Confusion, grief, ire. These are all strong feelings experienced by many across the country and the world right now as a result of the verdict of the grand jury concerning Michael Brown Jr.’s death. The one feeling that stands out is anger. Many are angry at what they believe is injustice. Many are angry in what they believe is a broken ‘system’. Many are angry at what they believe is the perpetuity of racism and discrimination.
I do not have the legal credentials necessary to make a credible and pertinent assessment of the grand jury’s verdict. It was theirs to make, not mine, and I am not at the level to comprehend the inner workings of and rationale behind it. Do I feel upset, though? I’m not going to lie and say I don’t. Yet, I ask us humans of the world to please respect the wishes of Mike’s father: “Hurting others and destroying property is not the answer. No matter what the grand jury decides, I do not want my son’s death to be in vain. I want it to lead to incredible change, positive change.” Please let us use this ignited spark as a route for revolution, but rational revolution.
As cliché as this sounds, let’s not fight fire with fire. Violence may exacerbate the current situation and lead to even more devastating consequences. Keep in mind the words of Lee Lacocca: “In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.” I am not here to say that it is easy to do this, to control one’s temper, especially as a result of this major verdict, and channel anger for a greater good. Protest, demand change, but let’s do so rationally. Please let us not forget that at the end of the day, two parents lost their beloved child. Use this anger as a fuel for reform, not destruction.