Tag Archives: race

“And justice for all?”

25 Nov

Image Source: https://ionetheurbandaily.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/mike-brown-street.jpg?w=660

Last night I went to bed shortly after learning of the Grand Jury’s decision to not indict the officer who killed Michael Brown. I was sad and outraged.

I’m not saying that the officer should necessarily be convicted (I’d need to see all the evidence to decide), but I can’t understand how – in a case where an unarmed teenager was shot six times – there isn’t enough evidence to at least charge the shooter and move forward to trial. At least, that’s my understanding of what a Grand Jury is supposed to determine.

As I turned off my light for the night, I thought about Michael Brown’s family – and my friends who weren’t born with white skin.

About 45 minutes later, I was awakened by what sounded like screams coming from my alley. I bolted out of bed, grabbing my cell phone, thinking someone was being attacked and I’d need to call 911. Once I got my bearings, however, I realized I was hearing shouting, not screaming, and there were many voices, not one.

I pulled my shades and looked out to see waves of red and blue light, indicating police were already on the scene. Waking up a bit more, I realized that I was hearing a crowd of people protesting the Ferguson verdict. Because my windows don’t face the street, I could only see the police lights and hear the chanting.

My mind raced – was it a peaceful protest or was it teetering on the edge of a riot? I stood at my window, listening, and finally deducing that the voices and lights were moving – presumably marching down 16th Street to the White House.

I sagged back into bed, contemplating my reaction. I’d instinctively grabbed my phone to call the police and had found some reassurance when I realized they were already involved with whatever was happening.


One the whole, police do far more good than bad. And they’ve voluntarily signed up to put themselves in the line of danger to protect and serve their communities. I appreciate their service. But I wonder how different my view would be if I hadn’t been born with pale skin… if I were pulled over because my car looked “too nice” for me to own, if I had to worry that by wearing a hoodie I’d look “suspicious.”

If that were the case, I can’t say my first reaction in a potentially threatening situation would be to call the police. And that’s the conversation I think we need to be having.

Rather simply looking for justice in the conviction of his shooter, wouldn’t Michael Brown’s life be better commemorated by opening a real dialogue about white privilege and racial profiling, so we can begin challenging the thinking that prompts officers to read threats where they don’t exist – and that can prevent minorities from seeing police as their allies?

So let’s keep this conversation going. But let’s also remember that conversations aren’t people. Michael Brown was a “gentle giant,” a student and a son.

While he might not have gotten justice, I hope his legacy brings justice for others.


No chocolate rain = successful first half-marathon.*

13 Sep

Remember my friend Margaret? The one who hung out with me at Alan’s pool while he was in London this summer? Well, this weekend she ran a half marathon. It was especially impressive because – prior to Sunday – the farthest she had ever run was eight miles. Oh, and she signed up for it by herself and didn’t really tell anyone she was doing it until three days before.

Pretty badass, right? I’m making her an Honorary Honey Badger Tiara in my craft room. Um. Except I don’t actually HAVE a craft room. Fine. I’m dreaming up a tiara for her. Happy now?

I just loved her approach. Probably because it’s completely different than how I would enter a race. Not that you’ll catch me running even a 5k (need I remind you of my newly-developed Old Lady Syndrome? aka Bakers Cysts?), but if I were to, I’m pretty sure I’d turn into THAT GIRL… you know, the one whose Facebook status is only about running and sleeping and carb-loading.

(Personally, I’d rather be dyslexic and crab-load. Just a preference. Plus, I’d be pleasantly surprised to find out I’d only signed up for a 13 mile course, instead of a 31 mile race.)

And I’d use training as an excuse for anything I didn’t want to do. “Sorry, can’t travel to Atlanta for work — I’m in Training.” Or, “Sorry, can’t hit your wedding shower – big run that day. You know, Training…” Or, “Jury duty? No can do – Training!”

Anyway, unlike me, Margaret decided not to milk it. She was so stealth that it only occurred to her 48 hours before the race that it was going to be weird not having anyone there to cheer her on for what was potentially a major accomplishment.

So Sunday morning Alan and I woke up and decided to surprise her at the finish. Since it was a game-time decision, we were cutting it a bit close — our best-case scenario had us arriving within 15 minutes of her crossing the line, if we’d estimated her pace accurately.

In keeping with Murphy’s Law, OF COURSE we encountered freak obstacles on our way: a fire truck closing a street temporarily so it could reverse down it, construction on a Sunday, the Vice President’s motorcade racing down Wisconsin Ave.

Throughout all this, I frantically pounded a Diet Dew and urged Alan to employ some aggressive driving tactics.

“I’m pretty sure the Secret Service will just shoot us,” he told me levelly, explaining why he wasn’t willing to ignore the Advance Detail’s motion for us to remain parked at the side of the road. “Especially since it’s September 11. I don’t think they’ll be messing around.”

That's not Margaret. Those are foam balls, ftr,

Fair enough. But once the motorcade was past us, Alan did a great job making up time, delivering me to the finish-line just minutes before Margaret came running down the shoot. Totally worth it!

Post-race, simultaneously loaded with endorphins and exhausted, Margaret wandered around in a bit of a daze. After walking past a woman holding a tiny baby, Margaret burst out with, “Wow. That baby is so — UGLY. It looks like a raisin!”

And that’s how we knew she was regaining normalcy.

Good on ya, MZ, for making a half-marathon look like a walk in the park!

[*BTW – Sadly, “Chocolate Rain” is the only line of questioning I’ve had for Margaret since I learned she was running a half-M. “Are you worried you’ll bring the Chocolate Rain? Did anyone on the trail have Chocolate Rain? What would you actually do if faced with Chocolate Rain?”  Margaret is extra-awesome for indulging my questions about it.]