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.
Prince received the Lifetime Achievement Award and hand-picked his favorite female vocalists to perform his classics.
The women included Janelle Monae, who opened the set with 'Let's Go Crazy,' followed by Esperanza Spalding's rendition of 'If I Was Your Girlfriend.' Alicia Keys returned to the stage to play piano and sing 'Adore' and climbed up onto of the piano toward the end of her performance. Closing things out was Patti LaBelle with the seminal hit 'Purple Rain.' The legendary diva kicked off her shoes, and Prince caught one of them. LaBelle and his friend Chaka Khan presented Prince with the award.
This might have been Kanye West's first award show performance in over a year, but the night belonged to Chris Brown, who took the stage and gave the award show's most memorable performance – a tribute to the late, great King of Pop Michael Jackson.
Brown, who was set to perform last year's tribute to Jackson but was cut front the show at the last minute, danced to Jackson's biggest hits like 'Smooth Criminal,' 'The Way You Make Me Feel' and 'Remember the Time' before bursting in to tears during 'Man in the Mirror.' The crowd gave him a rousing standing ovation.
Brown was honored with the AOL Fandemonium Award, saying, "I didn't prepare a speech but I could never have done any of this without my fans, and I just want to say one thing. I let y'all down before but I won't do it again. I promise."
They might be rap newcomers, but Drake and Nicki Minaj took home rap honors. Drake, whose debut, 'Thank Me Later,' just hit stores a week ago, took home best male hip-hop artist. His label mate Minaj, who gave props to Jada Pinkett Smith in her speech, took home best female hip-hop artist. She also took the stage three times -- once with Diddy and Dirty Money for the remix to 'Hello, Good Morning' and later with Ludacris for 'My Chick Bad' and DJ Khaled for 'All I Do is Win.'
Both artists shouted out their Young Money rap crew and thanked their incarcerated mentor Lil' Wayne.
Finally, John Legend was honored with the Humanitarian Award.
Complete List of 'BET Awards '10' Award Winners:
Best Female R&B Artist:
Best Male R&B Artist:
Best Female Hip-Hop Artist:
Best Male Hip-Hop Artist:
Best New Artist:
Jay-Z & Alicia Keys 'Empire State of Mind'
Video of the Year:
Beyoncé featuring Lady Gaga 'Video Phone'
Video Director of the Year:
'Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire'
Subway Sportwoman of the Year:
Subway Sportman of the Year:
Best International Act:
Dizzee Rascal (UK)
Lifetime Achievement Award
Viewers' Choice Award
Rihanna featuring Young Jeezy 'Hard'
AOL Fandemonium Award