Dear Michael Brown,
It is with a heavy heart that the black community has to write you this letter. We send our deepest condolences to your family, friends and loved ones. But we say thank you, not because of your death, but because your life has opened America’s eyes to the systematic discrimination of the people we identify with. America’s wounds have been reopened to expose how much we have not healed as a society when we revisit injustices resembling the 1960s. Your tragic incident has brought journalist, activist (through social media and in person), reporters and all supporters of you and Ferguson and of different nationalities to see the constant harassment, and in some cases, exposed to the judicial oppression that the black community has experienced throughout everyday life. Just as important, it has shown the black community the importance of that very word “community”. It has shown that “community” does not encompass just Ferguson, MO, or the neighborhood and city of which they reside, but the notion of “the black community” stretches all over the country, where we face the similar struggles, embrace the similar cultures and lifestyles, all while wearing the same skin that has made us targets of discrimination and pre-judgments. A community that expresses “If you need us, we are here”. A community who has shown that we may be classified as the minority but we carry the strength like a majority. That same skin tone that was worn by great’s such as Malcolm X, Dr. King, Maya Angelou, Barack Obama and many others who have went on to do exceptional wonders. Michael Brown you were an unfortunate martyr for our society, and as much as I hate to say it, because it should not take the lost of ones life to hear the cries of a culture, one that was needed. One that looked America in her face and call her for what she is “a liar”. A liar because we’ve been told society has come so far in accepting “our community” and our differences. A liar because they say we are equals, and we should and would be treated as such. A liar because they swore America was a land that prided itself on its diversity. But instead we experience attempts at convicting the victim, media persuasion of character, society contrast between white and black victim/criminal exposure, increasing harassment, diversion from injustice to reflections of self-hate, all in the name of our skin color. Your death, rather your life, will not be left for distant memories, but for future changes. Changes where we see an active presence of black leaders throughout the year and not just in times of crisis. Changes where we call into law, named in your honor, to require additional civilian protection from future brutalities. Yes, Michael Brown, Ezell Ford, Eric Garner, John Crawford and the many other causalities of injustice, we will not let your remembrance be something only revered for holidays and future crisis. No, we will always remember you as a constant reminder that we must never sleep on America again with the lies of old wounds healing, but always ready for when she decides to inflict new ones.
With much love from heavy hearts,
African-Americans and the community who stands with us