Home > Family, Love, Parenting, Reflections, Safety, Video > Freedom to walk outside without fear

Freedom to walk outside without fear

Last week I wondered about the color of justice in my country.

Last night’s delivery of the Ferguson grand jury decision played out about as I expected it. Even anticipating it, I awakened feeling gloomy about prospects for real change in the United States. I continue to wonder

What it will take for police officers everywhere to approach men of all melanin levels in the exact same way, treating shooting as a last case resort in all cases.

I wonder how change can take root when bystanders support status quo by focusing attention on property damage over fatal violence.

changeAnd yet, with all this heaviness in my heart, I find reason to smile in the tiny men who own that heart. I can’t help giggling at how my baby is doing headstands–yes, headstands–while my husband tries to change his diaper.

I watch him dance and wonder what else will inspire him to dance in the years to come.

I pray freedom to walk outside without fear will carry his dancing feet far.

  1. November 25, 2014 at 6:56 am

    wow best one ive heared today. im also a poet from south africa in one of the rural areas .i love poetry and im addicted to poetry

  2. November 25, 2014 at 7:56 am

    I’m amazed at how big he is getting! Beautiful dance!

  3. November 25, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Sadly, this played out just like I thought it would. It’s rare that a cop is ever held accountable for his/her actions.

    • November 25, 2014 at 8:16 am

      Likewise. Grand juries assessing civilians almost inevitably result in indictment, after much shorter consideration; grand juries assessing police almost inevitably result in no indictment. We need to revisit and revise “acceptable force” and find some way to hold accountable those who step outaide those bounds. As long as any force is acceptable when used by a policeman, justice will be just a word.

      • November 25, 2014 at 8:20 am


  4. nicciattfield
    November 25, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Sad though, the reality of what has happened. I wonder who was represented in the jury? I also wonder how class and race interlink in teenagers being shot and killed? It’s all devastating, that’s all. How do courts represent all members of a population, in each instance?

    I too hope your son gets to walk far on his dancing feet…and Lil ‘D’s big heart guides him safely too.

    • November 25, 2014 at 9:24 am

      I know the grand jury was comprised of six white men, three white women, two black women and one black man. Given need for nine jurors to agree, I think most were not surprised by the fact at least nine within that particular community agreed not to acquit.

      I read a fantastic article yesterday about why there are at least two separate sets of conversations happening about Ferguson right now. I’ll link it here if you’re interested.

      I also found an article geared toward Evangelical Christian ministers. I was touched and astonished by its conclusions, which is that now is a time not to do so much talking but to listen. To try and understand the context better, instead of ignoring as irrelevant the very possibility of different context.

      Thank you for your compassion ans thoughtfulness. ♥

      • nicciattfield
        November 25, 2014 at 11:11 am

        It would be very interesting to hear about the conversations that are happening in Ferguson. I guess it isn’t a surprise, the way that the outcome came about.

        Listening always seems to be so important, and particularly in times of such horrible struggle. But it’s important, particularly, to listen to the people in Ferguson, I would imagine, considering a child died under the most horrible circumstances, and the fears people have because of this.

        It’s just terribly, terribly sad.

  5. November 25, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    I really, really hope that the outrage at this decision (which I too expected) bears fruit. We have come a long way – and have a long way yet to travel. All of us.

  6. November 25, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Thank you for this, I needed something joyful.

    My friend, I do not know the answer. I know there are many questions and I know that all of us, the adults in the room, we must start standing up and owning the answers. If we don’t more towns will burn, more Darren Wilsons will murder and walk free.

    I know your sons deserve better than what we are offering them today.

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