From Emmett Till to Michael Brown, a Story as Old as America Itself


By Gov. Ted Strickland and Judith Browne Dianis
This piece originally appeared on August 30, 2014, at
Familiarity breeds contempt.
For two weeks now, as we’ve watched the events in Ferguson, Missouri unfold, there’s been a vulgar familiarity about them. The grieving family, the protesters, the police in gas masks and military garb: They all seemed locked into a story as old as America itself. It is the story of implicit bias, black pain, disenfranchised communities and systemic racism.
Eighteen-year-old Michael Brown was killed by a police officer when he was stopped for walking in the middle of a street. Witnesses say Brown put his hands up and said “Don’t shoot” to Officer Darren Wilson. The police, however, have remained quiet on Wilson’s version of events, choosing instead to make the victim the focus by releasing grainy video footage of the teen allegedly haranguing a store keeper over a pack of pilfered cigars.
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