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New York Protest

A night of heavy hearts: Reflections on the Darren Wilson grand jury verdict

As if they were extras in a perfectly framed shot from a post-apocalyptic horror movie, a faceless row of heavily armoured riot police stood guard beneath a glowing “Seasons Greetings” sign hung between telephone poles, backlit by streetlamps and heedless traffic lights.

This was Ferguson; as political leaders urged calm from a besieged and powerless community, the police continued to master the finer points of irony, juxtaposing tear gas volleys with President Obama pleading for peaceful protest.

Last night’s failure to indict Officer Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown, unarmed and surrendering, was a travesty on par with CeCe McDonald’s conviction, or with George Zimmerman’s acquittal. Like in those previous two cases, a nation gathered around its glowing screens, and just as before, we walked away knowing that justice remains elusive and unequal as it has ever been for black Americans, who continue to be scapegoated for their own suffering. 

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