I am still trying to process and respond to the news that Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager, was shot multiple times and killed Saturday in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, MO.
I was in St. Louis at the time and didn't hear about the issue until I saw militarized police responding to unrest on the news while traveling home on Sunday. Truly, there are two Americas.
Watching and reading the news of response to this latest atrocity, especially the rioting in Missouri, I was reminded of Frantz Fanon's assertion that violent subjugation leads to violent freedom. I'm not content to leave the issue here though, because to do so seems to remove other options for agency, especially nonviolent response such as was advocated by Dr. Martin Lither King, Jr.
The essence of waging nonviolence, or satyagraha as Ghandi called it, depends on a moral consciousness that can be shocked into action. I am not convinced that the fourth estate is robust enough or its American audience sensitive and attentive enough to be moved. I hope I'm wrong, but even Dr. King recognized the limits of his tactics:
Excerpted from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's speech "The Other America" delivered at Grosse Point High School March 14, 1968. Read the entire speech at http://www.gphistorical.org/mlk/mlkspeech/
Merely condemning riots or condemning systematic violence against black and brown bodies is not enough. Are we willing to be personally invested (and then stand to be personally divested of comfort and freedom) in the hardship we don't yet face ourselves?