Ferguson: The Fire This Time Won't Be Extinguished

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Darrren Wilson told ABC if he were to go back he would do it over again -- and shoot Michael Brown


That was a sign held by a protester that I saw on news coverage in Ferguson, Missouri on Monday night.  I would change that slightly to HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER: BE A WHITE COP, KILL A BLACK MAN!!

Once again the most outrageous decision of a racist criminal justice system came down on the heads of Black people in this country. NO INDICTMENT. NO INDICTMENT? Seriously?  What does a Black person in this country have to do in order to be viewed as a human being.

How many times will we have to hold our breath, wishing and praying that this time things will turn out differently?  How many more murders by the police of unarmed black men and boys do we have endure before this nation metes out justice to the victims?  We all knew how it would turn out. We all have seen it before, at least people of color have, but I repeat we still cross our fingers and pray fervently that by some miracle the demon of injustice can be pushed away once and for all.It has taken me almost a day to stop from crying.  To stop from raging. To stop from despairing.  To stop from being immobilizers.  If I hear “be calm”, “be peaceful”, “be nonviolent” one more time, I am going to lose my mind.  Why must we always be peaceful and nonviolent when so much war and violence is perpetrated on us?  Why do those who celebrate winning football and basketball games and spring break get to overturn cars, set fires, riot and loot (mostly white people) and this country thinks it is just a human outpouring of joy?

I am so tired of being treated as subhuman and then commanded to act in a superhuman way.  Thank you, Boss, for not shooting me.  Thank you, Boss, for locking me up for 15 to 30 years before I can be exonerated for crimes I did not commit.  Thank you, Boss, for allowing me to show you how I teach my sons and daughters to fear the police and fear the white establishment that perpetuates the embedded racism so much a part of the fabric of our very existence.

I am so glad to see young people on the front lines of this struggle.  I am so glad to see young people take the lead and challenge the powers that be.  Challenge the notion that they have no right to react to the violence that is being perpetrated on them, singularly and as a whole.  Every time we want to deal with cops murdering Black people, we get "WHAT ABOUT BLACKS KILLING BLACKS?"

What about it?  We can talk about that and we can deal with that, but don’t keep trying to deflect the real question and the real issue.  Cops are getting away with murder and killing Black people with impunity.  WE CHARGE GENOCIDE! Yes there it is, the ugly truth.



Bertha Lewis is the Founder and President of The Black Institute (TAB), an action “think-tank” non-profit organization. TAB address persistent issues faced by people of color, both within the United States and throughout the Diaspora. She is the former CEO and Chief Organizer of ACORN, which was a large and powerful national organization that mobilized the urban poor at the grassroots and fought for their needs.

In 2014, Bertha Lewis was named in City & State’s annual list of the top 100 most influential & powerful political leaders in New York City and #43 in The New York Observer’s “Political Power 80” list. She was featured in Essence Magazine’s 2011 list of 28 Most Influential Black Women and was named by Grain’s New York magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential Women of New York, she was named as one of the “Influential” in politics by New York Magazine.

Ms. Lewis has been a guest on national radio and TV including the Collect show, Rev. Al Sharpest’s National Action Network show and MSNBC. 


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