This post was originally drafted on May 2, 2015 but remained unpublished until now (only for reasons of lazyness and getting swamped with work). Since it was drafted the memorial has been dismantled and moved to a permanent location.
I thank my friend and lifetime Ferguson, MO resident Jello for taking me on an impromptu tour of his town during my first time back there since the killing of Mike Brown by the non-indicted Darren Wilson. I grew up in St. Louis city, not the county; hard to explain why, but that’s an issue in and of itself. So I don’t assume to understand the County at all. That said, I did work for them. And in my youth I hung out in Ferguson, I partied in Ferguson, I appreciated the people of Ferguson. And I still do. Especially for their wholly endearing and honest tributes and memorial paid to the life of Mike Brown:
I was weary of traveling to Ferguson with the intent of seeing the memorial; but when a resident asked me if I wanted to see the memorial and my sincere response was “Yes,” it felt good. And if you too want to see the memorial, and you’re true to yourself, you should. The upkeep is genuine, the artifacts real, the memories manifest. The memorial is so simple and so beautiful, from stuffed animals wearing “Copwatch” shirts to signs expressing sentiments that will never die.
Fergusonians have great pride in their city. And they’re proud to show it:
As we drove, Jello pointed out sites of the protests that someone like myself living afar might have noticed. None stood out more than this simple barred fence:
Which you might recognize from the following photos; it’s mind-boggling to think of how long that fence stood there, unassuming, elementary, simple… only to get ingrained into the national conscious in a single moment:
How did we come to this? It makes no sense. There’s no argument you can tell me to justify pointing semi-automatic rifles at an American citizen (or anyone, citizen or not). None.
The other takeaway from the drive was something we all know already: Don’t Trust the Media. The depiction of Ferguson as being riddled with housing projects, crime-prone “thugs,” or moochers & looters is patently false and intentionally deceptive.
This is Ferguson:
This is Ferguson:
THIS is FERGUSON!
I’d live there in a heartbeat if that’s where I wanted to live. Funny how the media failed to show that side of this great city.