by Jessica Marie Baumgartner
No matter how we feel about the Grand Jury’s decision to refrain from indicting Officer Darren Wilson in the Michael Brown case, those of us who remain in the city of St. Louis have to live with the direct after effects. There are numerous national platforms to promote diversity and positive change but what does that mean for us? With so many politicians, public figures, and newscasters using the recent displays of frustration and anger to get their own message out, one must question, how can we move forward without resentment?
There is a lot of resentment emanating in this city, with good reason. Self destruction brought on by high tensions is degrading. Add in the media’s ability to stir things up with tainted new reports, inaccurate accounts, and a lack of telling the whole story, and it is no longer a circus but a war.
Certain news stations and websites are well known for sympathizing with one side or the other. They have shamelessly played up the white verses black; cop verses civilian, good versus bad storyline and for what? Ratings; yes we have problems, yes there are issues here. But they are not as simple as many sources report.
It is as if the grey area has left St. Louis. We are finding it hard to connect with one another because we are devastated. We have been forced to choose sides and battle against anyone who opposes us. The saying “divided we fall” has never been more poignant.
So what’s next? Will we continue to hurt each other and segregate ourselves voluntarily? I hope not. My plan is to move forward as always by treating everyone that I meet with the same dignity and respect that they deserve, in addition to making an extra effort to help destroy stereotypes within my community. Only we can heal our wounds and work together to rebuild all that has been lost.