St. Louis… our city needs all of us today.

Posted on: September 15, 2017

News of the Jason Stockley verdict has just dropped here in St. Louis. Another instance of a rogue cop shooting a most likely unarmed black man. (A gun was planted on the victim, a gun which only contained the DNA of the cop, and not the mans.) This cop was not only carrying his own personal AK-47, but was also heard on camera saying “gonna kill this motherfucker.” These are the facts, yet still, this morning, St. Louis Judge Timothy Wilson announced that he did not have enough evidence to conclude there was any wrong doing. As news of the verdict here spreads, people on both sides are angry and on edge.

As a white woman… I want to go on record to my other fellow white St. Louisans. I know you don’t want to see our city in distress, and you don’t want to see protests and riots erupting all over town, for fear of how they are going to impact the traffic as you travel to the Balloon Glow, or the U2 Concert, or Ed Sheeran. I know that is what so many of you are currently upset about. However, I have news for you, the distress and disrupt that our city is in for, is nothing compared to the distress and pain that the people of color are currently feeling in our community. They are hurt, angry, and currently feeling a lot like they don’t matter, because cops are killing them and getting away with it at an alarming rate in our city. On top of that, they can feel the indifference of the white community to their injustice. They know all you are concerned about is your peaceful bubble and it not being disturbed. THAT’S the problem. POC do not have a peaceful bubble to live in. They do not have the privilege of not caring or being indifferent to these situations any more because members of their community are being shot and killed, unlawfully, by police who are walking away free and clear.

Imagine this same scenario happening in West County to an affluent white kid. There would be plenty of uproar to hearing that a cop pulled out his own personal AK-47, which was illegal for him to even have on him, and maliciously mutter, “gonna kill this motherfucker”, and then that cop is acquitted of all wrong doing. I don’t think any of us could say that we don’t think the outcome of the situation would be slightly different had this happened to a white man vs. a black man.

St. Louis has a deeply entrenched racial divide. There is no denying that. What that presents us with though, is also the opportunity to bridge the racial divide not just for our city, but as an example to the entire nation. This weekend we will be in the national spot light. Imagine if the message coming out of our city was not one of violent protests and riots, but instead one of our whole community coming together in unity and solidarity against the System. The systems of our government which perpetrate these gross missteps of justices are the real enemy. That fact should be concerning to all of us who value our freedom. Our government loves the racial divide. They love keeping us distracted, pitted against one another, and angry at the wrong things. We are smarter than that though. We can all see that today the system has failed all of us. So it is up to us ALL to take a stand against this injustice. If we truly want to restore peace to our city, we must do so together. Standing up for what is right, together.

So, to my fellow St. Louis citizens who are currently turning in your chairs with angst about how these protests and riots are going to disrupt your weekend plans… I think you need to take a closer look at this situation. I think you need to really understand how your rights have been violated today as well. I think you need to pull out your sharpies, and your construction board and make your own signs, and join all the men and women downtown and around our city today in taking a stand. In the least, we need to recognize that this issues is impacting and affecting all of us, and that it is going to take participation from all of us in order to make a difference. We can only create a real change when we all go at it together. This is not a problem for the black community, this is a problem for the St. Louis community. Remember that.

God Bless St. Louis, stay safe.

– Christine

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