I'm deeply sad. I'm not sure that I realized how much the events of the last 100 days surrounding the Michael Brown death have impacted me. I feeling very deeply for all of the people that this case touching. The list is longer than any conceivable list that we can make. I hurt, both physically and emotionally.
This is going to be a week when the town that I love is torn apart in many ways. To know that it is coming is really hard. It is draining. I find myself growing tearful as images of potential situations flash through my head. The worst pieces of who we are are going to be highlighted all across the country. The media is here to capture their version of the story. In times like these, the loudest voices, both in protest, the media, and online, are rarely the healers. I worry that these individuals will become the voice of my city. They will create the images of Saint Louis that people will remember for a long time, and the work of so many people in community building, education, and social justice work will be marginalized in a time when their wisdom is most needed.
This is a week, more than any other week since I've ever been connected across the country with so educators and friends, that I need your help. I need this week to be one where the people in my network of support are able to remind folks that St Louis is a good place. It has good people. Please remind them that good, healthy, healing work is happening here. Help me paint a counternarrative to the one that will fill our screens.
Remind them that this is a complex situation, and that there are no simple answers. Remind them that the layers of the mess are dense, thick, and many. Remind them that there are no good jokes or light moments to be made about Michael Brown's death or the struggles in so many urban areas and beyond on the issues of race and poverty.
There are so many good things that are beginning to sprout that can allow Saint Louis to heal and provide a way forward for other communities as well. None of these will be highlighted this week, but please remind everyone that they exist and hope with me that they will prevail.
I need all of you to care about kids deeply this week, and know that people just like you are caring for kids back here in St Louis. Your caring for kids this week will help Saint Louis to heal. It is how you can help.
There's plenty of blame to go around.
There are plenty of mistakes that have been made, and there will be plenty more this week. Knowing that there will be more mistakes this week is hard to accept, but we are an imperfect people in an imperfect community.
Please remember that there are good, decent, hard working folks throughout Saint Louis leaning into this messy situation. It will look at times this week that we aren't any closer to a solution or solutions than we were fifty years ago, but this isn't the case. There are coalitions of incredible people, quietly pushing back against repeating the mistakes of the past. Parents are teaching their children differently. Schools are shaping the learning experience differently. Communities are listening differently.
Each of you has a voice. Please support me. Please support us. Please know that supporting Saint Louis will support your community and its healing as well. Let our voices support those without voice. Let our voices support those doing their job the right way. Let our voices support the children of Saint Louis that need more care now than ever.