Tuesday, 25 November 2014

#Ferguson - Grand Jury Decision

I woke up this morning with a sick feeling in my stomach.

It's 8:00 am in London right now. I'm in my bed with my laptop which is quite odd for me (I tend to make a distinction between my bed and my desk as being a place of work) but this morning a greater force is calling out to me to write this. I could have had an extra hour of sleep, but this is worth the sacrifice.

Half an hour ago, my brother woke me up to tell me that the grand jury in the Ferguson case decided that they will not indict the police officer responsible for killing Michael Brown - not for anything. Not a damn thing.

12 shots to an unarmed black boy, and nothing? I'd be lying if I said tears didn't well up in my eyes, and that action brought my stomach into knots, realising that the pain his family and friends are feeling must be ten-fold.

I said this on twitter and I'll say it again. Disagree all you like, tell me I'm wrong, tell me there was no basis for an indictment - hell, I may only be a first year law student and have no such degree under my belt to qualify me to say that this is wrong, but I don't care. This is wrong, on so many levels that I can genuinely understand why people have taken to the streets in Ferguson to show the world that they too are in a rage.

People have said that Ferguson is burning tonight, and it's more than just the buildings and the cars which have erupted into flames. Burning too is this long-held belief that all people are equal  under the eyes of the law. Land of the free? Perhaps, because it seems that this police officer was 'free' to shoot this kid no less that 12 times. He's getting away with, dare I say it, murder. Home of the brave? Definitely. These protesters are brave to voice their outrage, and while some may be arguing that it's getting out of hand, this resolute fact remains, and should be echoed:

Buildings will be rebuilt. Shop stock will be repurchased. But none can bring back the life of a young black man who, under the eyes of the majority, did not deserve to have his life end in this horrific manner. While people gladly focus on that fact that people are stealing from shops, they are ignoring the struggle of a people who have tried for hundreds of years to simply be treated the same, to not be barraged with racial prejudice. I'm not condoning theft, or arson - I'm condoning that people are voicing their frustration. Malcolm X said that nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality, or justice - you must take it.

Look at these photos. Look at this place as it burns - the racial tension of this case has a "one step forward, two steps back" ring to it, and it sickens me to the core that in this day and age, we are a step behind racial justice. But beyond that, is something else which speaks to me greatly. My religion states that if you kill one person, it is as though you have killed all of mankind.

This is the consequence of that police officers wrong actions. Stay safe, to all who are living in fear of their own lives, and of what mark this will have in the future. Look at these photos and watch these people fight for what they believed would be their birthright - justice.



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