by Eric Mata and Craig Elliott
A couple of days ago, we had a conversation about the shooting death of Mike Brown. As a man of color and as a father of an infant son and a white man and a father of two boys, the events that have unfolded in Ferguson, MO have resonated deeply. We’ve been constantly thinking about what could have led to the moment when Darren Wilson shot and killed Mike Brown. We know who killed Mike Brown. But we’ve been grappling with the question of “what” killed Mike Brown.
Further, as we raise our boys and daughter, we have also been grappling with these questions and are our part in them: How do we shift this system of oppression that causes death, pain, and suffering for men and boys of color, and teaches violence as the language of living? How do we raise our boys to be different, to resist violence and aggression and the other mantles of manhood and masculinity? How do our children grow to live a life filled with compassion, love, and justice, and to create community spaces built on those values? These aren’t new questions created by the death of Mike Brown, but they have been given more shine in our lives.