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Ferguson: A National Tipping Point?

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“You fear your children will grow up to join the patriarchy and testify against you, we fear our children will be dragged from a car and shot down in the street, and you will turn your backs upon the reasons they are dying.” —Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider

“The clock is ticking and the time is late. This situation has been thirty years in the making.” —Malik Ahmed, the C.E.O. of Better Family Life in Ferguson, to New Yorker writer Jelani Cobb.

During George Zimmerman’s trial, as we waited to find out if he would have any legal consequences for killing Trayvon Martin, I read the words of black mothers and grandmothers—some of them friends or acquaintances, some of them strangers. I heard their anguish, on Facebook and Twitter, on blogs and sometimes in news outlets—will my boy be next? I tucked my son into bed, lying next to him and knowing that if I were black, I’d be thinking, He could just be walking down the street. And there’s nothing I can do to protect him.

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