the minds of the legal system. I think that’s because I’ve never felt it myself. I’ve never seen color or status, but I feel just as guilty because I didn’t see how deep this issue truly runs.
I am thinking of all those involved in this hate, and hoping some peace and justice is restored.