I don’t understand the logic behind calling for a State of Emergency prior to a Grand Jury determination. This type of action seems to contradict what those on the right deem to be a non-racist environment. What happened to Michael Brown was beyond tragic and what happened afterwards seems almost criminal. Governor Nixon implicitly seems to be acknowledging the horrendous handling by law enforcement and other local government officials when he declared the premptive State of Emergency. He clearly wants to shut down public protest and righteous calls for justice and action against egregious police misconduct, brutality and gross use of force. How many times will we have to accept police shootings of young African-American men? I remember the police motto “to protect and serve”, but lately when I am driving, minding my own business, when I see a cruiser following me, the feeling in the pit of my stomach is so uncomfortable and I am a white woman in my forties, I cannot even imagine what it must feel like being an African-American. Until our elected officials and our police department change their entire mentality vis a vis our disenfranchised populations, this sad state of affairs will continue. We have a huge problem and putting our collective heads in the sand will not solve anything. Moreover, militarizing our police forces will only move us further from any tenable solution. Our issues of racism and prejudice need multiple levels of change and action such as what California is doing by releasing those who were in for non-violent drug offenses and stemming the school to prison pipeline that we discovered was alive and kicking with the criminal prosecution of a Pennsylvania judge and the Stop and Frisk laws that have only recently been stopped in New York. Whoever said that racism is not a factor has clearly not been keeping abreast of the news. Governor Nixon has a lot of soul searching, personnel management and citizen outreach programs to implement. I hope that the good people of Ferguson get their day in court and that healing will come to their community sometime soon.
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