Now What?

I knew the Ferguson grand jury would not indict officer Wilson. I’m not cynical, just familiar with history.

I knew I would feel like shit hearing the outcome, but I wouldn’t have predicted the sadness. I naturally lean toward anger & outrage in the face of social/political injustice.

Closer to home the 12 year old boy from my old neighborhood who was killed by a police officer for having a toy gun deepens the sadness. Amplifies the questions.

How do we change the value we place on black lives in this country?
How do we change the perception that black skin is to be feared – the assumption that drives and justifies a violent response from police?
How do we grant black teenagers the benefit of youthful stupidity – a privilege widely enjoyed by white teenagers?

The biggest question, the one that is making me sad, is what do we do now?

I just taught a workshop the other day about dealing with difficult situations by recognizing your habitual responses and learning about different potential choices. Deciding how to respond rather than just reacting.

So how do we respond to our deeply flawed and biased society? What do we address first? The legal system? Gun culture? Institutional racism? The fact that citizens are brainwashed into thinking that they have no power to change the system?

I’d start with eliminating the collective helplessness. So we can get to collective action. We need to do more.

I need to do more.

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