Edward Crawford: Presente

Edward Crawford (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/AP; August 13, 2014)

Edward Crawford (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/AP; August 13, 2014)

 

This young man died Friday, May 5, 2017.

At twenty-seven, his youthful death speaks to where we are as a nation. The photo of his bravery in Ferguson, that has inspired so many, is forever an image burned into the American experience. It captures a profound moment in the great American struggle between the status quo and the yearning of the human spirit for change and demanding freedom. What is the idea of America if not FREEDOM?

Edward wears the U.S. flag as he throws in defiance a teargas canister, not at the police, but back at the STATE that is supposed to protect and uphold the ideals and rights we are told are embodied in the symbol he wears. His act denounces the state and symbolizes the Star-Spangled Banner itself proclaiming, “You do not represent me.”

The image is made most poignant by Edwards Blackness. His Black skin, beautiful swaying hair and youthful flag-draped body is a mind fuck for the White American psyche. He defies the stereotype. He carries the flag, he struggles for what is right and he is Black. Again, we hold up the mirror to America through our pain and struggle. Again, we demand America live up to its Declaration. Again, we and that night Edward Crawford said, this is my America and we will not let it be this way.

What happened?

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “According to a police summary, Crawford was in the back seat of a car heading east on Salisbury, approaching Blair Avenue near Hyde Park. Two women were in the car with him.

The women told police that Crawford had started talking about how distraught he was over “personal matters.” They heard him rummaging for something in the backseat, and the next thing they knew he shot himself in the head.
Crawford’s father, 52, said he believed it was an accidental shooting, not intentional. “I don’t believe it was a suicide,” he said. He said investigators weren’t saying much to him yet. “They’re being hush-hush,” the father said.
The case is being handled by district detectives, not homicide investigators.”
Read full article here.
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About Michael T. McPhearson

Currently Michael is executive director of Veterans For Peace and co-chair of the Don't Shoot Coalition, A Saint Louis based coalition that formed in the aftermath of Michael Brown's police killing death in Ferguson, MO. From August 2010 to September 2013, Michael worked as the National Coordinator with United For Peace and Justice. He is a former board member of Veterans For Peace and as well as Executive Director from 2005 to 2010. He works closely with the Newark based People’s Organization for Progress and the Saint Louis centered Organization for Black Struggle. Michel also publishes the Mcphearsonreport.org expressing his views on war and peace, politics, human rights, race and other things. Michael also launched Reclaimthedream.org website as an effort to change the discourse and ignite a new conversation about Dr. Martin Luther King’s message and what it means to live in just and peaceful communities.