The St. Louis American is the major African-American print media outlet here in "The Lou." In the "Political Eye" column today, the editorial staff writes (for me, a transplanted St. Louisan from Los Angeles by way of Eastern Washington) a truly heart rending point of view of what is going on in Ferguson (down the street from where I work, the home of several friends and colleagues, both black and white). I've lived here since 1991 and consider myself an 'evolving midwesterner.' For the first time since moving here, I understand every bit of subtext, every name dropped, everything said with the clarity that makes me realize this is where I live, where I want to live. And with what's going on here, it hurts.
But then the people erupted – that was new in St. Louis – and the police responded literally as the jack-booted thugs typically described by people who fear the police and suffer at their hands. We are talking riot gear, rubber bullets, tear gas, rifles pointed in the faces of civilians, slathering dogs. What it is, for once, it is.The motto of the column is an inside joke to St. Louisans, "what it is, it ain't" referring to the paradoxes of St. Louis culture and politics.
People, this is my adopted home town. Lots of us are crying over this. There's nothing good in this. So, read the full editorial. Give the St. Louis American some love. And pray for us. (Disclaimer: I'm an atheist but I'll take whatever magic mojo anyone's got to make this better.)
Sad and scary on oh so many levels:
Conflicts in the black community that are always silently glossed over came out in the raw. A prominent pastor pulling up for the candlelight vigil on Sunday, before it went to hell, saw a Muslim activist radicalizing some public housing youth who also were headed for the vigil.Peace.
“What is he saying to those boys?” the pastor asked a bystander he knew.
“Just what you think he is,” the pastor was told.
“O, Lord,” said the pastor.
O, Lord. What it is, it is.