I truly believe that to be a good teacher, a decent writer or a perfunctory scholar one has to concede the limits of evidence, reason, and rationality.
It is no wonder I believe that. Evidence, reason and rationality can rarely explain my place in this world. I know the limits even as I try to stretch them. It is either futile or the human experience or, I suspect, it is both.
For months I have participated and supported the ground work of activists, scholars, teachers, preachers, parents, young people, old people, and people people in Ferguson, MO. My contribution amounts to little more than nil on the grand scale of things. Mostly, I have hoped that people would persist.
It is an unreasonable hope.
Representatives of the State, of a public that includes black people who are also a public, were defiant when they announced the grand jury results of Michael Brown’s murder in Ferguson this week. If I accept the argument of every person who thinks it was a good clean kill, there is still little to explain the anger of those who, by all accounts, won. Why are police advocates, prosecutors, white people in online comments, the white guy who yelled at me to get a job as I crossed the street last night so angry? They won.
Mike Brown was a pest, exterminated by the police.
The officer is uninjured, married, employed and un-charged.
People who believe that these things are right and just and proper won. Yet, I find they are still angry.
It stretches the bounds of reason.
Unless, of course, nothing about this is reasonable.