Some wise voices have come forward since Ferguson became shorthand for fresh race anguish.  A stunningly wise and beautiful piece by Deirdre Smith is more than worth reading—I wish everyone could read it. It’s at and also at my favorite YES! magazine at  Local Bellingham writer James Wells’ followed up with another really fine piece at

Why does a green blogger like me digress into race relations? It’s because the two are related, and the above essays talk about one of the reasons why.

The other night my husband and I saw TV news coverage of a counter demonstration seeking to support the officer whose shots killed Michael Brown. I certainly did not want to watch all the news chosen by the media, but we did see the woman in mirrored state patrol-style sunglasses who spoke from a platform, presumably to her like-minded crowd. She called for support for the officer, Darren Wilson, locking that appeal together with a categorical statement that his action was “justified.” Think about that—not that she offered no evidence, no, rather that she linked her support to justification.

Why do we so often feel that way: that supporting someone means you have to say he was right?
Can’t we say a person may have been wrong, but we support him or her–that is, we’re still friends, or we support fair treatment for the person, or we think that we should have a full accounting and he should own up, and then we try to restore all parties to the community.

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