Published November 25, 2014 |
By MUMIA ABU-JAMAL
Like a fever, the news broke. But unlike a fever, it brought no relief. For the news, from the perspective of the national Black community, wasn’t good. The 12-member grand jury in Ferguson, investigating the killing of a Black teenager, Mike Brown, returned with “no true bill,” legalese for no charges, no indictment, no case—despite the case the fact that Brown was unarmed. No charge!
The name Ferguson joins an ancient line of place names of pain, loss, and Black death. Places like Birmingham, Philadelphia—and now Ferguson. It will have a meaning all its own.
For young people, many of whom are new to activism, who felt compelled to hit the streets in protest of unbridled police power and legalized impunity, the challenge will be how to continue, how to fight on, and even what the fight is.
Some, broken hearted, will flee this ugly episode and try, perhaps unsuccessfully, to seal such a memory away. Others will grow in radicalism, convinced that this case is the very epitome of racist injustice.
But Ferguson may prove a turning point. A point in time when the nation chose the wrong road ahead.
© Copyright MUMIA ABU-JAMAL 2014. Photo: Joe Raedle / Getty Images