“The people here saw a man’s body lying in the street for four hours,” one Ferguson community worker tells NPR’s Gene Demby. “I don’t care who you are,” the volunteer continues, “that does something to you.” The temperature that Saturday afternoon was around 80 degrees. In the week and a half since police officer Darren Wilson fatally shot unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown, Ferguson seems to have re-set St. Louis. That’s according to a Post-Dispatch editorial, part of today’s roundup of provocative commentary during a slower news day. Let’s go:
A new documentary out this summer (trailer above) is now having a hard time finding a St. Louis theater willing to show it. Here’s why: “Spanish Lake,” the name of the film and a suburb eight miles northeast of Ferguson, looks at how it changed from predominantly white to black residents. First-time filmmaker Phillip Andrew Morton, a River Front Times reviewer says, “has a way of getting other white people to dish.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates in a teeth-grinder titled, Reparations for Ferguson, explains that, “Black people are not above calling the police—but often we do so fully understanding that we are introducing an element that is unaccountable to us. We introduce the police into our communities, the way you might introduce a predator into the food chain.”
In the Washington Post, LAPD officer Sunil Dutta gives one cop’s perspective on what to do when stopped: “Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you.”
I’m late to “Jeopardy” champ Arthur Chu’s essay, an immediate reaction to George Zimmerman’s acquittal that he saved for public release in anticipation of a similar incident occurring. It’s called, Men Without A Country: Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, My Father and Me.
And finally, a reminder from St. Louis bookstore Left Bank Books that “compassion is the radicalism of our time.” Demby’s dispatch highlights Ferguson daytime volunteers patching up the night’s destruction, and Left Bank’s doing its small part, too, by curating must-reads for St. Louisans seeking to understand and rebuild better.
As usual, feel free to add your own worthwhile links. Tomorrow my reporting partner Julianne Hing will take over. If you’ve been reading since last week, thanks for sticking around. Be sure to stop by tomorrow.