November 27, 2014

That Ferguson Feeling.


I’ve been wanting to write about what’s been happening in Ferguson for a long time now. But I’ve held back, because what can I say?

I’m not a minority, I’m not from Ferguson, I’m not even living in the United States right now. Still, I can’t escape hearing about it, and it breaks my heart. It maddens me to no end.

I’ve been searching for the right words to say, and so far I still haven’t found them. Not my own right words, but I have found someone who seems to have said everything I could ever hope to say on the topic in approximately one minute. This is Danez Smith and “Not An Eulogy for Mike Brown.” Give it a watch. It gave me some serious chills.


The sentiment is one of anger, but not rage. After years of injustice, I think rage becomes disgust. It is a sentiment I share.

Ferguson is controversial, I get that. And I don’t claim to know everything there is to know about the case. But I do know this: Michael Brown’s tragic death has laid open a wound in our collective American psyche. It almost isn’t necessary to discuss all the facts of this particular case, as Danez Smith says, it’s a new name but an old tragedy. Deaths like this have happened over and over and over again.

Imagine the sudden and untimely death of someone you love. Imagine them murdered, and then imagine no justice for that murder. That is the feeling here. That is the Ferguson feeling.

It is a piercing reminder of the inequality that still exists in our country. But let’s not stop at outrage or disgust. Let’s let those feelings cool and harden into resolve, resolve to make this type of event a thing of the past, nothing more than a historical anecdote. Put it to an end and be done with it.

We have a lot of work to do to close the wound, and it needs a lot of time to heal. But empathy will be the remedy and compassion the cure. Let yourself hear the suffering. Feel one another’s pain.

We have to let each other know we’re all in this together. Only then can we make the changes that need to be made and create a better future for us all.


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Author: Kathryn Muyskens

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: YouTube Screen Shot

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