If, as the saying goes, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result, then hoping against hope that this time — surely this time — an officer who shot a black man in cold blood would be held to account, is a type of insanity most profound. Or at the very least evidence of an overactive imagination rivaling that of the most creative screenplay writer. But rest assured, this movie does not have an alternate ending. It has been screen-tested before jury after jury, and it is quite clear by now which conclusion the audience prefers. Expecting anything different is to expect the things that have always happened to stop happening, and for those which never have to become the norm: like believing that any day now, hummingbirds will walk and pre-schoolers take flight.
And if you are, it only seeks to remind you of two things: first, that according to the founding logic of the culture in which you reside, you have no rights that white men are bound to respect; and lastly, that you are the sausage, and the machinery is operating exactly as designed.
Tim Wise is an antiracism educator and essayist. His Twitter and Facebook are both @timjacobwise and his website is www.timwise.org