by guest blogger David Gerrold
I haven’t said much about Ferguson because I haven’t taken the time to read all the news accounts. What I have read makes me recoil in horror. It is as if someone has pulled the blanket off the bed and revealed a horrifying mass of skittering cockroaches — Missouri’s institutionalized racism and bigotry are now on display for the entire world to see.
Elsewhere, the news is reporting other shooting deaths of young black men, other unfair incarcerations, other miscarriages of justice — I have to wonder if some of this isn’t a backlash against the first African-American president, but more than that, I have to wonder about the great wealth of skills and abilities and talent that are being wasted, that are being denied to us.
How many George Washington Carvers, Booker T. Washingtons, Harriet Tubmans, Maya Angelous, Neil deGrasse Tysons, Duke Ellingtons, and Martin Luther Kings are we jailing, suppressing, and killing?
How many opportunities for a cure for some pernicious disease? How many great works of art or literature? How many brilliant performances? How many great scientists? How many incredible educators?
What we are doing to ourselves and our nation is attacking ourselves and a vital part of our own culture. We are punishing our own ability to succeed and thrive. And why? Because we’re still fighting a war that both sides lost over a hundred and fifty years ago. The south lost the war, the north lost the victory, and America is impoverished because we have not yet begun to heal the wounds, instead we just inflict deeper wounds upon ourselves.
Regardless of the circumstances of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson (and right now, I do not trust anything the police are saying), but regardless of the circumstances, what has been revealed is much deeper than one incident or even a pattern of incidents. What has been revealed is the portrait in our attic, the one that reveals the rot and corruption we have allowed to fester.
There is only one sure and certain way to change any of this. Register and vote.
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to click the remote control.
Nebula and Hugo award winning author David Gerrold is the author of over 50 books, several hundred articles and columns, and over a dozen television episodes. TV credits include episodes of Star Trek, Babylon 5, Twilight Zone, Land Of The Lost, Logan’s Run, and many others. Novels include WHEN HARLIE WAS ONE, THE MAN WHO FOLDED HIMSELF, the “War Against the Chtorr” septology, The “Star Wolf” trilogy, The “Dingilliad” young adult trilogy, and more. The autobiographical tale of his son’s adoption, THE MARTIAN CHILD won the Hugo and Nebula awards for Best Novelette of the Year and was the basis for the 2007 movie starring John Cusack, Amanda Peet, and Joan Cusack. His web page is here.