Monday, 24 November 2014

Working on piece about Ferguson

Some of you know I grew up next to Ferguson, Missouri, which made the headlines this autumn after a tragic shooting led to protests and riots. Some of you might have seen the piece I wrote in the American Conservative, or that I did an interview on the subject for the C-Realm podcast a month later. I've been transcribing the interview to publish here.

It might seem a change of pace for the usual purview of this blog, but it's not really. If you could sum up this blog in a phrase, it deals with the gulf between the traditional world and the modern one, and how much we have to learn from the past. I try to show in the article and the interview how much my country has changed in recent years, and how that might have a great deal to do with events like those in Ferguson.

Unfortunately, the story's not over yet, and it's still relevant. As the US media focuses on everything that's terrible about the place I grew up, I will simply post a photo of Jimmy Doolittle, the aviator and World War II hero, who also came from the same town. I could have also picked baseball player Enos Slaughter or singer Michael McDonald, or photos of the park where I fed the ducks as a child, or of the old couples who lived along the tree-lined streets.

Whenever you see pictures of "unrest" on the news, just remember that, most of the time, these are normal places where families live. When you see pictures of protesters, police or frightened residents, from anywhere in the world, remember that these are not characters in a story, but people. They too could have been atheletes or soldiers in another life, and even if there is nothing outwardly remarkable about them, they might be displaying a quiet heroism we know nothing about. There is always more to the story.

2 comments:

Anubis Bard said...

We're all hoping for some constructive resolution for Ferguson. But one reason all the media are gathered in Ferguson tonight is not because Ferguson is unique, but precisely because it is not. Best wishes for the safety of everyone there now and in the future.

Brian Kaller said...

Thanks, Andy. I agree that events in Ferguson illustrate some disquieting trends in my native USA -- I only wish they were unique. Thanks for the well-wishes.