Somebody needs to tell me when Michael Brown has been chosen as the face of Black oppression…There are so many great people to embrace as heroes in the Black community. Deciding that you’re going to embrace a guy that knocked over a convenient store, and then according the grand jury testimony acted in ways that would get my children shot…that’s your hero?” – Joe Scarborough, MSNBC Morning Joe

Dear Joe Scarborough,

The systematic and perpetual oppression of Black Americans is not an issue to be toyed with. Let’s be clear here. This is not just about Mike Brown. Mike Brown, Aiyana Jones, Rekia Boyd, Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, John Crawford and so on are examples of how law enforcement is allowed to become judge, jury and executioner when it comes to Black lives. The anger and fury expressed by Black Americans is based on perpetual violence at the hands of law enforcement. To you, the police protect and serve but many of us need protection from the police. The denial of your privilege prevents you from acknowledging this.

In our lives, the jury decision not to indict does not suddenly absolve Darren Wilson of Mike Brown’s death. Historically U.S. jury decisions do not sway in favor of protecting Black lives. This recent decision is just another painful reminder of that fact.

Furthermore, the narrative that victims must be flawless in order to have justice is not only absurd but dehumanizing. The moment a Black body touches the ground, media is clamoring to search their records. Even 12-year-old Tamir Rice was not exempt.

This is about Black lives being threatened by law enforcement on a daily basis. All that is needed is a story/narrative which depicts the person as threatening. Suddenly, by invoking “fear” Black deaths are justified with all minds cleared.

The “I was afraid of a Black person” narrative is allowing murderers to run free in the name of court-justified trepidation. The Rosewood Massacre of 1923 is an example of the horrors Black Americans have faced with court refusal to prosecute their murderers.

We’ve been dealing with this for a very long time.

Civil rights leader and journalist Ida B. Wells spent years documenting lynching’s across America, bearing witness to crimes that would go unpunished. Unfortunately the words from her speech Lynch Law In America given in 1900 still ring true 114 years later.

In her opening remarks, Wells gives a chilling overview that is painfully familiar,

“Our country’s national crime is lynching. It is not the creature of an hour, the sudden outburst of uncontrolled fury, or the unspeakable brutality of an insane mob. It represents the cool, calculating deliberation of intelligent people who openly avow that there is an “unwritten law” that justifies them in putting human beings to death without complaint under oath, without trial by jury, without opportunity to make defense, and without right of appeal.”

Wells continues, “The thief who stole a horse, the bully who ‘jumped’ a claim, was a common enemy.”

The narrative of Mike Brown “the bully” or Mike Brown “the thief” is so eerily familiar. The storyline had already been created for Darren Wilson to utilize.

Wells also states, “In fact, for all kinds of offenses – and, for no offenses – from murders to misdemeanors, men and women are put to death without judge or jury; so that, although the political excuse was no longer necessary, the wholesale murder of human beings went on just the same.”

Approximately 114 years later, Darren Wilson still had the privilege of making himself judge, jury and executioner with no penalty. In fact, he’s become richer for it.

We are still living under the tyranny of America’s unwritten Lynch Laws. We’re then blamed for our own deaths for failing to respond properly to slave codes.

In the words of Jesse Williams, “We are not making this up.”

When we scream Mike Brown’s name at protests, we are recognizing him as a human being. We are crying out to the world, that our brother has been slain.

See here the blood that was spilled.

See here his mother’s tears.

See here he was just a boy that deserved to live like all the other boys.

As we recognize his humanity, Darren Wilson calls him a “demon” and compares him to wrestler “Hulk Hogan.” Referring to Mike as if he were some wild beast to be tamed. The St. Louis Police Department called him a “myth.” Even the New York Times said he was, “No Angel,” as if angel status was a prerequisite for living. This is also a reminder that for African Americans, mainstream media is often complicit in perpetuating stereotypes and fear mongering narratives surrounding our lives.

So no, we’re not making Mike Brown a hero. We’re asserting his humanity because if we don’t do it no one else will. His life represents our lives.

We yell Mike Brown’s name, shut down malls, boycott stores, block highways and chain ourselves to train stations because there is no other option for us.

Civil Rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer said the unforgettable words, ‘I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.” That meant she refused to stop working until the world was changed. As the children of her legacy we are going to do the same thing. We don’t want to die and have the world think it justified.

Mike Brown was human and he deserved to live. Whether you think he was a choirboy, college student, or thief, Darren Wilson had no right to take his life. Darren Wilson had no right to make himself judge and jury. Darren Wilson would have never killed Mike Brown if he weren’t terrorizing him in lynch law fashion, for walking down the street. And we know this, because we have lived this.

So yes, Joe Scarborough. You should get used to hearing the names Mike Brown, Aiyana Jones, Rekia Boyd, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, John Crawford and so on. Because we’re not going to let you or anyone else in the world forget them. We are not trash to have our lives thrown away, forgotten simply because our story no longer amuses you.

