Black Lives Matter, a letter to Mike Brown

Mike Brown,

I never met you but I miss you brother. I keep crying when I see your face in the media. I love your chubby cheeks– they remind me of my Godson’s. I love the pictures of your smile, it’s so rewarding. I love you. The Grand Jury decided not to indict the police officer who murdered you. His name is Darren Wilson, he called you an “it”– he compared you to Hulk Hogan, and demons. He shot you six times while your hands were up. People are outraged Mike– they are OUTraged and INraged, but–what i don’t understand is why everyone is so surprised about the Grand Jury decision— or why people think an indictment would somehow make things— better?!

This would have happened yesterday or a year down the line after millions of dollars were raised and spent by the fraternal order of police for a not-guilty ruling in the courts. An indictment would put Darren Wilson in front of the same system that liberated George Zimmerman, that forces 99% of our citizens to take a plea (including Marissa Alexander), the same system that has issued countless men and women life sentences only to find them innocent after they irrevocably vacuum the dignity from their sentenced lives. It is the system that is so grossly divided by race and class that it doesn’t apologize, and suddenly we want to ask “it” to make things better, as if we think “it” still contains the possibility of justice?!

What i don’t understand is why we are so surprised about your murder, the murder of Mike Brown being acceptable in a world where we line up to watch movies that glorify violence as a solution for social ill wills, racial inequalities and general wrongdoings. We actively participate in the consumption of a Hollywood that villainizes Black bodies as the perpetrator, rapist, dealer, addict, bad guy/girl and has neglected them as the heroine since its conception. We feed ourselves like spectators of gladiator events, shoving popcorn in our faces while kids get blown up, stabbed by knives, shot by arrows, or even destroyed by invisible forces that represent otherness, we celebrate when other is hurt or wounded and we call it culture. We applaud, we give it awards, we give Academy Awards- collectively we suggest there can be a winner in violent global conflicts, or in our courts, much like there is a winner at the Emmy’s. What i don’t understand is why we expect anything different than what we have when we are so lazy with our consumption. When we continue to celebrate violence in our books, magazines, films, plays, sports, video games, songs and culture. What i don’t understand is why we still talk about darkness as negative, why we don’t ask — don’t actively ask — “where are all the Black people” in our politics, in our storylines, our yoga classes, in our decision making, in our exceptional schools, or at our fancy Christmas parties.
This is the culture WE created America —

Your murder has not only been justified by the Grand Jury but by our individual decisions — by where we shop, what we consume, what we prioritize as value or victory, how we think,— consciously and unconsciously. Those thoughts, actions, purchases, and ideas transcend racial and economic lines more efficiently than any Utopian-ColorBlind-Equitable world we have ever dreamed of. Every action, every thought, every purchase, every moment you spend glorifying violence as a form of justice and just call it fiction actively paints the backdrop for another Mike Brown, another Eric Garner, another Marissa Alexander, another Sean Bell, another George Carter, another Amadou Diallo, another Oscar Grant, another Trayvon, another Albert Woodfox, another ….

Why do we wait to react?!
This is the culture WE created.
This is the culture WE can change.

May you rest in #Power, may all people realize that you were our brother and our son. May your death prevent the senseless murder of others and may your legacy remind all Americans regardless of the color of the skin they born into that #BlackLivesMatter. May your effigy remind us to love each other– completely.

 

All Power to the People,

jackie