The news that Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted for killing unarmed black teenager Michael Brown has penetrated deep into American society, eliciting a range of strong emotions from anger to compassion. Benjamin Watson, a tight end for New Orleans, captured the impact of the Brown case, and what it means for the state of race and justice in America.
In a Facebook post that has now gone viral, Watson expressed feeling angry, fearful, embarrassed, sad, confused, hopeless, hopeful, and a range of other emotions after the grand jury decided Wilson would not face any charges.
"I'm angry," Watson wrote on Tuesday, "because the stories of injustice that have been passed down for generations seem to be continuing before our very eyes."
Watson wrote of feeling sorrow, "Because another young life was lost from his family, the racial divide has widened, a community is in shambles, accusations, insensitivity hurt and hatred are boiling over, and we may never know the truth about what happened that day."
Seeing hope for American society to resolve conflicts over race, Watson said that such tension is rooted in "sin," and not "skin." "The cure for the Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner tragedies is not education or exposure. It's the Gospel. So, finally, I'M ENCOURAGED because the Gospel gives mankind hope," he wrote.
The Facebook post had been shared over 290,000 times as of Wednesday night, indicating the potency of Watson's reflection. Many commenters on the post applauded his willingness to share and his ability to convey the impact of the Brown case.
The news of the grand jury's decision broke Monday night, the same evening Watson was playing the Baltimore Ravens. Following the game, he put it into words, and shared his thoughts with the world on Tuesday.
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