The night of Darren Wilson’s non-indictment, amidst all the circulation about white privilege and injustice in the land of red, white and blue, one particular statement stood out. I was scrolling through Tumblr, my frustration with the American justice system beyond the usual, when I saw a post by @mercedesbenzodiazepine:
“Just wondering…. Who’s still proud to be American?”
This resonated with me. When your own justice system fails you, when everything you’ve been told about the land you occupy becomes a figment of the Americanized crap fed to you in school, you can’t help but feel disconnected.
The Non-Indictment of Darren Wilson will not only burn the hearts of those who loved Michael Brown, those who thought he was a human being deserving of life, those who thought there was injustice that day, those who saw Darren Wilson stand over Brown’s dead body — but it will tear this nation apart.
On my Facebook, the lines are clearly drawn between two types of people: those who are mourning over the loss of Mike Brown and the loss of hope for our justice system, and those who are rushing to the defense of a man who will walk free for the murder of a shy, innocent, unarmed 18-year-old black student, who, if we were to convict him with anything, was just trying to live his life. I have already unfriended and unfollowed countless defenders of a man who does not deserve to be defended.
It truly breaks my heart that, at this time of historic importance, all I can do is sit here and type this with every ounce of sincerity:
We stand in solidarity with the people of Ferguson. Those who took to the streets throughout the night. Those who wept for the many Mike Browns whose murderers walked away free. Those who wept tears of anguish and desperation. We stand with you.
We stand with every child who now believes they have to justify their right to exist in the land of freedom. We stand with every teenager who is afraid to walk through his own neighborhood because of the color of his skin. We stand with you.
One day there will be justice. And one day there will be a conviction. And one day, maybe, children of all skin colors can walk the same ground with the same sense of freedom, the same sense of safety, and the same sense of love for their country. Until then, stay safe. Until then, my American pride sits waiting.