It’s quiet in Ferguson, Missouri, today, the predominantly black suburb of St. Louis where dozens were arrested during days of civil unrest and protests following Brown’s death. Michael Brown’s parents pleaded for calm Monday and asked that protests stop for just one day so they could bury their son.
And while a Grand Jury has been empaneled to hear evidence in the case and decide whether to indict Officer Wilson, Rev. Michael Jones, pastor of Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church, said in an interview that he is tired of burying young black men and talked about Brown’s death from a historical and social perspective.
During the civil rights movement in St. Louis, “We didn’t respond or revolt in a way that resembled the times” as people did in some other cities, Jones said. “So in a quiet way, I think the frustrations have been sleeping or simmering.” Now, Jones said, “There appears to be a revolution of sorts happening in St. Louis.”
“There’s a racial component of inequities blacks are speaking to,” Jones added. “That is a huge problem that is often not dealt with here in St. Louis and it will continue to scream loudly. It creates a level of frustration and creates a sense of hopelessness and a sense of anger.”
“I know the powers that be in this region would not want to see this,” he said, “but it was inevitable.”
Like Rev. Jones, I’ve grown weary of watching the funeral processions for young Black men. It upsets me when I hear Black mothers grieving for their slain sons and Black fathers talk about losing their best friends.
So where do we go from here?
Black-on-Black crime is also a problem, Jones said. But “The apparent contradiction is our flame and fervor when someone else comes into our community and kills us but we’re not protesting as much and as openly when the numbers show that we’re killing each other at a higher rate.”
As I drove through side streets near Ferguson while daylight turned to darkness, I paid close attention to the speed limit as a police cruiser sped through an intersection.
“I couldn’t protect you but we love you,” the grieving father, Michael Brown Sr., wrote on a funeral card. “I will never let you die in my heart.”
How can we protect black children? Unarmed young Black men should not be gunned down by police simply for walking along America’s streets.
I understand the anger in Ferguson because, as a black man, I’m outraged, too.
What do you think?
Remembering Mike Brown On His 19th Birthday (May 20, 1996- August 9, 2014)
1. Mike Brown, just a normal 18-year-old on his way to college
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2. Mike Brown playing around with a family member
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3. Mike Brown's mother Lesley McFadden and father, Michael Brown, Sr. at a press conference.
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4. Lesley McSpadden, Mike Brown's mother and his stepfather, Louis Head, comfort each other after his death.
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5. Residents of Ferguson, Missouri create a memorial where Mike Brown was killed.
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6. Clergy and residents gather in Ferguson.
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7. Police in riot gear watch protesters in Ferguson.
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8. Police and protestors come face to face in Ferguson.
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9. Riot police on the scene in Ferguson, Missouri.
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10. Protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.
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12. Peaceful protest in Ferguson, Missouri.
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13. Howard University students stand in solidarity with Ferguson, Missouri.
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14. National Moment of Silence protest around the country, this one shut down Times Square
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15. Missouri Highway Patrol captain Ron Johnson changes the police tone in Ferguson, Missouri.
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16. Milwaukee, Wisconsin protestors stand in solidarity with Ferguson, Missouri.
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17. Out of the mouths of babes.
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18. A candle for peace glows as part of a vigil in St. Louis
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19. Teens in Philadelphia observe the NMOS'14. It's all about LOVE.
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20. Mike Brown allegedly involved in store confrontation/robbery before his death.
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21. Police stats from Ferguson, Missouri.
Source:Mother Jones infographic
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22. Protesters vandalize a police vehicle outside of the Ferguson city hall on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.
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23. Police officers confront protesters Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.
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25. Police shoot pepper spray toward protesters in front of the Ferguson Police Department on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.
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26. In this aerial photo,people look at a row of charred cars at a used car dealership, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in Dellwood, Mo.
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27. Citizens protest the Ferguson Decision in Dallas, TX.
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28. Citizens protest the Ferguson Decision in Atlanta, Georgia.
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29. Citizens protest the Ferguson Decision in Boston, Massachusetts.
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30. Citizens protest the Ferguson Decision in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
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