|Grand Central Station on Wednesday 12/3/2014|
The past 48 hours in NYC have been... interesting. After following along during the Michael Brown case and subsequent riots in Ferguson, Missouri, on Wednesday the racial tension between minority Americans and the police force came to our backyard when a grand jury failed to indict a white police officer in the choke-hold death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man. Garner's death was completely captured on video tape (watch HERE and prepare to be horrified), ruled a homicide by the coroner and he perished while clearly stating repeatedly that he could not breath... Nevertheless, the officer will not be charged.
Thankfully, NYC has not reacted with riots or violence, but it has reacted. As I walk around my neighborhood, I note the increased police presence surrounding my apartment and nearby protestor gathering spots like Union Square. There have been continuous helicopters overhead for 2 nights. I've seen gatherings and marches up and down major streets and blocking tunnels and tourist attractions. Jon Stewart, who filmed on Wednesday shortly after the grand jury decision was released, captured the horror of this entire situation quite poignantly:
This is not a political blog and I don't want to point fingers, but I do want to say that I'm horrified and saddened. I want to talk about it because change only happens when a critical mass starts shouting loudly and persistently for however long it takes. I'm not optimistic, but I'm hopeful. In a nation that was built on racial segregation, one which has never successfully viewed all men and women as equal, I hope that people continue to protest and talk and one by one be the change themselves so that our next generation will have it just a little bit better than the last. Just a little something to think about this weekend...