I'm from St. Louis, it's my home and I love it. The gooey buttercake, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Gateway Arch and the Ted Drewes ice cream that sticks to the roof of mouth like cotton candy. But St. Louis has always been, like most of America, a hallowed out city bustling with anger and despair.
Mike Brown, 18, was shot multiple times by police the other day. Brown, who was scheduled to start college today, was killed. News reports say that Brown was stopped by police and questioned in a possible robbery when he (Brown) reached for the officer's gun. Of course, it took county brown (St. Louis county police) hours to conjure up this story. I've been asking myself: Why is that dangerous, black thugs are always reaching for a gun? We never have a gun, despite our criminal nature, but we're always reaching for a gun (in this case, a cop's gun, no less!). Think Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner et cetera. And here's the kicker: After Brown was killed, his dead body lay there staining the suburban street with blood for hours, while the police responded with german shepherds and SWAT teams, as if this were the 1960s and they were an occupying force.
There's looting happening now, apparently. My family members' Facebook pages are letting me know what's going on. My sister who lives right next to Ferguson is complaining because her cable service was knocked out by the riots. She calls them criminals, but she's spectacularly wrong. What we're seeing is desperation. People are sick of this shit. The question isn't why people in STL are rioting, it's why aren't people in NY and Chicago and Detroit doing the same.
Year after year after year the bodies of black folk are discarded like trash. Women seeking help are shot down like dogs; a young teen walking with iced tea is killed and his arrogant killer walks free; a man supposedly selling cigs is strangled in broad daylight, and a future, unarmed, college student is killed days before he is to start college.
You don't want to see the rioting that's happening in STL, or that occured in 1968 or 1992? Then stop murdering and oppressing black folk. America can't act surprised and pretend as if it has had nothing to do with what is happening in STL. America produced what's going down in STL tonight. As MLK said, "Rioting is the language of the unheard".