Michael Brown’s Empty Chair At Thanksgiving


I wasn’t on the jury. I didn’t hear the more than 70 hours of testimony. And no, I didn’t hear the details provided by the more than 60 witnesses that were brought forth during the Missouri trial of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, the man who killed Michael Brown, an African American teenager. All I have heard this entire time was what most of the rest of us heard, which was what was reported to us via any number of news sites, shows, blogs, and whatever we may have heard from friends and acquaintances we trusted to know what they were talking about.

So yeah. I admit it. And I’ll admit it up front. There’s a lot I don’t know about what happened on that day when Michael Brown was killed. Hey, I wasn’t even there.

But here’s what I do know, all right? I know that on Thanksgiving Day, the day that I will be enjoying with nearly 40 members of my family (and that’s just on my wife’s side) in Baltimore, Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr., the parents of Michael Brown Jr., will be dying inside in Ferguson. Their child was killed, and three days before the holiday where we here in America are expected to feast, rejoice, and give thanks, the parents of a dead child were given the news that the man who killed their son will face no punishment for his actions. None. And they know that the man who killed their son was a white police officer. And they know what that means in America just as all the non-white residents of all the Fergusons all across the country know what that has meant for so long.

Black-on-black crime? Of course they know about it. Being black they know about it way better than those who want to keep bringing it up each and every time another black boy is killed in the way that Michael Brown was killed. And they hate it more too. But they’re sick of how the blood-soaked and murderous intentions of their taxpayer-funded protectors are so often justified by the same crowd who keeps asking them to never, never, never  forget those blacks who kill other blacks. But perhaps they might be more willing to join in that chorus if it wasn’t for how  it seems whenever someone like Officer Wilson kills a black boy it’s in self defense, and whenever a black boy kills a black boy it barely makes the news, but now what do we imagine might have happened if it was a white boy making threatening gestures to a a black police officer in a white neighborhood…?

My Lord.

If it hasn’t happened to you then no, you can’t imagine. But if you are the parents of Trayvon Martin, then imagination isn’t required. Same goes for the parents of Emmett Till. Or if you happen to be the parents of so many other young black boys who are killed each and every year due to suspicious and highly questionable circumstances in a country where justice too often seems an illusion, then very little is left for the imagination to chew on. Because when you’ve lived in this country long enough, and you’ve been black long enough, there are some things you just know about how your life will be.

Or won’t.

14 Replies to “Michael Brown’s Empty Chair At Thanksgiving”

  1. I can’t imagine how it is to be black in the U.S. I know how it’s like to be Asian. All my life I was ridiculed with “ching-chong-china-girl” in the most humiliating way. But I never faced police abuse – unless I can claim abuse when a squad follows me from the grocery store to my house since Asians are notoriously bad drivers (stereotyping here) and we pay our tickets. Easy money for the City.

    But I’ve never had to deal with police violence. Yet. It appears that the groups police target are those who are more prone to vote Democrat. Blacks are predominantly targeted, but Latino’s are, too. It’s just a matter of time before White cops realize the power of the Asian demographic, and they’ll be coming after us.

    That said…this isn’t about traffic tickets, but the sorrow I know as a mother I would feel were I in Lesley McSpadden’s shoes. That empty seat at the table this Thanksgiving…my heart goes out to her.

  2. Now that legal experts are looking at the grand jury debacle more and more are saying the whole process was corrupt from the beginning, witnesses had been intimidated and threatened, facts in the transcripts were untrue etc. This prosecutor should be put on trial for this corrupt proceeding and I think things are going to get much worse for him. am proud of my native country and London for taking to the streets about this and breaking down the barricades to the government offices, I hope the world keeps on listening. We are shamed to the world for this racism towards innocent people and deserved to be looked down on by the world.

  3. One more thing, am I the only person who did
    not know about the violent past about this policeman because it does not seem to be mentioned in the US media. The UK daily mail
    has details about the violent confrontations he has had with other men regarding the woman he just married, with her husband when they both were married to other people and also to the father of her child. He seems to be someone with a violent temper, and these people portray
    a young 17 year old (unarmed) as a dangerous character. I am so angry about this something must be done.

  4. For the full story, see: Trouble in the Heartland – Ferguson MO – a comprehensive overview of the history, demographics, politics, personalities, and events surrounding the police shooting of Michael Brown and the subsequent grand jury process.

    Sections include:
    • History of Ferguson and its Racial Composition
    • Segregation and Discrimination
    • History of Police Abuse (including A Bizarre but Revealing Incident)
    • New Video of Wilson Emerges (showing his overbearing style of policing)
    • The Michael Brown Incident
    • The Confrontation
    • Inconsistencies and Incredulities in Wilson’s Account
    • Chaos Ensues
    • Police & Prosecutor Missteps
    • Physical/Forensic Evidence that Contradicts Officer Wilson’s Account
    • An Inadequate Conclusion

  5. I know you weren’t speaking to me DJ, but that was simple, direct and powerful and I, for one, will be looking his works up today. Thank for sharing that information.

  6. My two step-daughters are grownish, so this is the first year they weren’t home. While I missed them horribly, every time I thought of them, I thought of Michael, Michael Sr. and Ms. Lesley.

    See, I knew where my girls were in the world & that they were safe & happy &, most importantly, that I would see them again soon. Michael & Ms. Lesley don’t have that. They have a massive hole in the core of their beings that they will never fill. They will learn to live in spite of it, but that hollow will never go

    I wish I could give them their son back. I wish I could go back in time & stop this from ever have happening. I wish I could take away every oppressed human beings oppression & guarantee true equality. I wish I could do a lot of things that I cannot.

    But I can stand side-by-side with my fellow humans.
    I can use my anger to demand change.
    I can speak up loudly when I see wrongs.
    I can spread truth everywhere.
    I can protest.
    I can vote.

  7. Of course Wilson faces punishment. He faces the real possibility of a federal civil rights trial which can send him to prison and he faces the certain civil lawsuit which will reveal in an open courtroom everything there is to know about Darren Wilson and his life and what happened that day. Darren Wilson will never be a cop again. He will be broke and running all his life. The donations will be used to fund his defense lawyers and won’t be enough. The incoming cash will dry up and he will be left with huge debts. And he will never have an anonymous day in his life. He will run and try to hide. There’s nothing there, really, for a book and no Hollywood film in there, either. Won’t happen. He’s going to live a miserable life.

  8. There’s always fox. Coming up in our next hour, how to kill and get away with it with your ace reporter Darren Wilson

  9. Thanks, djchefron. I’d posted a response yesterday, but it must’ve been removed (although I don’t know why).

    Thank you for the advise.

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