After the grand juries decision to not indict Officer Darren Wilson, I saw pictures of Michael Brown and emotional tweets and post about the injustice. I immediately started crying because all I could think about was this could have been my cousin, who happens to be a 18-year-old black man that is 6’5. When looking at him you see a huge guy, but he is one of the sweetest guys you would ever meet and would not hurt a fly. I saw this quote on Tumblr saying, “What is crazy about this story and all the others before. We are not looking for the killer of these young men we are trying to figure out if they deserved to die or not. Black people literally have to prove that we’re worthy of living.”
While trying to digest the information and quote that was displayed on my screen, I received a message from someone that said “No indictment not sufficient evidence” This did not set well with me. I’m not sure how she meant to come off when she sent it, but to me felt like I read, “see I told you” We then had a discussion about police officers and I said, “they should be trained to not be trigger-happy and that they should have the skills to handle events like this without killing someone.” The response to that was, “his adrenaline was pumping and his body didn’t realize how many rounds he shot. It was self defense.” I did not know how to respond to this. It seemed as whatever I said it wouldn’t matter my thoughts and opinions were not going to be heard. But then I responded with, “Why we as a people are upset is that justice was not served. I’m not talking about him getting off because I knew he was getting off based on all the years of racial profiling, police brutality, racism, and discrimination that goes on in this country.”
I redirected the conversation to the real issue, which is the death of this eighteen-year-old named Michael Brown. “I’m upset, mad, angry, and sad that another life was taken whether he committed a crime or not. The police, law enforcement, social media and most of the country are against us not just in this case but, the dozens of cases that occurred after Michael’s in August, and all the cases before this. Profiling is alive and well and I pray to God that one of my family members or friends do not get gunned down because they look like a threat. Black lives matter and that is what we are fighting for not the cop… It’s about black people and other minorities right to live without fear of getting killed.”
I saw a Tumblr post that said, “Reminder that James Eagan Holmes, a grown man who entered a public movie theatre in full tactical clothing, carrying seven different fire arms and grenades, did not have a single shot fired at him by police when he walked out of the building after he finished killing 12 people, and he was arrested peacefully. But Mike Brown, an unarmed teenage boy in plain clothing,was shot multiple times after he got down on his knees and begged for mercy.” This just shows the reality of our world. Black people don’t end up in the back of the police car. They end up dead.
I knew after her response I was not going to be able to show her why the protesters and I are upset. I just know as long as I try to educate and tell people about the true issues in this case maybe as a community and a country we can take a step forward in the right direction and stop history from repeating itself. I am Michael Brown. You are Michael Brown. We are all Michael Brown. BLACK LIVES MATTER.
This video was from the California State University, Fullerton BSU protest.