When police officer Darren Wilson shot at Michael Brown 12 times, he tore open the flaws in our values as a society. He exposed the vast differences in American perspectives on the importance of human life. Reactions to Brown’s killing reveal many Americans see black life as a lower priority than white life, the law enforcement profession, or private property.
On Nov. 24, a St. Louis County grand jury in Ferguson, Mo., declared it would not indict police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown. The announcement set off a wave of protests in Ferguson, many of them violent, underlining the tensions between the town’s mainly white police force and primarily black residents.
Since the announcement last week that police officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted for the shooting of Michael Brown, protests have broken out all over the country. Discussions about what exactly happened on that fateful day in early August have raged on social media, on TV, and in person. I was originally planning on using this space to discuss the details of the shooting, and why I believe Wilson should or should not have been indicted, but I’ve since decided against that. Not because I don’t have strong feelings on the topic — trust me, I do — but because I don’t think this conversation should be exclusively centered around Michael Brown and Darren Wilson.
In August of this year, a young, unarmed man was shot and killed by a police officer. Many believed it was an excessive use of force, or even an abuse of power on the officer’s part, and quickly took to the streets in protest. The young man and the officer also happened to have different shades of skin; the victim was predominantly described as white, while the shooter was described as non-white.
American English is awash in unique colloquialisms, from “jonesing” to “cool,” from “baloney” to “goofy.” There are much, much more. And ever since the first brave English folk crossed the wide Atlantic and brought their lexicons with them, our language, like a sponge, has soaked up old words and spat new ones out again.
A few activities that fall under the bondage, dominance, sadism, and masochism (BDSM) umbrella: being tied up, role playing, breath play, consensual humiliation, spanking. A few things which do not fall under that umbrella: abuse, rape, violence.