One of my favorite books is To Kill a Mockingbird. I have read it so many times and when I taught English, it was my favorite thing to teach. The part of the story that always breaks my heart is Jem’s reaction to Tom’s verdict and the loss of his innocence. At this moment, Jem realizes that no matter what the facts were, Tom was found guilty because of his race. A tragedy that is almost overlooked in the novel is Tom’s death. When he ran from the police, Tom was shot 17 times.
I’ve thought about that scene since the shooting in Ferguson happened last summer. Clearly, Michael Brown was not an innocent victim, but he was a kid, unarmed, who didn’t need to be shot 6 times. Teenage boys can be rash in their actions but they shouldn’t die.
Life is not fair. It is not just. I pray for all of the people in Ferguson. I pray for Michael Brown’s family. I pray for Officer Wilson and his family. I pray for the members of the grand jury. I pray for healing for the community. Finally, I pray for hotheaded teenagers and the police that they may encounter in hopes that cooler minds will prevail in the future.