When will we rid ourselves of this gate?
We must allow ourselves to flow like the river free.
Saturday afternoon on August 9, 2014, a teenager was shot and killed by an officer from the Ferguson Police Department. The shooting and murder in Ferguson of the 18-year-old teenager named Michael Brown occurred at the Canfield Green apartment complex in the 2900 block of Canfield and has caused St. Louis to see things we wish we didn’t have to know or see. How do we identify the elephant? St. Louis was forced to see injustice and oppression on a massive level in Ferguson. Not just with the detail of the unarmed teen that was gunned down and the body that lay in the streets uncovered for more than four hours, but the continued violations of civil rights within and throughout this entire horrifying event. All that saw injustice and oppression stood up to say, "No this is wrong" and their protests were met with gas bombs, dogs, rubber bullets, tanks, machine weapons and every form of military weapon ready to harm and kill every day citizens that the police had sworn to serve and protect. In this defining moment in St. Louis, issues of racial profiling, military police force and the constant killing of unarmed black people could not be ignored anymore. Many were left with questions: If they get away with this with the Black Americans then who's next... Women? Gay? Poor? Latino? And so on...
A homemade sign on the outside of a St. Louis business positions everything into perspective for me, as well as those who understand this instant to be a defining moment in St. Louis. A moment, which defines who we are as St. Louis people and businesses, what we will become and what our future entails based on this defining moment. Will we be that business that sees the elephant, but is so afraid to acknowledge him? Because if we acknowledge we see him, then we have to find out why he’s in the room and how to make him leave.
Is there an elephant in the room concerning ethnicity or gender in St. Louis? Yes and this situation have proven that this issue has been in the room a long time. St. Louis is strong and I am confident that they can speak on this elephant to make things better for our great city. We can talk about how to make our community one that accept all ethnicities and gender as one united race, the human race. We can make sure we treat people by what they do, not how they appear or what others think of that group as a whole. We can believe in America for what it stands for liberty and justice for all. If we allow this defining moment to make us better Americans, better citizens, and better business owners, as a people we will grow and all we do will grow.
How do we make this elephant leave because we don’t want him in the room with us? The first thing to do after acknowledging his existence is to gather enough people in that same room to push against him in the same direction towards the door. The people must know he’s there and what he represents and together they must agree he has to go. Oppression and injustice must go! Push... Push... oppression and injustice must go and we must be willing to push it away from our hearts, private lives and our businesses. Since the elephant in the room is about ethnicities and gender oppression and injustice, we within our own ethnicity have a responsibility to work on the issues that our ethnic groups face and fix it so that we are the America we were made to be. We must educate ourselves and our youths with facts. Propaganda from different media sources had turned this into a war with ethnicity, but some people and small businesses understood what was really going on and some took to the streets in protest and businesses made bold statements with written signs on the business. We must stay away from propaganda that has its own political hidden agenda. Ninety-nine percent of Americans believe in liberty and justice for all and all 99% of us can push this elephant from the room and out of St. Louis. This is the show-me-state. Eventually, we will push this elephant out of America.
A thought: If something from another world came to destroy the human race, would ethnicity or gender matter? NO, because we all stand for the human race. St. Louis is strong and as time passes it has gotten even stronger. We all must do our part to make St. Louis a place where all would want to come and enjoy its culture, diversity, art, and hospitality.