Like many people I know, I’ve been consumed with the news coming out of Ferguson, MO over the past few weeks. It’s hard to look away when a Black child is killed in the streets and all signs point to the police officer responsible for his death getting away with it. Add to that a city under siege for exercising its right to assembly, and this is perhaps the biggest news story of the year on American soil. It demands our attention.
And not just our attention, our outrage. Our support. It demands that we show up and let the family of Michael Brown and the community that held him dear know that they are not alone. It demands that we show other Black children that, yes, their lives do matter. We do care.
But if I can confess something: it’s really hard to keep doing that.
At any given moment, the number of injustices that could similarly demand our attention are too many to count. And for all of us committed to certain ideas around justice/freedom/equality and ensuring we live in a world that reflects those principles, there exists a desire to join the fight wherever it lives. But it’s draining.
I’ve attended a couple rallies/marches in support of Michael Brown, and each time I’ve found I couldn’t fully participate. Every time the chant “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!” overtakes the crowd, I’ve gotten quiet. There’s something unsettling about knowing that won’t save me.
Moreover, we have been here before. Undoubtedly, we will be here again.
“It’s OK to sit one out.” Read More