Even with St. Louis’ close proximity to Ferguson, it’s easy to get a media-warped view of the city.
Visiting during the day, I expected the city to be littered with the remnants of protests and looting. That was not the case. In fact, only one word came to mind: recovery.
Down Ferguson’s main road, a majority of the businesses have their windows boarded up, “We’re still open” hastily sprayed across the front. However, on the Saturday I visited, volunteers, spread up and down West Florissant, painted these plain boards with quotes from Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., cartoons, famous paintings, and winter scenes.
After the media circus of the (sometimes violent) nighttime protests and looting, at the end of the day, Ferguson is a town like any other, and like the shirts say, people love Ferguson.
However, this feeling of hope was met with a sobering reminder of the source of all this. Past the main stretch, on a small residential street, Canfield drive, I visited the Mike Brown memorial. We couldn’t get very close to it in the car, but the effect was still very much received. This community, despite some surface repairs, has been hurt beyond broken glass and torched stores.
I strongly urge Webster residents to visit Ferguson and support the local businesses. People are hurting there and they need our support.