Only Love Can Do ThatMy heart is broken.
For the last couple of months, I have been tangled up in the turmoil in Ferguson, Missouri. My line of work put me right in the middle of the hate on a daily basis, but the venomous words I read daily stung not because they were aimed at me, even while I had nothing to do with the trial, but because they were so backwards, evil and not helping the worsening situation in Missouri.
Tonight, the grand jury reportedly reached a decision deeming Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson not guilty for killing 18-year-old Michael Brown. While I have read many articles on the incident and the riots that followed over these last several weeks, I in no way pretend to know everything about it or the history of the police and community in Ferguson.
What is do know is that racism is very alive in America still today. We didn't need Ferguson to show us this.
Racism, though, for the majority of the years it has been present in our world, it has been accompanied by a much greater level of oppression. Being a certain color meant that you could not vote or even speak for yourself. Now, new freedoms grant us the ability to fight racism with the power of education, free speech and more equal rights (because Lord knows we aren't all of the way there yet).
Photo by Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images
Watching people riot in the streets around the country, loot, and burn cars and buildings, I am taken back to my eighth grade classroom, watching footage of the civil rights movement and all I can hear is Dr. King's voice saying, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
How have we forgotten?
While you can count me in for a front row spot in a rally for women's rights or to march for racial inequality, violence does not, never has and will not get us anywhere. My hope and prayer for the Ferguson community and all those feeling anger and pain in their hearts, is that they will walk away from the violence and the crowds and use that passion to fuel needs in the community. As Dr. King said, "Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend." And I believe that is exactly what needs to happen in Ferguson and all communities still fighting off the demons of the past.
If Ferguson has lit your emotions in any way, I ask you to remind yourself that it has for a reason. You seek change. Now, let's put an end to racism and violence for good and bring justice to a precious life that was lost by creating lasting change with the only thing that can create it. Love.