I’m not a lawyer, I wasn’t there, and I didn’t hear or see the evidence and testimony. But it sounds to me that if you have a coroner rule a death as a homicide and a banned technique such as a choke hold is listed as a contributing factor in the death, and when you have the entire incident on video, it makes you wonder what is broken when a grand jury cannot find at least one crime has been committed.
The anger and frustration on the part of a number of communities is understandable. The protest marches and the raised voices on TV and in the street grab our attention. But what is even more corrosive and damaging isn’t the anger. It’s the resignation on the part of many people that this ruling and the one in Missouri last week was inevitable; they knew what the juries would say before they said it. The system is rigged against them, it always has been, and nothing has really changed since the days when a black man died for having the nerve to not back down from the rule of the white master. “We shall overcome” has been replaced by “same as it ever was.”
The worst outcome isn’t that people will riot in the streets, torch buildings, or even get MSNBC hosts snarking at each other like middle-schoolers. It is that we will give up and accept the fact that the system is broken; that justice is only for a certain segment of society and that anyone who dares challenge the rulings or the way they are arrived at is promoting lawlessness and disrespect for the rule and the rulers.
Nothing will change if those who are seeking the change just give up.
Bonus: Tom Tomorrow.