As protesters demonstrate against police action in the Michael Brown shooting and Eric Garner choke-hold deaths, Dean Camille Nelson reflected on what she calls "the diversity of outrage." In her essay of that name, aired on All Things Considered, she says she's "grateful that the world is watching."
"I teach law, I respect the rule of law, I advocate for the rule of law, but at the same time the system is broken and needs to be fixed,” Nelson told the Boston NPR affiliate, WGBH News. At a time of national grief and anger, she said, she needed a way to remain optimistic; the diversity among protesters was one area that inspired hope.
"I saw... faces--of every color, all ethnicities, different religions... men, women, transgender individuals– united… That brought a smile to my face." That optimism, she told WGBH, is how “The Diversity of Outrage" essay was born.
The Diversity of Outrage
By Camille Nelson
In the midst of it all:
I am grateful for the diversity of outrage;
I am grateful that the world is watching;
I am grateful that young people are activated and mobilizing;
I am grateful that older people are activated and reengaged;
I am grateful that technology will help to chronicle, spread the word, educate, and deter;
I am grateful that many are realizing we are not, in fact, post-racial;
I am grateful that structures and systems are being critiqued, as well as individuals;
I am grateful that students are talking, seeking, and doing;
I am grateful that our complacency cannot continue;
I am grateful that some politicians are being honest and authentic in their response;
I am grateful that more leaders are emerging;
I am grateful that it is a small world and all are hearing;
I am grateful that we can never be the same, because we cannot continue in this way;
We know the lessons of history—movements are born out of turmoil. Transformation is inevitable. Change will come.