Already Am

So the (mostly white) grand jury did not indict Darren Wilson for the murder of an unarmed child half a football field away. Transcript is here. Predictably, the prosecutor (who comes from a family of police officers and people who work for them) released the news of no indictment at 9pm instead of 9am, probably to avoid questions from the press, and the people who are being killed for the color of their skin are furious. The President’s speech was a marvel of mealymouth, while on at least one split screen showing said speech and the situation in Ferguson, police “proactively” tear-gassed protestors. The racists and police apologists are out in force, I had to close my social media feeds this morning. I just can’t even.

I’m sickened, saddened, and I feel like crying, but I’m not surprised.

The Ferguson Public Library is open this morning, for teachers and kids who can’t get to school for one reason or the other. I donated to them through their website (the PayPal link is in the top right corner); it feels like the only goddamn thing I can do.

My son’s father isn’t Caucasian. How long before I’m afraid to let my own child go outside, too?

Too late. I already am.

ETA: Comments heavily moderated. Behave.

  • Joelle Charbonneau is setting up a site for authors to donate signed copies of their books for Ferguson Library to give to kids there. Thought you might be interested. @jcharbonneau

  • Unfortunately, I don’t think my books would be appropriate. 🙁 I’ll boost the signal, though.

  • Michele

    I gotta tell you, I agree with you. Lethal force is supposed to be a last resort, not a first response, and there had to be another way for a seasoned police officer to protect himself and the public besides shooting 10 bullets at an unarmed teenager. I don’t think anyone is safe with our current system of “justice.” In a way, it makes no difference what the color of Michael’s Brown’s skin was, the fact that the system condoned the excessive force means we are all at risk. Certain minorities may be more at risk now, but where do they draw an increasingly blurry line? And aren’t they supposed to be trained to use good judgment in when and how much force they should use? I think because of the attention this case had, the decisions made have very far reaching consequences and influence how people assess their choices in situations, which is why is affects all of us.

  • Exactly. We are all at risk, especially since so many police departments now have high-end military hardware they are not trained to handle, and indeed, should not have for their job. The bigots who do not realize this makes them more at risk too deserve a double helping of contempt–one for their bigotry, and another for their stupidity.

  • No, I’m completely with you on this: utterly horrified, and not in the least surprised.

  • Do you feel the structure and approach of the grand jury was an appropriate way to determine this? Is it an issue of the law not being enforced correctly or the law being insufficient to provide justice?

  • I think it’s a case of systemic racism crippling whatever remedy the law could (or should) apply. Also, with reports that the prosecutor was actively raising money for Officer Wilson, well.

    ETA: The link above appears outdated and partly false. Here’s an explanation: http://www.stlamerican.com/news/local_news/article_05fbf85e-3d02-11e4-bbb3-5b590397aedf.html

    Mea culpa.

  • A grand jury is completely in the hands of the prosecutor. In 162,000 cases in 2010, a grand jury refused to hand down an indictment 11 times. This guy did not /want/ an indictment and he got the result he desired.

  • bodea

    I’m not at all surprised by the verdict. When they started prepping the city before releasing it, I think all of America knew what the outcome would be. It’s really sad that this country keeps sending the message that it’s okay to kill people based on the color of their skin. This case was never going to turn out any other way. They’ve gotten away with it before and there was no doubt it’d happen again. I’m sickened by the statements and support for the shooter from institutions in this country that are supposed to protect and serve everyone regardless of race or religion.

  • aspiritsong

    May you and your family be blessed as my friends Marybeth, Charley, and Ortega are. Charlie is the son of a white woman and a mix of back and Caucasian (who looks completely black until you looks at his grey eyes..) man. He is the darling of everyone in the local group of the sca… Society for creative anachronism… and thus is in crowds of people who are Very protective of him at all times. I can only hope that that love follows him all of his life.

  • Andra

    Some days, I just want to turn in my membership card. To the human race.

  • We can’t, though. We have to keep doing the small, patient work of trying to be better. *sigh*

  • Sadly enough it was 12 shots and six missed. So who in that neighborhood just missed being hurt or killed by what was clearly a panicked (I hesitate to use the title) officer? What ever happened to the peace officer in this tortured country?