After two days of reading about Ferguson, and fighting strange online battles based on assumptions and prejudices (many of my own, I’m sure), I wanted to just throw my hands up and say “Okay, I’ve had enough!”
And then I thought about that.
It’s so easy for observers to say something dismissive like “I’m sick of hearing about racism. I’m going to do [insert your distraction of choice here] now.”
That’s privilege. If we can say that, it means that we have the choice to walk away.
But you know what? Michael Brown didn’t get the choice. Trayvon Martin didn’t get the choice. Millions of people of color every day are stripped of the choice to walk away and choose something nice, because there are still people in the world who live and behave as though they’re better than everyone else, and screw anyone who doesn’t agree with them and behave the same way.
There’s not a whole lot I can do from here, except boost the signal of sanity where I see it. I’m in the middle of nowhere, there are no protests, and all the other desert rats are just going about their lives.
But this matters. Black lives matter. People of color matter.
And whether or not Michael Brown was stealing, he did not deserve to die for it. Darren Wilson, who claims that he felt threatened, defaulted to “kill” when his training should support “protect and serve”. There was no protecting or serving Michael Brown that day. There was no protecting anything except Darren Wilson’s right to perpetuate a systematic and institutionalized power imbalance that lets him take a life with impunity.
So although I WANT to walk away from this situation, I WON’T. I will continue making noise, and pissing people off, because the best thing I can do as an ally is… be an ally.