Another victim of violence, another unarmed young Black man executed because of the color of his skin, another family torn apart bu grief, another town dealing with fear, rage and chaos…when is enough, enough?
The shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO stands as a stark reminder of the reckless disregard of human rights in our country by profiling groups of its citizens, and the serious lack of interracial justice in the U.S.
Pax Christi USA calls for prayers for Michael’s family and friends, a non-violent resolution and accountability for the execution of this young man and a reconciliation with justice for the community torn apart by this senseless act.
We invite you to lend your support to the members of the Ferguson, MO community:
- by signing the petition at http://www.colorofchange.org
- for those in the St. Louis area….to connect with Ferguson residents who are asking for a non-violent investigation and transparency of this unjust situation
- by examining the structures, policies and attitudes that created and escalated the violence
- by writing letters and Op/Ed pieces for your local newspapers
- by asking your local parish community for a specific Prayer of the Faithful for strength and courage for the Brown family for the coming weekend
11 thoughts on “STATEMENT: Statement on the killing of Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, MO”
Thanks to PCUSA for posting this statement. I urge all members to read the book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander. The militarization of the police as well as the targeting of young men of color by the police is all part of a new system of control over people of color. Jim Crow is not dead, it has just adopted a new face and hides under the rubric of “colorblindness.” For those of us who like to tell ourselves that if given the chance to relive the time of the civil rights movement of the 60’s we would have marched with Dr. King; now is the time! Let’s not continue to expropriate the words of Dr.King for our own purpose while standing on the sidelines of the great struggle he called us to.
You goals are worth and noble, peace, and remedies for prevention of similar incidences in the future. However, your language is unacceptable. “Pax Christi USA calls for prayers for Michael’s family and friends, a non-violent resolution and accountability for the execution of this young man and a reconciliation with justice for the community torn apart by this senseless act.” You are ignoring the most recent news regarding the allegations against Michael Brown and the “star” witness. Even without this most recent news, you assumed guilt on the part of the police officer. This is not Christian. Nor is it American, innocent until proven guilty.
Additionally, your assertion “serious lack of interracial justice in the U.S.” is an unfounded opinion and misleading at best. You can claim all of the statistics that you want, you can interpret all the anecdotal reports that you like but so can the other side. What is the standard or the normative interracial justice? Could it be that it is merely justice without an adjective, like “racial”.
Thank you Pax Christi USA. This world so needs the Spirit of Nonviolence to heal its brokenness. Let us go forward to build the peace of Christ.
Coincidentally, today the Washington Post carried an op-ed piece (8/15) by Eugene Robinson which places the killing of Michael Brown within a larger social framework. Joseph Nangle OFM
thank you for issuing a statement emphasizing the non-violent idea–MLK’s leadership needs (sadly, again) to be revisited….
I hope that you will follow up with reflections on what has come to light–the increased militarization of the police force charged with keeping the peace
I am disappointed in this statement. By stating that Mr. Brown was “executed because of the color of his skin,” and referencing “profiling,” the statement leaps to conclusions that, as far as I can tell, are not based on the current reported evidence. Yes, it is right to call for justice. Yes, it is right to decry the use of violence. However, Pax Christi risks diminishing its credibility and its voice by leaping to the very inflammatory conclusion that Mr. Brown was killed because of the color of his skin.
Your strong desire to make this a murder based on race is very evident in your inflamatory writing. You are quick to sully the name of the veteran officer who, until now, had no previous complaints against him and who was, according to what I’ve read, injured in the face as a result of a physical altercation with the deceased. Have you also forgotten that the young man who was killed had robbed a store earlier that evening and roughed up an employee? I have viewed the video – this is no little boy, he was 6ft 5 inches and 290 lbs. At no point did you wonder if perhaps the officer was acting in self defense? Yes, the officer had a gun but I can also imagine a young man with a large size difference attempting to overpower an armed man. You are concluding that the officer is guilty (because he’s white?) and that the teenager who was killed is innocent (because he was black?) That is quite a conclusion to jump to given that not all evidence has been released. It’s your words, and the words of others like you that are adding the fuel to the fire. You talk about profiling yet that is exactly what you have done here.
The American people, like victims of a subtle water torture, have largely become inured to disparities in opportunity, representation and hope itself. The carnage in Ferguson reflects this deadening to our fellow citizens. Each of us must decide how we’ll make it change – and fast!
The reported bruises to the officer’s head are not irrelevant. The statements made by existing witnesses are not irrelevant. There are reportedly several other witnesses from whom we have not yet heard.
The toxicology report, when released, may not be irrelevant IF there is evidence of a substance that would have clouded Mr. Brown’s judgment. I’ve tried a number of criminal cases. All of these things tend to intimate that even if the officer is charged and tried, there is a good chance that one juror will “hold out” with a “reasonable doubt”, especially if that juror believes that the OFFICER’S judgment was clouded by the reported bruise that he sustained. I have tried to speak to people who were emotionally vested in situations like this, especially in the O.J. trial. I have seen otherwise perfectly intelligente people
ignore evidence. For those reasons, we should also be concerning ourselves with the rage in the community if and when the officer goes to trial and is acquitted. That is where and when the real violence started in the past. That is where and when the peacekeepers need to come forward.