Black lives matter.


Jessica Ann Mitchell

Update: Joe’s Response




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34 thoughts on “An Open Letter To Joe Scarborough: This Is More Than About Mike Brown

  1. Reblogged this on and commented:
    The systematic and perpetual oppression of Black Americans is not an issue to be toyed with. Let’s be clear here. This is not just about Mike Brown. Mike Brown, Aiyana Jones, Rekia Boyd, Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, John Crawford and so on are examples of how law enforcement is allowed to become judge, jury and executioner when it comes to Black lives. The anger and fury expressed by Black Americans is based on perpetual violence at the hands of law enforcement. To you, the police protect and serve but many of us need protection from the police.

  2. Joe should be ashamed of himself but I’m sure he’s not. We’re going to keep pushing for justice and he’s just going to have to get over it.

  3. Racism and microagression still happens in our society and people like Joe Scarbourgh can live in this world and say those things because he is the majority. I remember growing up and people saying if you want the police to come sound white. When you have people who are not apart of our community or money kind of shields them from the oppression that some African Americans experience on a daily basis these are the quotes you will get. Im not shocked he would say this. Besides how about the white young man who shot up a elementary school, the discussion of mental health was at the forefront not that he was evil, carried out his assault. That was spoken for a few minutes with the overall speech is the government is not taking care of our mental health

  4. This is by far the most eloquent assessment made to date. Thank you for standing in your own strength and breaking it down for us. I hate it when they compare our men to animals that need to be tamed, etc. the truth is this (being a police officer) is way too much power for young men ( who have not lived long enough to understand the human condition, sufferings and set backs of people of color) to have. On top of that they are given a gun. What qualifies them to be officers. Where is the training and re-training that should come with this important covenant they have sworn to uphold. Thank you for your compassion.

  5. Every word in this piece affirms and heralds the pain Black America is going through and every word from Joe Scarborough salaciously affirms white America’s insistence that their supremacy determines who lives and who dies. Get use to it negroes, it will be a fight that will last for generations to generations, from centuries to centuries. It is a social disease whose only cure is to change on self, a medicine too hard for many to swallow.

  6. Well done. I sure hope that this Joe whatever, and others like him, get to read this open letter. They have no clue what is means to be #WalkingWhileBlack ….. great post. Reblog!!!

    1. MICHAEL BROWN IS A THIEVING THUG, it’s that simple. We as black Americans need to teach our kids to respect the law and the law officers. Had Mike Brown and Eric Garner would have OBEYED the law and STOPPED when they were told so they both would still be here. Keep making excuses for them is only hurting the young black community to not obey the law. Wake up people, it starts at home, not in the streets.

    2. Dr.C is a poor white trash troll trying (and failing) to masquerade as a black man. GTFOH with your nonsense creep…

  7. This is spot on! If you blame the victims you don’t have to even remotely feel any guilt. How does Joe look in a mirror?

  8. You are so on point it isn’t funny. Thank you for making our pain regarding the whole-sale slaughter of our people so clear to the world (not just Joe Scarborough). Shame on him for trying to trivialize this tragic incident rife with corruption! I’m giving you a standing ovation for your brilliant prose! Write on my sister. Write on!

  9. Thank you for answering every white supremacist on the planet regarding this incident. These savages are incapable of having any empathy for anyone but themselves. Keep up the great work Jessica!

    1. Since there’s no reply button in your reply to my post re: ‘Morning Joe’s’ link to the curious Lori Klausutis ‘affair’- I’ll try to respond here [if it even gets posted we’ll see].

      First of all- White supremacists or all stripes, whether ‘Morning Joe’, FOX Noise, Hush Limp-Balls, etc- shoot 50 Calibers & even Howitzers at us [& especially our youth] both figuratively & even literally, Yet we feel we must respond w pea-shooters- as long as it’s {pseudo}’Intellectual’.

      FYI: This very curious incident in ‘Morning Joe’s’ career is apparently not well known, even though such well known liberal-progressives as Michael Moore & [see the links in my post below or did you even bother] have talked about it- IE: unlike FOX Noise I’m not just making this up out of thin air.

      It’s obvious that Ms Klausutis’ curious death [in 2001] in the office of then Repug FL congressman Joe Scarborough- is key reason why he suddenly abandoned his political career in 2001. Yet guys like you respond to me even mentioning it as ‘gibberish’… And then demand that I leave this thread & even this site [are you this site’s police?]- WOW!! [Note: Just 5 – 10yrs ago if you mentioned Mr Cosby Kids & rape in the same breath- most folks, Black or white, would have reacted the way you’ve reacted to me mentioning ‘Morning Joe’s’ abrupt end to his political career in 2001- but now…]! Yet we keep asking why we keep getting our as-es ‘whipped’ by the FOX Noise type ‘spin machine’!!!

