“It is a good fortune of many to live distant from the scene of sorrow.” Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776
As a Black man with a beloved precious 92 year-old mother residing on Chambers Road in Ferguson, Missouri allow me to personally thank you for picking up the baton that my generation had dropped so many years ago.
I am a grateful beneficiary of the civil rights movement, affirmative action, all that in which people risked life and limb to make my journey in New York a wonderful obstacle course. Yet I’m embarrassed by not doing enough to assure the same opportunities, rights for you and others who follow (including my own 21 year-old son). I apologize for that, and everyday will uplift the very people this nation is trying to distinguish.
Your rebellion is inspiring, don’t allow anyone to dictate how you should mourn or grieve. Be leery of politicians that are “shocked & amazed” at these recent grand jury verdicts. They make up the large bucket of people with a “growing ignorance of the nation’s racial history” [Richard Rothstein-Economic Policy Institute] and “the Democrats and Republicans are nothing more than different wings on the same bird” [Bob Avakian]. Respectfully reject the image award creators, state of the black union scribes, and action network cheerleaders. They have had fifty plus years to right these tragedies and it’s unfortunate that their livelihoods are based on your oppression. Continue listening to those voices that listen to you—Michelle Alexander, Amy Goodman, Cornel West, Chris Hedges, Dr. Gerald Horne, Naomi Klein, Dr. Carl Hart, Margaret Prescod, Bryan Stevenson and countless other independent voices—while entrenching yourself in the voting process. Write-in your own name for congress, senator or governor person.
Understand with love Michael Brown is proud of you. Eric Garner is proud of you. Rumain Brisbon is proud of you. Akai Gurley is proud of you. Bernard Bailey is proud of you. John Crawford III is proud of you. Remarley Grant is proud of you. Trayvon Martin is proud of you. Oscar Grant is proud of you. Sean Bell is proud of you. 12 year-old Tamir Rice is proud of you.
And within the next twenty-eight hours that Black girl or boy, woman or man killed by a law enforcement official (or punk wannabe) will also be very proud of you.
“Signed…An Educated Brother!”