The Reality: All Eyes On Michael Brown


The reality is that I didn’t give two shits about Ferguson exploding until my plans got messed up. I got stuck in traffic due to a riot happening down the street from where I needed to be.  I watched a little on the news for a few nights, but whatever.  Call me idiotic, or care less, but I know I’m not the only one.

This is St. Louis afterall.  Has nobody else seen that we have ranked on the “Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities” list TWICE because St. Louis is in both Missouri and Illinois so we are all kinds of special and get two places on the list?

It was just about the most annoying situation of 2014 to be honest.  I was dressed in a skirt that cost more than $100.  I had coffee and a car that doesn’t have anything wrong with it. I get so wrapped up in my own world.  I needed to be in a meeting with a client, but in that moment was stopped by the protest.  I think I actually screamed, “move out of my way” at one point.

Twitter often has your back when you need answers to all the important things that might be happening.  The news is useless, and when you are annoyed that you’re running late twitter can help calm things. I promise you.

Racist murder.  The photos you’ll scroll through on #Ferguson will take you right to Iraq.  I think 25 minutes passed as I read all the strangers’ tweets. This city is bursting at the seams. It’s too much. It’s too awful.

So there I sat, in a jam of traffic, car engine turned off because I was facing a long wait, and thus a long lull amidst selfishness. Car after car was backing up and turning around. It was the kind of jam that was taking so long that I pulled out my Macbook and started working because my morning was ruined due to being late to this meeting.

I just see it time and time again, I’ve become so numb to it.  Numb to the pain of the world. Compassionless. Careless.

Maybe the problem with all the chaos in this world is that my own heart didn’t give two shits about what seemed to be racist murder until I couldn’t get to my meeting on time because of a riot. I was more concerned about a television show being interrupted by the president addressing this issue of breaking news. I am more concerned about how a lady’s makeover turned out at the end of today’s episode…

This really isn’t an issue about white or black, Christian or Jew, child or adult, employed or criminal. Or maybe it is. But really for the most of us it’s an issue of ourselves.

The issue is giving two shits about one another. My little heart beating inside me with a $4 dollar latte flowing through it is what needs to be fixed. Not the riots, not the protest, not the obnoxious media or whatever.  My own heart is the real tragedy.

And you, Momma Brown, I see you all up on my TV screen in your white blazer and bleached blonde hair over and over. I see you next to your man with tears streaming down your face being brave and telling your story – but mute have been my ears. I think I heard you talking ten times this morning before I finally stopped and HEARD you. Sister, dear one, I have heard you.  And once I did, sobbing my own tears over you, your baby, your broken heart, I realized that your life has been inconvenienced more than missing a meeting and stuck in a traffic jam from a riot.  Your life got flipped upside down.  I hear you asking for peace.  I hear you, I hear your every word begging this world to stop and realize a little more than just themselves.

I hope your face stays engrained in my mind forever more.  You deserve two shits of my heart, and all the rest of it for that matter. You deserve grace. You deserve more. You have been brave. You have surpassed all the rest of us, sitting in our $100 skirt sipping lukewarm coffee annoyed at life. You’ve showed what really matters – one another.


Melanie Slates


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