I first want to acknowledge the Brown family. This is a tough time in your life constantly reliving the death of your son, Michael Brown. In addition, you have to carry the weight of encouraging people to respond to the "no indictment" verdict in a manner that you have strongly and courageously done. For that, I commend you.
As a pastor of a community church, I feel it is my responsibility to respond to the actions of the community. Yes, I am not pastoring in Ferguson but the community I live in is definitely impacted by it as is most cities in the United States.
There are people who are angry with the final verdict being "no indictment". They feel justice was not served. The officer did not get what he deserved. The problem with this claim is that our society has made "justice" to be subjective. Had there been an indictment, charge and conviction of the officer then the people supporting the officer would feel that they were cheated of their justice. So, the court of public opinion applies justice in a subjective and separate manner.
Because we are a divided people, it is only natural that our view on justice is divided. In our development as the United States of America, we have lost our way in being united. We successfully united the states but not our citizens. There's a divide ranging from social class to ethnicity. The separation is not in having rich and poor or black and white but in designating one as inferior to the other. Let's work at becoming a unified people.
I understand the anger people have with the verdict. I understand the frustration people have with the verdict. What I do not understand is why that anger and frustration is channeled at looting the stores of independent business owners or rioting? Is that justice for the store owners? Is that justice for the owners whose property was damaged? Is that justice for the innocent people who were injured while attempting a peaceful protest? That certainly cannot be the justice that we are seeking.
Use that anger and frustration to create changes in our legal system. Hold peaceful protests. Develop organizations geared to bring exposure to our cause. Go and cast our votes during elections and attend town hall meetings. Get smart on proposed laws and force accountability to those making the decisions.
The bottom line is that we need to become a unified people and wisely work towards a standard of justice that is truly fair. This goes beyond the extent of our emotion because Ferguson will become old news to most of us. This must now become our passion. We need to commit to our passion.
Pastor JB Marshall