‘How many Mike Browns will it take?’

the following letter was postmarked three times: Sept 9, Sept. 23, and one other time (illegible). 

Hey —,

What’s been up? I hope you’re doing good. I’m very motivated by your perspective and outlook. I’m very thankful to you and all those involved, each one of you who don’t just show concern but carry the burden. Thank you for placing yourselves in our shoes. As I read over your letters I see so much but I don’t know where to start. You said that circumstances can change some people’s consciousness. I agree completely and very strongly with that. You said Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Very right you are. It seems as though this age that we live in (I like to call itthe age of Information Tech–IT), because there are so many ways to instantly transmit and send pictures, video and text. And you can’t really control who sees or reads them. Which I believe has become our government’s problem as well as others. 10 or 20 years ago law enforcement could control what got out and influence the course of events to marginalize and contain things that others might want reassessed. But it seems as though in recent years information is distributed instantly and at the click of a button. So here we are faced with this new trend among officers of shooting unarmed me and women. Well? maybe not new but a broader view of the nation’s events as a whole. At least some, do I believe that half of these type incidents make it to light? No, if I had to pick a number I’d say less than 20% of these cases make headlines. And the ones that do make it to light, I’m pretty sure that those in charge did not intend on the publicity. People are constantly bombarded with things, problems,etc. Some just turn the channel or turn the radio off. 100 people gassed in Syria–click; Children starving–click (I don’t see starving children on my street so it must not be a problem–click); animal cruelty–click. But then you have people that have lost loved ones to war or cancer or abuse, bombings, autism. Those who have directly witnessed these events tend to be more understanding. And generally more supportive. I know I’m walking on a touchy subject. But the truth of the matter is, How many Mike Browns will it take? What does it take to convince someone that what they are doing is wrong? How do you convince someone that won’t listen to sound reasoning, at what point does Mike Brown become real to police?

How do we convince Andrews that this lock-back is inhumane, or the council that things need to be changed. How do you sway someone who is knowingly blocking progress? It’s a gift to be willing to understand others’ problems to grieve or to smile with one another. Where you excel others fail.

Do I want change? (Yes) But for some change will cost, some will pay for their own change and hate every minute of it. Others will change at the expense of someone else. I guess what I’m saying is circumstances and change can be a nasty business.

Until next time.

May your road be safe

And your thoughts clear

S.A.

And your freedom truly free.

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