We Real Cool
Gwendolyn Brooks, 1917 - 2000
THE POOL PLAYERS. SEVEN AT THE GOLDEN SHOVEL. We real cool. We Left school. We Lurk late. We Strike straight. We Sing sin. We Thin gin. We Jazz June. We Die soon.
Monday the 24th of November 2014 was like a really bad dream. A dream where you wake up in a warzone and to your horror realize it is happening in your own country. National Guards fighting the nation it is suppose to be guarding, blood on their hands and blood on the street. All to contain a supposed threat to the system, a contagion of cries for justice for Mike Brown. .
Of course as these things do the news of the events in Ferguson spread all throughout the known world. Protests were staged in many parts of the United States and the world. Leaders from other countries even gave their two cents about our justice system. This became huge they could not contain the truth.
The facts are simple a police officer killed a 17 year old teenager under suspect circumstances. That is all there is to it nothing more nothing less. No other narrative matters. Every story is just that a story and all tales have a perspective. Not so the truth. By definition it is consistent.
The anger comes from the fact that the truth may be different that the tale that was told. There is the possibility that the teenager may have been shot from a distance with his hands up. That fact if true is a crime. No matter what else is true about the officer or the 17 year old it does not change the fact that shooting someone with their hands up is a crime. The rage is justified.
The question now is what is next? What happens to the city after the destruction? Do we get a more diverse police force? Will businesses reopen to serve the community that destroyed them? If they don't will there be other businesses ready to take their place?
If history repeats it’s self as it usually does we probably will see little change. The police force will likely make token changes in its hiring process. It will probably add a few people of color to its ranks. The real question is will the culture of the force change or will it be business as usual in blackface. Will they start to service the community or continue to act as an unapologetic occupying force?
The riots will likely cause businesses to move out of the city, taking jobs a services away from a city they see as a risky investment. This will take resources out of Ferguson further isolating the city and those who can move out will. Leaving the area even more economically depressed.
Once the middle class black and white flight happens and the jobs and businesses leave Ferguson will be an even more segregated, oppressed suburban ghetto without the money, resources or clout to make it any better. It happened in Watts, it happened in Detroit, and I believe it will happen in Ferguson.
So how do you survive in this post grand jury world that is likely the future of Ferguson? Always remember you are a target. You will be used as an example of everything that is wrong with society. No one will care about your abuse or economic inequality. The riots will always be the excuse.
It will be said you did it to yourself. Your teachers will expect nothing of you and give you little effort because you will be considered hopeless. Your neighborhood will be policed by jaded cops who will abuse the power given to them, the way unchecked power is always abused. A disproportionate amount of you will be imprisoned taking your further out of the possibility of living in mainstream society. While the state will make millions of dollars off of your incarceration.
There is a target on your back and like any hunted prey they have laid well planned traps. Many of you will fall victim to the trap. Many of you will die too soon. In this new world it is only appropriate. You are after all the walking dead.