Grand juries return indictments, in most locales, anyway. One exception is St. Louis County, Missouri. Darren Wilson is free, Michael Brown is dead, and justice has not been served.
White police officers routinely use deadly force against black citizens, and are rarely, if ever, punished under the law; it simply doesn’t happen. The word of the officer, or officers, is always deemed to hold more weight than that of the victims or eyewitnesses. Every time a white-on-black shooting happens our political, civic and media leaders tell us to remain calm, be patient, allow the legal system to work.
And each time, the system protects the status quo.
This nation cannot escape the shackles of its racist past. Yes, of course, progress has been made, but the wound of our racist history lives near the surface, ready to start bleeding when the bandage is next ripped off. The state -- local and federal -- has declared war, it seems, on its black citizens, arresting them at an astounding rate, incarcerating them by the drove, and employing deadly force against them at the slightest provocation. This while enacting a neo-liberal agenda that denudes public sector spending, exports jobs to low wage countries, privatizes schools, medical care, housing, and other essentials of life.
Against the backdrop of the Ferguson travesty, the nation goes about its business, the major media merrily promoting Black Friday sales at Wal-Mart and Macy’s and Amazon. My e-mail inbox is full of offers, buy now, save big, don’t miss out on these awesome deals!
Where do I order justice for Michael Brown, his family, his friends, his neighbors?
There will be no Black Friday extravaganza for Michael Brown, no holiday season that now stretches from Halloween to New Year’s Eve, no festive parties, family gatherings, church services, or Christmas dinner.
Darren Wilson, the unindicted officer, his conscience apparently clear, may experience any number of these events.
Is it me or is the United States a perverse, bizarre nation? There are certain areas in which we are the world’s undisputed leader: arms sales, military weaponry, income inequality, incarceration -- and let’s not forget the high marks we score when it comes to child poverty and homelessness.
We excel at spectacle; we’ve made the annual Super Bowl a worldwide must-see event; we hold concerts with A-list entertainment stars whenever a natural disaster strikes or to honor our fallen or maimed warriors. And when it comes to turning holidays into reasons for shopping, no nation is in our league -- we sit alone at the head of the table.
And what we do with money and politics is breathtaking; we’ve taken influence peddling to an entirely different level.
The fire next time, the fire next time, the fire this time.