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.
The experts of Full Circle Six have the answers to all of your lifestyle needs, one checklist at a time. Each week, one will answer questions in her respective area.
Q: I'm constantly late for everything. How do I break out of this vicious cycle?
Dina Farrugia, The Concierge, Full Circle Six: It's admirable that you recognize the need for change and want to take steps toward correcting it. Pat yourself on the back! Still, it's important to realize that change takes time, so introduce new changes gradually. Remember, just as bad habits develop over time, so do good ones. Below are some suggestions that will help you go from tardy to timely:
• Jump-start your morning by setting your alarm clock ahead at least 30 minutes earlier, and use that time to organize your day. Plot out what you need to get done so you can better manage your time.
• Decrease the amount of time you spend on a certain task. For example, learn how to put on your makeup in five minutes rather than the usual half hour; subscribe to an online news outlet that you can read when you have a few minutes instead of lingering over the newspaper in the morning.
• Prioritize tasks (a MUST!). Complete the important or necessary tasks first, even if they are the most difficult or boring. You'll thank yourself later.
Stick to your game plan and you will start to notice positive changes soon. Good luck!
Q: My boyfriend's family, whom I've never met, is visiting from out of town this weekend. HELP! Please recommend some activities we can enjoy together.
Dina, Full Circle Six: There are so many wonderful activities that you can do together to break the ice. To alleviate some of the stress, first find out if there is something special your boyfriend's family would like to do or if they have any particular interests. Here are some of my suggestions:
• Take an organized walking /bus trip around your city
• Visit local galleries and attend art show openings
• See a play at an independent theater company
• Watch a live music show (classical, jazz)
• Visit a museum
• Shopping (everyone's favorite!)
• Dine at one of your favorite neighborhood restaurants
• Have a picnic (weather permitting)
• Attend a sporting event
• Go bowling
Whatever you decide to do, keep in mind that the family is probably just as nervous about meeting you as you are about meeting them. So relax, and have fun. Remember that you have your boyfriend there to support you.
Q: I'm going out of town for two weeks and I have to leave my dog behind. Who should get to take care of him while I'm away, and how much will it cost?
Dina, Full Circle Six: Of course you want to make sure that your lovable pooch will be left in the best hands. Here are few suggestions that will help you feel more at ease during your separation:
Your dog sitter should be responsible, caring and trustworthy and make you and your pooch feel comfortable! Start with a recommendation from a friend, neighbor, veterinarian or even a dog trainer. Ideally you want to find someone who loves dogs and has experience taking care of them. It's a bonus if they have a dog of their own!
A friend or family member may be a good candidate to take care of your pooch if you don't want to leave her with a stranger.
Contact the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (www.petsitters.org) for ideas on the best way to choose someone to watch your pet. Pet Sitters can also help you find a sitter.
Costs can vary depending on the service you choose. Prices range from $10-$25 per day or $40-$80 for an overnight stay. Whichever option you choose, remember to leave your emergency contact information with your dog's caretaker. Enjoy your trip!
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Full Circle Six is: Annie Tse (The Interior Designer), Vanessa K. Bush (The Chef), Dina Farrugia (The Concierge), Sharon Pendana (The Fashion Stylist), Jen M.R. Doman (The Organizer) and Lindsay Messina (The Wellness Expert). Contact them at email@example.com or 718-783-2075 or http://fullcircle6.com.