Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Faithful In Ferguson

                                SMILING FACES:  Stefannie Wheat, her husband Ken, her
                                son Christopher and Ferguson Mayor James Knowles.


By now, America knows about Ferguson, Missouri.

I read about Stefannie Wheat and her family this morning when I checked-out the headlines on
the CNN website.

I was so impressed with her story, that I decided to try and locate her, online. I was successful
and am grateful to have shared a short conversation with her.

Stefannie told me that:

"I personally am not a political activist. I've been asked to choose a side but without all of the details it is impossible. I want peace for my family including my Ferguson family. We were here before this and we will remain after."
Truly, Stefannie and her husband Ken and their son, Christopher embody what every citizen in 
this Country should aspire to. I understand that Stefannie is not a political activist, but I also 
recognize the real American Spirit in her words.
I said:
"I don't want to take sides in this...I just want to see everyone there be okay and go to sleep in peace, tonight."

 Stefannie replied:

 "You are correct. It is no longer about Michael Brown. Ferguson is used as a platform for social change with innocent residents caught in the cross fire."

 And then she added:


"Ferguson is located about 10-15 minutes from STL City but has a small town feel in the majority of it. I have tried to stand and say stop while some of the non-peaceful protesters invaded and marched through our local farmers market. It did not go well. It ended with an assault (against me) and a threat to cut both my husband and I."


In my opinion, there is no excuse for ignorance of that magnitude in 2014. Violent protesters are not

so much about protesting as they are about being violent. While we wait for the Grand Jury,

I pray that Stefannie, her family and the good people in her community will remain safe. They

have a right to that.

Stefannie made this pointed observation:
"Ferguson was an accepting place for a multi ethnic family. It is only now that race has become an issue. What you don't see in the media are the actual Ferguson residents picking up the pieces that many outsiders have destroyed. I can say this as positive. Ferguson is a very resilient community and I see a storm coming, one in which we will survive and come out in the end a better, stronger city." 
Now is that the "voice" of a genuine American, or what?
Finally, Stefannie nailed it when she explained:
 "If you are only seeing Ferguson first hand from the current media you do have a skewed view. The issues that occurred in August were literally on a 4 block stretch along W Florissant, about a mile from my home. The current protesting is 2 blocks from my home. I am literally in the epicenter. I have no issues with protesting, I have issues with violent protesters who have already injured innocent residents."
She's right.
So there is a problem...but I think that Ferguson, Missouri is better than that. And when it comes
down to finding a proper solution...I think that Stefannie Wheat and her family are doing a

One Tin Soldier

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