It’s been a year since we lost the young man whose death incited national outrage in the black community. Michael Brown was about to go to college when he was shot by former officer Darren Wilson and his body was left in the street for four and a half hours afterwards.
I really don’t have too much to say, because we have already said so much. But the death of Michael Brown was something that shook me. I remember when I first found out about it. I was with my grandfather watching the evening news, and they said that a young man had been shot and killed by the police and that investigations were going to take place to figure out what had happen and if Darren Wilson was going to get off.
My grandfather looked at me right then and there and told me plainly: “The officer is going to get off.” And I knew then and there that my grandfather was certainly not wrong.
Coming to school and finding out that outside of the black student body, people weren’t too sympathetic to the death and the studies going on. Someone justified having his body lay out in the street for so long by saying “I’ve seen car accidents out there for so long before.”
Watching them let Darren Wilson go was a slap in the face. Someone I could have known, someone who looks familiar to me has died unfairly and the murder gets to go free.
The riots surrounding were beautiful. I was angry, we were angry. Things needed to change. We were being told again and again that our lives weren’t even worth taking a man who clearly shot him to trial, and that since he had allegedly stole something, something that the rich does everyday from the poor but in a different way. He died because he was running, because he had fear.
To Michael: I know that I’ve never met you, and I know you will never read this. I just wanted to say that I didn’t know you, but I loved you anyway. You were one of us, one of those working to make our community better. You were ripped from your mother’s clutch of protection far too soon. And for what? To be taken by the bullet of a racist man’a gun.
I know you may have been doing things you shouldn’t have, but you deserved to live. You deserved to have that opportunity to change, to grow, to figure out who you are. To live. But you don’t have that anymore.
So it’s our job to carry on. We mourn you, yet we must continue the fight, for you and all the others who have died at the hands of this messed up system that aims for this very thing.
You were my friend, my cousin, my brother, even though I never knew you. Now that you’re resting, know that you are loved.