On November 24, 2014, Prosecutor McCulloch announced the grand jury's decision on the Michael Brown case that has gripped the nation from Ferguson, Missouri. The grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson.
The response has been overwhelming thus far. The immediate reaction saw protesters expressing their outrage and 3.5 million tweets (52,200 tweets per minute during the peak) mentioning Ferguson. Eventually, the great debates began questioning the ultimate lack of trial despite McCulloch's long defense and claims of conflicting information. The conversation has also questioned the choice of McCulloch as the prosecutor for the case and attempted to analyze McCulloch's motives.
Today, we're left picking up the pieces from the aftermath of the rather lengthy announcement, which included blaming the media for unrest. The rest of the world got in on the Ferguson watch as it has been since Michael Brown's death in August. (If you missed it, North Korea has also gotten in on the action, calling America the "graveyard of human rights.")
The public outrage has led to protests throughout the nation, but many teens, young adults and HuffPost Teen bloggers have also expressed their reactions on social media. One of the prevailing things I noticed on that fateful night was the high volume of teens who were speaking out and explaining why this isn't just about one of our peers -- it's a bigger societal indication about civil rights and the racism that still exists in America. It's about the reality that America hasn't made as much progress as we'd like to believe.
But at the end of the day, I believe we can look forward to our future with hope. My first draft of a post I began writing about the grand jury decision included a line that said, "America has lost to itself." After seeing the reactions from teens who will one day lead America, I quickly revised my thought. There is hope in the way that teens and young adults today refuse to let racism slide and in the way we're willing to stand up for justice and what is right.
America has lost, but it has also won in so many powerful ways. I hope the following reactions from teens and young adults convince you of the same. (Warning: some mild language.)
Many of us were appalled by McCulloch's announcement and some of the reactions.
We see what this really means for America and racism.
And in the end, we look to our future.
I'm left with one conclusion. I have to believe that our generation will be better. We have no other choice and no other way to move forward. It will not be easy, nor will it happen quickly, but it is the fight worth fighting. Rage against the civil injustices that continue to plague America.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
-Dylan Thomas, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night (final stanza)