Thoughts on the grand jury decision regarding the shooting in Ferguson, Missouri

An opinion piece was written recently in the Washington Post by Carol Anderson, and it is titled “Ferguson isn’t about black rage against cops. It’s white rage against progress.” In the piece she states that “White rage recurs in American history. It exploded after the Civil War, erupted again to undermine the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision and took on its latest incarnation with Barack Obama’s ascent to the White House. For every action of African American advancement, there’s a reaction, a backlash.”

I have been trying to sort out my feelings of anger and dismay over the grand jury decision, and this is a beginning to that process. I do not pretend to have answers regarding the rioting that I wish had not occurred, and I definitely do not have answers about how the shooting of Michael Brown should have been handled. There has been a lot written saying that the legal system has spoken and we should trust the system. That just seems like empty platitudes to me. Part of me actually believed that the grand jury would present an indictment of the police officer – how could it not, when ten shots were fired, seven of them hitting and killing the victim? What was I thinking?

I have tired of the demagogues who have been attacking President Obama and have been trying to deliver a message that his election means that we now live in a post racial society. Please let that insane argument cease. His election did carry hope and that hope still survives but our culture has much to learn and change before equality and opportunity are available to all of our citizens.

As a teacher I had the honor and privilege to be part of a learning community comprised of urban African American and Latino students. I tried my best to do what I could to insure that those students would be able to share in the opportunity that our culture promises to its citizens, but I feared then and I still fear now that when those students walk down the streets of our cities, they are risking their very lives. That kind of toxic environment has got to end.

I hope that the conversations about race, equality and opportunity will continue and will reach a broader public spectrum. We have to strive together to solve the problems that we face today.

I recommend the opinion piece by Carol Anderson to you. If you go to www.washingtonpost/opinion and type in her name, you will see her article.

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