      1. Get some remedial education classes dude… Please… You said Michael Brown was a thug, and I’m saying you’re delusional… So we’re even… Now, rant by yourself….

      2. Nicholas Jackson says: Dec 10, 2014: } ‘Get some remedial education classes dude… Please… You said Michael Brown was a thug, and I’m saying you’re delusional… So we’re even… Now, rant by yourself….’ {

        Uhm perhaps you replied to me by mistake & meant to reply to someone else… – Otherwise apparently it’s you who’s ‘delusional’. Cause where did I say Mike Brown was a thug, that deserved to be gunned-down by Killer Cop Wilson??? My ‘ so-called are ‘Rants’ are against ‘Morning Joe’ [& also ‘Sir’ Chuck Barks & Rude Fooliani] who’ve slandered both Mike Brown & those protesting his execution at the hands of Killer Cop Wilson!!!

        Now if you replied to me by mistake then Hey- ‘No harm no foul’. Otherwise, Don’t try to put BS words in my mouth based on ‘delusional’ dis-info!!!

      3. There is a serious disconnect here. I was responding to the person who called Michael Brown as a “thug.” So, please understand that’s the “gibberish” I am referring to. If there was something lost in translation, then please accept my humble apology.

        Again, I am condemning the person who called Michael Brown a thug. That label insulting to his parents, relatives and to the deceased young man who faced a summary execution on the streets of Ferguson, MO. by the rogue cop, Darren Wilson.

        That’s all…

      4. Nixakliel,

        I think I discovered the disconnect. My comment were supposed to be directed at “Dr.C” – not you…

        I have no idea how this occurred, but I do apologize to you for the misunderstanding.

        All the best to you!

  10. Well put!. I hope this letter reaches the eyes, ears, and heart of all those who really really need a reality check!

  11. Thank God we have an elegant and laser-like socio/historical analyst Jessica Ann Mitchell to shut that disingenuous bloviating, ignoramus down. Among other misguided comments, he smugly remarked that he thinks 95% of white people feels as he does, as if this was kind of special revelation that he was being generous enough to share this tidbit. Heads up big Joe: Ah…you just figured that out on your own, huh? We could have told you THAT. After hearing him on MSNBC I was amazed at the man’s arrogance in his own ignorance, how inoperable the glaucoma of his white privilege had blinded him. It is kind of Ms. Mitchell to offer the man nice with a sturdy white cane.
    -Art Nixon

  12. I agree with your remarks to Joe about Joe who is such a one dimensional person. Even worse was the interview I watched on CNN with Charles Barkley (Sir Delusional) making a statement that “sometimes it’s right to racial profile”. There is never a time when racial profiling is appropriate. Of course he gets high visibility, rough in the quartz that he is. Please take a moment, watch and listen to the two young female prosecutors from the “b. girl movement” this is where the visibility should be.
    (you tube)
    Please, please watch

    1. Guys like Joe Scarborough, Sir Chuck Barks & Rude Fooliani [& even Mr Cosby Kids- but now he’s gone mute] are hypocrites re: this issue [Mike Brown was a thug who deserved to be gunned-down & so-called ‘Black or Black’ crime]- & Here’s Why:

      Ex Repug congressman Joe Scarborough suddenly resigned in 2001 under curious & even potentially scandalous circumstances [Chandra Levi’s case got much more hype]. Apparently Scarborough may have been having an affair w one of his aides, 28 yr old Ms Lori Klausutis, who ‘mysteriously’ turned up DEAD in Scarborough’s office in 2001! Scarborough soon resigned afterwards from congress & later as MSNBC was just starting to take off, became the host of ‘Morning Joe’. Ms Klausutis death was ruled an ‘accident’ [‘allegedly’ from fainting & hitting her head on a desk- YET she ran marathons] by an ME in AL w ties to Scarborough. Later this same ME admitted that Ms Klausutis’ body had scratches & bruises on it. Also note this same ME’s been involved in various controversies thru-out his career that brings his credibility [if NOT his sanity] into question [see @ -&- -&- ].
      – Now if all there’s to Ms Klausutis’ curious death in ‘Morning Joe’s’ office, is just an unfortunate tragic accident- why would he suddenly resign??? Unless the whole ‘affair’ had the real potential to ‘Blow-Up’ in Scarborough’s face!!! [FYI: this was at the same time that the Chandra Levi case / ‘affair’ sullied Scarborough’s fellow congressman Gary Condit’s career].

      Ironically eventually ‘a convenient ‘patsy’ ‘took the fall’ in Chandra Levi’s case, w almost NO evidence linking him to her disappearance & death [it’s NOT even totally clear if she was actually murdered], yet re: Ms Klausutis’ dead body in ‘Morning Joe’s’ office- Oh Well….

      1. I can’t stand Joe and his smarmy behind, and I certainly can’t stand the gibberish that you’ve posted Nixakliel… Please exit this thread and site immediately….


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