If you are a mother, can you imagine looking at the body of your dead child and not being able to hold him?
I cannot. And what I know is this--had that been my child, I would have disregarded instruction. I would have told every police officer to fuck off and pushed my way through the crime scene tape, and grabbed my son in my arms, cradling him on that hot pavement. I would have thought about the day he was born and all the times I'd spanked him when I wished I hadn't. I would have remembered birthdays and funny things he said and then I would think to myself, But that won't happen any more because this is him and he's gone now and I am undone. People would try to move me, but I wouldn't listen. I would only sit, sweaty legs splayed out on the street, arms wrapped around that man child (I have three of them--I know the weight when you hold them now). I would have kissed his face and told him I loved him. Over and over I would say that, I love you--don't go. I would snarl at the police officer who tried to gently take my arm, and tell him I'm not going anywhere because this is my baby, don't you see? I can't leave my baby. And every police officer around would let me do this because that's what happens when you look like me.
But Leslie McSpadden doesn't look like me. And so she watched from an inhumane distance as the nightmare that was only beginning took hold of her life.
That's why I went to Ferguson.