By Sharieka Breeden
An incident involving an 18-year-old black man being shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo. is causing unnecessary divide.
We need to gain our strength, focus and let this serve as the foundation for us to combat other wars (poor nutrition, unfair prison sentences, killing each other, poor representation and perpetuating stereotypes through music and media, failed educational system) that our community is facing.
The unfortunate tragedy is one that will go down in American history as an unnecessary injustice. Members of a grand jury decided to let Darren Wilson walk free.
The same energy and attention we have given this situation needs to be given to the issues mentioned earlier.
Wilson did not receive a charge that would even indicate that he shot let alone killed Michael Brown.
It is an unjust, crime, and form of brutality anytime a law-enforcement officer takes matters into his own hands and takes the life of an unarmed individual.
For me, Brown’s life was an example of the lack of value and worth that a black life has in America. It serves as proof that in the eyes of some, store merchandise valued at no higher than $2 is worth killing us over.
While the issue has earned the attention of many and it does shine a light on police brutality and improper handling of the black community, it also serves as a reminder.
Brown’s body remained in the street to instill the same fear in blacks that Willie Lynch wrote about. The thought alone is disheartening.
His killer walking away is discomforting and a clear reminder that this country’s fabric only covers the back of some.
The irony in that is that the fabric of this country was finely stitched together by the same people who picked the cotton for the fabric to exist, yet our backs don’t feel covered.
While Brown’s death is tragic and attention to the issue is important and protests are understandable, we must open our eyes as a black community and as activists and individuals concerned with the human condition.
Too many individuals in our communities die from senseless violence.
This alone should evoke fear in you that is greater than any other fear. The continual killing of the black race may result in us becoming extinct.
Brown’s death should remind us all that that there is work that must be done in our black communities to fight oppression.
As a county, we’ve witnessed race serve as the reason people hate. We’ve witnessed racist individuals take peoples lives by lynching them and shooting them.
We’ve also witnessed the spirits of blacks killed by unfair and lengthy prison systems handed out based on bias laws.
Why is the life of a black man taken by a white officer so much more meaningful than that of one taken by another black person?
(Is the white man viewed as more adequate, or more humane or less likely to kill? Can’t we see the issue in that. We make Gods of them and act shocked by their actions.
Our focus right now should be education, getting back to our roots, putting God first and not letting any individual have power over us while understanding that we need to work to empower our communities.
Let the protests continue. Let them serve as the foundation and catalyst for us to grow and reach our potential.
Open your eyes to black lives loss that the media fails to magnify and that we as a community and a people overlook. We need to stop killing ourselves and see the value and worth in our own community and skin tone. This is just as important and necessary as Justice being served in Brown’s case. We are still viewed as 3/5 of a human in this country. That must change.
What happened to Brown was wrong.
There was a lot of wrong before that hot summer day though. We need to open our eyes and see what’s going on.
Let the fire and fuel from this battle continue to burn in a war against ending disparities and injustices.
Fight against the perpetuation of negative stereotypes and becoming statistics.
Fight to help stop another 18-year old black man from sitting in jail for senselessly taking the life of another black person.
Every time we take one of our own lives, two or more lives is gone. This is in issue. They kill us and walk free. We kill us forget about us, failing to even acknowledge it.
Both are issues.
Death is always the same. Murder is always murder.
Protest but empower and focus.
Race has become an issue in the cases that have occurred in the last five years.
The issue is worthy of protest and attention. I find myself saying this about many issues faced in our communities. Along with seeing it as important and media worthy when a police officer shoots down a black individual, we need to establish the value of our lives and see every death as significant.
We need to lift each other up in our and understand the power that is within us based on where our history stems from.
Fight before it happens so that it will not happen again and if it does the value and worth of our lives will be evident before someone else tells us we are important.
Don’t let your interest in the human life and condition stop here.
Continue on for Brown and others.
End the divide.