So, does Thanksgiving in White America include being thankful you’re not Black?
Seems that way.
Let’s face it. Too many aspects of Ferguson are flat-out disgusting. It wasn’t just a White cop using excessive force against a Black teenager. Every step along the way after that the authorities in Ferguson, St. Louis County, and the State of Missouri consistently behaved as if Black lives matter less than White ones. There was the failure to recover Michael Brown’s body for over four hours after the shooting. There was what we’re now learning was a sloppy investigation by the police department. There was Jay Nixon’s woeful decision not to appoint a special prosecutor. There was the pathetic, racist failure of the prosecutor even to try to get an indictment. There was the roll-out of the grand jury decision in a manner seemingly calculated to provoke maximum anger in the Black community. And there was the decision of too many in the mainstream media to focus on the unrest and property damage in Ferguson, rather than on the insane injustice that had occurred.
Charles Blow of the NY Times, sums it up well in today’s op-ed, Fury After Ferguson:
And yet the reaction was also about more than Wilson and Brown. It was about faith in fundamental fairness. It was about whether a population of people with an already tenuous relationship with the justice system — a system not established to recognize them, a system used for generations to deny and subjugate them, a system still rife with imbalances toward them — would have their fragile and fraying faith in that system further shredded.
And Ferguson is just the last in a long, long line of injustices, injustices that have continued unabated since Ferguson. Just this week, a cop in Ohio shot and killed a 12-year old Black kid for the transgression of wielding a toy gun.
For a period of 20 odd years, beginning in the late ’50s and ending in 1980, America was on a path towards equal justice for all Americans. Then, Ronald Reagan went to Philadelphia, Mississippi to kick off his presidential campaign, talking about states rights, a dog whistle if there ever was one. Since then, the battle for justice has ebbed and flowed. Yes, there have been times of hope, including the election of Barack Obama. Nonetheless, we now find ourselves at the bottom a long downward spiral.
There’s much to be thankful for in America this Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, a society that metes out justice equally and without regard to race or wealth is not one of them. Nor is the hope that reality will change anytime soon.