Through a series of failed convictions and missed marks my life has taught me that im gonna be wrong some of the time. More importantly, I frequently search for a truth that keeps me comfortable and that represents the way i want to see the world. I realize that now and if im wrong in my thoughts and feelings about this case, may God and my fellow men and women forgive me for my judgement and contempt. Humility is indispensable in situations like this. Mercy is as well. But beyond my opinions, here's what i know.
I know that an 18 year old kid got shot at 12 times by a police officer who's battle scar to attest to a "life threatening" situation and 10 reported punches by a 6'5 290 pound person was a mild bruise on his face.
I know that if im ever suspected of killing a black man and race is SAID to be a contributing factor, i damn sure hope i don't have a jury of 9 blacks and 3 whites deciding my fate.
I know that i've never seen a prosecutor so eager to exonerate a potential defendant.
And i know that so very many people sadly don't find anything even slightly off with the above situation.
What i also know is that my nephew can wear a hoodie or walk around in Richardson with a BB gun and not have to worry about getting killed by a cop. And even if he did something wrong, he would likely be called a troubled kid and not a thug.
I know we've never had to have 'the talk" with our kids about the importance of keeping your hands visible at all times when in the presence of police.
And i know that that's the privilege of being white and somewhat middle class in America. It's not something I have to apologize for but I'm at least aware that not everyone has my circumstances.
The most important thing i know though is that i have a duty to listen to other human beings when they say they are suffering and that's it unskillful and possibly arrogant for me to minimize their grievances. A woman taught me that. To listen for the truth in someone's feelings and not to dismiss them just because mine are different.
And that's how i know that beyond Mike Brown, there is an epidemic of police brutality in lower economic and black communities that continues to go unchecked. I've listened and heard.
And that's what i know. Didn't wanna write anything at all but don't want any confusion about where i stand.
Focus on the looters if you want. Most of us can agree that isn't part of the solution. But to only use our voices to denounce that would be shortsighted.
My focus will be the voices i've heard that are rising up to pay homage to all of those who suffer at the hands of the powerful. I've heard those songs before. They always come before a change. You may not need change right now. But some folks do.