jesus, politics, justice, mission & life


Ferguson Decision

I sat down to write my thoughts on last night’s decision not to indict Darren Wilson. And honestly, I don’t know where to start. There are just too many things to say and ultimately, I do not feel qualified to speak for two primary reasons.

1. I’m white. Because of that, I do not have the understanding or the experience of a person of color in America. Their are things I do not understand about how they feel and what they are going through. To pretend otherwise would be naive. I don’t know what it feels like to not have my voice heard, to feel ignored and to lose a member of my own community that will see no A warning to my white friends who are overly vocal on this issue – Speaking on this issue from a place of authority is irresponsible and damaging. No matter what your perception is, a white person cannot have a full understanding of what last night’s decision meant.

2. I wasn’t in Ferguson. Because I wasn’t there, I have no idea of the tension, the hurt and the anxiety that was felt last night. I was not around the mothers and fathers, the son and daughters or the Ferguson community last night. I don’t know the inner-workings of that community and the cultures that exist in the town. I don’t know what it is like to live in a small town where the National Guard has been called in to. To a larger point, I have never been a part of a community or area where black people have a distrust of police (this last point is not for debate. You can disagree if they should live in fear of police but that fear certainly does exist).

3. I don’t know the actual events that transpired between Michael Brown and Darren Wilson. No one does. This fact alone should disarm people who claim Wilson’s guilt or innocence without a second thought. None of us know for sure what happened so it is hard to have a full story. I am confident in some truths though:

  • Michael Brown did not deserve to die.
  • This case deserved a trial. Taking off political and racial blinders, this should be obvious. Remember, this is not to say that Darren Wilson is guilty but when a human is killed, they should have a trial.
  • The actual events between Brown and Wilson matter, especially to the family and to Ferguson. But blowing this out to a larger context, similar events are taking place all over the country and last night’s decision did nothing to stop it.

As I continue to read and think about last night’s decision, I will add my thoughts.


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