It’s been almost a week since unarmed teenager Michael Brown was shot dead by a police officer in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, and still no answers.
More eyewitnesses are coming forward, like Piaget Crenshaw and Tiffany Mitchell who in an exclusive live interview with CNN told me they saw Brown standing outside the police car trying to wrest his arm away from the officer’s grip.
The officer, they say, was still inside the police car.
The young lady’s attorney, Peter Cohen, who happens to be white, conveyed to me in the same interview what is perhaps the most simple and sensible statement I’ve heard thus far.
We need to address the fact that in Ferguson, Missouri black drivers and people are stopped more often than whites even though the whites who are stopped are more often carrying illegal contraband.
We need to address the fact that Ferguson, Missouri is not an outlier.
Official government statistics show that the same thing happens in cities and towns all over the United States.
We need to address the fact while we don’t know exactly what went down between Brown and the officer that many people in this country are more likely to give the officer the benefit of the doubt rather than an unarmed black teenager.
“He must have been doing something or the officer would not have stopped him or killed him.”
How many times have you heard that, especially from white people in this country?
We need to address the fact that many white people in this country refuse to even allow the possibility that there is a double standard when it comes to the way black men are perceived and treated in American society on a daily basis, on the street, at work, at the grocery store, at the mall, everywhere.
Earlier this year President Barack Obama launched a nationwide imitative called ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ to address the issues facing black men in America.
That program isn’t just for black people to help black men.
It’s for all people to help black men.
It’s time for the white people who are in willful denial to break the cycle and become their black brother’s keeper.