A Eulogy for Michael Brown
Meet the 6’8” giant field Negro: Murray. Murray is a veteran from World War II. He speaks German, Spanish, French, and Russian. He played a bit part as a child in ‘The Song of the South.’ He is chief advisor for a PAC and always dresses in field overalls and a straw hat. The government gave Murray’s granddaddy forty acres and a mule. Murray now has a section, a mansion and a new mule— Ginger. The field hand giant has been befriended by three teenage street toughs: Tyrone, Derrick and Lloyd who had moved to the country to live with relatives.
Murray’s in his stable
His giant hands are wrapped around his straw hat. His eyes are red. Ginger is backed up in a corner apprehensive, wary— and at the same time saddened. He paces back and forth unable to sit down. He smacks a post with his open hand. The entire stable shutters. Ginger neighs. Murray finally sits down on a hay bail.
He hears some young men outside swearing audibly approach the stable: Tyrone, Lloyd and Derrick. Their speech is thick with mother fucker, god damns and threats. They walk inside, remove their ball caps and quiet down. Murray stands to greet them.
Derrick starts up, “Murray, we know you don’t have TV. ..”
“Yeah, I knows, boy…Derrick. Tyrone, goes outside and get the reefer. You boys don’t have to clean the chicken coop. Lloyd, comb Ginger. Derrick, hold me up now, son. I ain’t as stout as I use to be.”
The 6’2” 18 year old stands the giant’s left armpit . Murray starts to tremble. Derrick helps him seat as Tyrone rolls a joint and lights it. He reaches it up to Murray who takes a drag.
“Thank you, boy,” The giant exhales and leans back as Tyrone and Derrick seat in front of him. Lloyd starts to comb Ginger. She settles down and lowers her head closer to Lloyd’s comb. Murray looks up,
“I ain’t got a TV, but I saw that boy…Michael Brown’s picture. He was just a baby! The law gotta pull a gun on an uppity young nigger who was shoplifting? The boy hollerin’ surrender and armor and guns I ain’t done seen since we fought in Bastogne!
“What the fuck, this recreational fo’ these muthafuckers? He on his knee shootin’ that hog iron and if he was any policeman…or any man, he coulda shot that boy in the butt and beat that uppity nigger with his stick! He probably wouldn’t feel it, though he’ smaller than me!! I’m 96 an’ it gonna take some work to whup on me, but I’d promise not steal candy cigarettes and fuck with the Chinaman if’n they do! Hell, goddamnit! He could a made a fine po’liceman his self. Or he could a been a coach. Jose is a one of the best psychological and street counselors you ever seen an’ he was a little hood too, that was cocaine, goddamnit! Not candy cigarettes! I’m glad they didn’t shoot him!
“What the hell is wrong with a tommin’ out once in a while? You sinful young mens want to wear a colostomy bag at age twenty fo’? You got that goddamn much pride? Trayvon could a said, ‘Yes, sir. I’ll be on my way,’ He could a gone far and that damn Zimmerman could got his wish ridin’ a golf cart fuckin’ with 8th graders. Damn what is it? Why is it y’all doin’ things you had not ought to be doing?
“You hears me, niggers?!!”
Murray roars. The three teenagers bolt upright. Ginger cringes.
“Sorry; Lloyd, Tyrone, and Derrick. We shoud quit a usin’ that word all the time around each other! A joke, but damn! This is wretchedness! Scott and his brother don’t call theyselves Mick all the time!
“What the fuck is wrong with you White folks? You a so scared you bring this shit on yo’selves, and us? Do you know what ya gonna do if’n you win all the damn time? Do you know what White folk did with Colored folk here in the US of A? We gave a music that changed the world fo’ever. And for the better, god damnit. We couldn’t have done it by ourselves without White folks! The both of us talkin’ shit to each other and insultin’ each other! We take a turns being victims. But we do each other wrong.
“As they did to young Michael Brown.
“As one of us is gonna do to one a them! The first a person who died for this country’s revolution was Crispus Attucks. Tha’s right! A Black man!
“Do you boys know the feelin’ we had comin’ home together on Victory Day? Do you know how we felt when Civil Rights was passed? It opened our minds—sadly not fo’ long enough. Hell, we teased each other and felt each other and gave the world the best art form in TV, cinema and comedy that’s up there past opera!
“Again, we changed the world fo’ the better…together.
“Michael Brown will too. If we mourn him, if we forgive a them that done him wrong.
“ Boys, bow your heads in prayer.”
Ginger rests her head on Murray’s shoulder; he drapes his arm over her neck. The boys stand.
Lloyd starts to shovel the stable floor, Tyrone and Derrick put on their gloves and head towards the chicken coop.