With a grand jury failing to indict Darren Wilson for Michael Brown’s murder, the country is left asking if justice is even possible anymore.
“For 108 days, we have continuously been admonished that we should ‘let the system work,’ and wait to see what the results are,” protesters and supporters in Ferguson explain in their open letter. “The results are in. And we still don’t have justice.”
Community members and activists over the next month are gathering once again to demand justice for Brown, the victims of police violence nationwide, and the subsequent police crackdown on residents in Ferguson, Missouri.
A recent police shooting in South Carolina illustrates the importance of video when it comes to issues of race and policing. It also reminds us, however, that video alone is not enough to overcome or combat the violence resulting from implicit bias.
Stated simply, most Americans have an irrational belief that Black men are dangerous, and this bias is especially prevalent among white Americans, including most white liberals and progressives.
Many people assume that the term “violence” only refers to physically painful encounters. But I want to explore what multiple forms of violence—physical, emotional, bureaucratic, and spiritual—do to a group of people when they simultaneously converge on a community.
Advocates are calling on President Obama and the Department of Justice for full accountability for the death Michael Brown, the unarmed Black teen shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri, and for systemic changes to discriminatory police practices nationwide.
There can be no reproductive justice for all until the state-sanctioned murder of Black youth in this country is addressed.
Only when it is considered, in practice, a serious crime to kill a Black person will it be possible to have peace in the United States.
Those of us fighting trafficking as part of a broader human rights movement must recognize that failing to advocate for the use of these laws to punish both buyers and sellers serves to perpetuate very serious racial disparities in who we are deeming culpable and who we are criminalizing for trafficking.