As often happens in the human condition, we are in a time of paradox. Tomorrow (Thursday) is a day when most of us gather to feel and express our gratitude for family, friends, and community. We are entering a season, however flawed, in which we take time to celebrate, to adorn ourselves, our homes and public spaces with color and light during the darkest days of the year.
And these are not just literally dark days. Our nation is dealing with a tragedy of humanity and a tragedy of justice in the fatal police shooting of the unarmed, 18 year-old Michael Brown: shot dead in the street, denied justice in an aberrant process, and demeaned, without any opportunity to defend himself, in a gratuitous public statement by a callous prosecutor. All along traumatized local people were met with militarized suppression of their fundamental rights to assemble and protest. These cumulative tragedies have moved people all over the country to take action, to harshly question our legal and justice systems, and to demand change.