The entire nation and yes even the world have received and accepted or rejected the decision of 12 jurors as it relates to the death of an unarmed black 18 year-old male named, Michael Brown, killed on August 9, by a white Ferguson, Missouri policeman. Who would have ever thought that the death of one man would have local, national and international repercussions? Who would have imagined that the power of one, in this case of Michael Brown, would have resulted in black and white hands all over the world being raised with people saying “hands up don’t shoot”? Not only black and white hands, but young and old hands, male and female hands have united as this one local incident have reverberated around the world.
As the dust from Ferguson has yet to settle, the Michael Browns of America continue as another young black man was killed by a New York Policeman in what appears to be an unjust cause and later the killing of a 12 year-old boy by the police in Cleveland, Ohio. But the unrest and tension is more than Michael Brown or the white policeman that killed him as St. Louis like many other major and minor cities in the country are experiencing an increase in homicides. St. Louis, now with more than 132 homicides appears headed to a record high of more than the 144 homicides back in 2010. (At least ten such homicides since this blogger’s last post a month ago). The sad fact is that the numbers represent a national crisis of hopelessness in the black community that defies the Ferguson Protestors’ claim that “all lives matter”. A hopelessness shared by the black and the white hands that can not find jobs, will never own a home, and their dark days of today only remind them of more dark days and doom waiting them on tomorrow. These are “they” who have played by the rules, obtained an education and have become the new “working poor” where job benefits and a decent wage for one’s labor have failed to yield fruit.
A few years ago one man experienced this hopelessness and despair as he “set himself on fire”, a fire that spark an inferno that lead to the Arab Spring, where the dust has yet to settle in Libya, Syria, Iraq and other countries. President Barack Obama, recently demonstrated the “Power of One” after 435 members of Congress failed to move legislation passed by a bi-partisan Senate to address our failed immigration system.”Gracious Presidente Obama” read the signs as four million plus immigrants prepared to come out from the shadows of the fear of deportation as Obama like former President George H. Bush reminded us that we are a nation of immigrants. I can remember the late Shirley Chishom words, “we might have come over here in different ships but we all are in the same boat now”. America should be warned that the potential four million so call undocumented immigrants will not be satisfied with a little taste of freedom.The spark of freedom has been lite and America does not have the power to extinguish the flames for freedom. Freedom’s concept is similar to be a “little bit pregnant.” You are either pregnant are your are not. Blacks folks know about a-little-bit-of freedom since in time pass we were counted as “three fifths” of a person and today behind the back drop of Ferguson we continue to say, Black Lives Matter.
The Ferguson Protest appears to be taking on the likeness of the Tea Party Movement and the Occupy Movement combined. Tired of the same old stale, divisive and special interest-driven local and national politics, the movement appears to be picking up steam. The Ferguson Protestors are now pointing at the economic engines that drives the country as boycotts of Black Friday took on the nation’s malls and shopping centers after Thanksgiving. Like the Occupy Movement there appears to be no designated leader and the political and economic strategies appear to be just as different and effective as the diverse protesters.
The late Reverend Vernon McGee use to say “if it is true it is not new and if it is new it is not true”. ISIS with their decapitations and their acts of genocide designed to incite terror has drawn America into a new war with monies that could be spent in America to address hopelessness, will now be spent on bullets and bombs, not building America’s infrastructures as out nation’s roads and bridges stand in need of major repairs and still no “jobs bill.” The banking industry with the banks too big to fail have not resulted in anyone going to jail. Wall Street is raking in higher and higher profits as Americans are catching hell on Main Street. More than 20 veterans reportedly commit suicide a day while a do nothing Congress may or may not pass legislation to address this issue and more before the new Congress take office. The economic recovery has yet to be felt by the Ferguson Protestors (and us) and one wonders why people felt no need to vote for Tweedledee-Dee or Tweedledee-Dom.
The power of one can also been seen by President Obama’s reference to the “stranger” in our midst (Gen 15:13, Deut.1:16). Black lives do matter. Just like white, yellow, brown and red lives matter. Hope and Change is in the air and America will be the better for it.