Michael Brown. The “gentle giant,” as his family affectionately called him. He’d never been in a fight in his entire life. Being big and black, in a country where his very existence was seen as a threat, was his only crime.
Four days ago “Mike Mike” was the 18-year-old high school graduate known mostly to his community of teachers, family and friends. In death he’s the center of a national outcry over another unarmed black teenager being gunned down by the police. Officially the police’s story is there was a “physical confrontation” with Brown. Eyewitnesses, including his friend who saw him shot at least nine times, tell quite a different story.
What does one write about Brown that has not been written about Oscar Grant and Ramarley Graham and Rekia Boyd and Eric Garner? And Renisha McBride and Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin. There are no new words for the lifeless black bodies that continue to be sprayed with bullets by police and vigilantes.
In the wake of Brown’s murder, the people of Ferguson, Missouri have used their collective voices and bodies to tell the world: No more. Not on our dime.
The people demand justice.