St. Louis Community Leader Jamala Rodgers: "We are All Mike Brown"

As a community organizer, Jamala Rogers been working to protect and provide opportunities to black and brown youth for decades in North St.Louis. In a reflection of Mike Brown's killing, the resulting protests, and the national spotlight on Ferguson, she writes that youth have seen the "ending of this movie" before. De-Bug had the great fortune to meet Rogers when were in St.Louis doing a social biography video for a capital case just weeks before the killing of Michael Brown. She was referred to us by locals as someone who could explain the political, social, and cultural realities of the city.


The author Jamala Rogers. (Photo by Jean Melesaine)

Let’s be real. You can’t keep heaping injustice upon injustice on people and think they will stay calm and in control. Mike Brown, a young black teen, was executed by Ferguson police with arms raised. What we are witnessing in the aftermath is a predictable human response.

As part of the human chain that separated hundreds of protesters from well-armed cops, I saw pure, unfiltered rage and frustration in the faces and words of mainly young, black people. I don’t think they were seeking blood, they were seeking justice. They want justice for Mike Brown today but for themselves every day.They know they could be Mike Brown–we all are Mike.

Black and brown youth are sick and tired of seeing police exonerated. They don’t want to hear about a police or FBI investigation. They don’t want to hear about Rev. Al Sharpton coming to town. They don’t want to hear that the Lord will take care of it. They have seen the ending of this movie and the young people don’t like it.

As for the looting that took place, there’s always opportunists waiting to take advantage of a situation so let’s not get it twisted. Those folks represented a small minority of the thousands who came out to show their love and support for the Brown Family.

It’s time for elected officials, faith leaders, activists and any others in positions of influence to re-write this script. Police are public servants who we pay with our hard-earned tax dollars. It’s time to write an ending that guarantees black people equal protection under the law and those who use the badge to abuse their authority, who kill unarmed children and other citizens, will be held accountable. The end.

More De-Bug coverage on Micheal Brown and Ferguson Protests:

PHOTOS: Why North St.Louis Is Burning With Rage After the Killing of Michael Brown

3 Words: "Do Or Die" -- A Jean Melesaine Photo Essay

About Jamala Rogers

Jamala Rogers  spent her childhood growing up in a working class neighborhood with her four siblings in Kansas City,  MO. She came of political and cultural age during the tumultuous 60′s and became active in the black student movement.  She’s been organizing and raising hell ever since. You can read more of her writings at: jamalarogers.com

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