"How can I write when I have lost control of my emotions?" That's how Cory Booker began a column as a master's degree student at Stanford, enraged and saddened but not surprised when a jury delivered a "not guilty" verdict in the beating of Rodney King.
(Cory Booker via Twitter)
Booker's refrain was "not guilty… not shocked." Booker, now a senator from New Jersey, tweeted the column Tuesday as a way of relating to outrage over the Ferguson decision, and it's still sadly resonant more than 20 years later:
Not Guilty… Not Shocked.
I’m a black man. I am 6 feet 3 inches tall and 230 pounds, just like King. Do I scare you? Am I a threat? Does your fear justify your actions? Twelve people believed it did.
Black male: Guilty until proven innocent.
Reactions to my kind are justified. Scrutiny is justified. Surveillance is justified. Search is justified. Fifty-six blows…Justified.
Justice? Dear God…