The Ferguson Protester community is home to many voices and experiences. Informed by many voices, this letter serves as a statement of purpose for those who may not yet understand the movement in #Ferguson or why protests still continue, 102 days later.
Originally published October 17:
In Ferguson, police met our protesting of police brutality with the disgusting irony of greater brutality, the likes of which Americans have rarely seen on our own soil. In this American town, officers tapped their batons, pointed guns in our faces, kneed our women's heads, threw our pregnant mothers to the ground, jailed our peaceful clergy and academics, and tear gassed our children.
We are living an American Horror Story.
But it is significantly past time for the story to end. Never to be told again.
The onus to close this book falls directly on our leadership. Our elected leaders bear direct responsibility to ensure the safety of every one of its citizens at the hands of its agents, and to capture justice for every life taken. In this, the land of the free, you are responsible for securing and preserving that freedom for all of your citizens, irrespective of -- or perhaps, especially because of -- our skin. In a story in which we have been overwhelmingly targeted, unduly struck down by threat of our blackness, we require explicit attention, protection and value. We require freedom, and will hold everyone accountable to preserving our inalienable right.
We will no longer live this American Horror Story.
Nonviolent direct action is a necessary, vital, and wholly American tool in forcing meaningful, permanent, transformative action from our leaders and fellow citizens.
Today, the 70th day of this nightmare, some may wonder why we have yet to stop - to stop chanting, stop marching, stop occupying. But we have not yet found peace because we do not yet know justice. Therefore we, together with our allies, will continue to occupy the streets and the American consciousness until the book is closed.
Even in facing this terror, we have not met those who mean us harm with the same. Even in the face of this terror, we will continue to force the readers and writers of this, a most American of horror stories, to face the blackness that they fear, the blackness they have spent this entire story trying to erase, trying to soften, trying to co-opt, trying to escape. We will no longer allow you to escape this story and pretend that the epidemic of black lives dying by white hands is merely a figment of an active Black imagination. You must come face to face with the horror that we live daily. You must come to know and profess the truth of this story, and be determined to end it.
We are not concerned if this inconveniences you. Dead children are more than an inconvenience.
We are not concerned if this disturbs your comfort. Freedom outweighs that privilege.
We are not concerned if this upsets order. Your calm is built on our terror.
We are not concerned if this disrupts normalcy. We will disrupt life until we can live.
This is an American Horror Story. Together, we are writing the final chapter.