Decades of segregation and inequality in Ferguson, as well as most American metropolitan areas, have fostered a racial inequality exacerbated by the criminalization of not just poverty, but the criminalization of black and brown bodies. Too many whites are too willing to believe that a black body poses a threat.
It's hard to continue. I wish it was my kids' bedtime. I wish the dishes were done. I wish the house was clean. I wish America wasn't racist. I wish Mike Brown was in police custody. I wish Darren Wilson admitted guilt. I wish America admitted guilt.
My daughter and I were standing in the middle of the baseball field in Inwood Hill Park, looking up at the stars, when something told me to check to see if the decision was finally announced. "NO INDICTMENT" stared back at me, taunting. I fell to my knees, crying. Yet again I was that kid watching an injustice occur right before my eyes and feeling helpless to do anything about it.
The gradual ground we have gained regarding our civil rights should not be confused with the literal stalemate we have had with the U.S. justice system regarding our human rights for more than 200 years.
Having failed so miserably earlier this month to express our justified anger at the ballot box, this Thanksgiving weekend, along with its Black Friday promotions, throughout the holiday season, and for whatever necessary days or months to come, we have been given the opportunity to express our justified rage, anew.
I don't think the fate of Darren Wilson as a human being really means anything to the ruling class. At the end of the day, people like Bob McCulloch aren't protecting Wilson so much as the system that he stood for.
This is a sad day. All of America's fathers, mothers and children should stay outraged and in motion for progress until we are finally what we say we are: One Nation, Under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All.
Last year, Mazy was aware and confident enough in herself, after coping with a lot of self-shame and bullying, to share with her family, second grade class and elementary school that she had always known she was a girl.
We are in a state of emergency, a time of challenge and controversy, but not because of the protestors. That state of emergency will continue until we stand, become uncomfortable, and demand a justice system that addresses the manifestation of pain in protest, the further chipping away of respect, and the real state of emergency our country faces.
This is consistent with the cultural logic that makes it okay in America to use brutal force when confronted by a Black villain. Thus, how can a grand jury indict Officer Darren Wilson when he was battling The Hulk?
We now all have the chance to examine the evidence -- released last night -- in the grand jury's decision not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson, who fired multiple bullets into Michael Brown. But the verdict on America's criminal justice system is already in for many Americans: guilty, for treating young black men differently than young white men.
I can't speak. My country has scarred me once again. How can I go to work in the morning on a train full of people who care not? At a workplace of people who missed the story because of football or reality television?
Perhaps the call to examine this one case would be understandable if justice came more often, but we've seen these unjust acts in communities of more color for far too long.
On March 22, 1991, a visibly shaken and angered President George H.W. Bush said he was "sickened and outraged" by what he saw on television. That was the beating of black motorist Rodney King by a swarm of LAPD cops.
The convenient spectacle of "violence in the streets" obscures the perpetuation of "structural violence" everywhere.
These things happen all the time, right? They will happen forever, right? It's nice to think they won't. It's probably best to think life won't always be like this. Optimism is good. But I know I'm going to have to tell my future children about this country. What should I tell them?
The tragedy of Michael Brown's death, unarmed and shot by a member of the Ferguson police, is now followed by the tragic failure of the local courts to force the policeman to stand trial. This cannot stand without a measure of accountability. And on that score look no further than the prosecutor's office.
Deep down, whether I want to admit or not, I know the truth. The racism that James Baldwin knew and ultimately made him leave the country isn't really gone. It's just changed its form.
To understand this moment, we have to understand that Ferguson is yet another unraveled thread in the closely woven fabric of racism that has cloaked this country for 500 years.
I was introduced to Dominican salons approximately two years ago while in Silver Spring, Maryland. I ventured into Mary's Stylists with no appointment and really no expectations. I left with a head full of bouncy hair and self-confidence. I usually play my own stylist but when I do put my hair in the care of professionals I head primarily to Dominican salons.
So what's the difference between African American salons and Dominican salons?
I was raised in black salons and I have my good stories – and my bad. The one defining difference between the two is how your hair is managed and what you pay at the end of the visit. For example, when I visit traditional black salons I usually get a wash, wrap and bumped curl on my ends. The process is quite simple and my hair is usually treated with products such as Dudley's, Mizani or Paul Mitchell. A heavy oil such as Kemi is applied to my hair at the end to soften the curl and I always get a coat of Finisheen to keep my tresses glossy as I walk out the door. Does this sound familiar?
Now onto the Dominican salon. If you're smart you will arrive early because most have a walk-in policy and we all know that Friday and Saturdays are busy. It's like hitting the mall on Black Friday. When you arrive there's a whole process – much like ordering from the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld. You nod at the person behind the front desk to be sure they've acknowledged you, you take a seat and you wait for someone to come by and get you.
You're usually greeted by a person who takes you to the back and sits you down – very little speaking is done. Your hair is washed with products usually with no labels. I've since discovered that some salons use products by Salerm, Lacio Lacio and Alfaparf. Unfortunately, you won't find these labels at your local beauty supply store. Yet, I've managed to find one online store that carries most of their products (click on 'Beauty and Health' then 'Hair Care').
Once you're washed and conditioned then comes the rollerset. This is where it gets tricky. You're usually spoken to for the first time and asked which color rollers you want. I go with the medium size rollers (gray) so that I have some curl to my hair. Once you're rolled up under the hood dryer you go. Depending on the length of your hair you could be under for one hour or nearly two. The heat is so strong and powerful and yet I've sat under the dryer for ninety minutes.
Once you're dry, it's time for the infamous blowout.
The rollers are removed and out comes the round brush and blow dryer. This is the process I've been unable to duplicate at home. The stylist is literally using the roundbrush and the heat from the dryer to straighten your roots and bend your ends. Each section of the hair is treated until your entire head is done. For me, the latter takes approximately twenty minutes and if you're tender-headed I suggest you grab some aspirin. During my visit, I winced in pain every time the dryer came near my scalp but wouldn't you know it I couldn't get over the results once she was done. My hair is usually coarse and rarely holds a curl but she managed to do in one day what I had been trying to do my whole life and I had the nerve to gasp when she said I had to pay $40. The amazing part is that the curls lasted two weeks (yes, I had the nerve to test this) and dare I say it, I didn't wrap my hair not one night.
So, if my story hasn't scared you I've got a great link to a database with Dominican salons across the U.S. put together by a DS fan. She's adding to the list so you may want to bookmark it in case you don't see a salon in your city just yet.
I'd like to hear your experiences with Dominican salons – both good and bad. Some of you have already posted your thoughts in the Hair Talk board.