I'm a mentally ill person raising another mentally ill person. With chickens.

It’s a nice place to visit

I don’t know if I have the words to say what I want to say right now. I don’t know if I ever will. Missouri is my home, it’s where I grew up and it’s where my family still is. They aren’t in St. Louis, thank goodness. My church headquarters is in St. Louis. There’s a joke about St. Louis being Mecca if you’re an LC-MS Lutheran (which is probably insensitive, now that I think about it). It is painful to watch a place I call home explode again. But I don’t know that I would call it unexpected. Missouri is a segregated state. It’s cities were built with black neighborhoods and white neighborhoods “safe” distances apart on purpose. De-segregating Kansas City schools was a topic that was making local news when I was a kid in the ’80’s. I grew up less than an hour from Kansas City and there were no black people in our town for most of my life. And most people thought the N-word was a perfectly acceptable term. There is a lot of rural Missouri that is still like that, and I would guess that urban Missouri isn’t as removed from that kind of thinking as they would like to believe. Maybe I’m wrong, I know there are exceptions. My parents are an exception. My dad was born in 1929. He remembers black people using seperate entrances to homes and stores, but he also made African American students feel welcome on his college campus and in our home, and was encouraging about a Black man I dated. My mother was one of the first white people to attend a historically black university in Jefferson City. Not everyone who grows up there grows up intolerant and afraid. But a lot of people do (part of me is wanting to unfriend my cousin on Facebook right now) so it’s not a huge surprise to find out statistics like these: http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/10-insane-numbers-ferguson-killing
Of course people are angry. I would guess that they have been angry for generations. How long can people feel left out, in a place that is supposed to be their home, before they say “enough”? Before they rise up in anger?  Missouri has been this way a long time. St. Louis is an old city, one that proudly flew the Confederate flag. Maybe this was the straw that broke the camel’s back there. I’m sad to see business owners hurt, and innocent people frightened. I’m sad for this family who lost their son and didn’t get any answers. I’m sad that another generation will grow up not trusting the police to “protect and serve”. I hope very much that all of the sadness in Missouri right now will eventually lead to some real change. I’m not sad that I no longer live there.

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