A promising young man’s life is ripped from him violently. As his body hits the ground, waves of hate and fear and violence ripple out from him, tossing a community and a country into turmoil. Friends and family weep. Friends and communities leaders raise a hand to injustice asking “Why him, why now?” The answer comes back silent. Violence begets violence as opportunist and passionate alike take to the street. Those who cry to the world for justice and fairness are meshed inexorably with those who simply seek to drive further and further into the dark abyss of hate. Those who stand to protect the community now seek to cut through the ever increasing chaos with quick, decisive and sometimes vicious force. As the night goes on and runs through day, the skies above the city choke with black smoke and even blacker rhetoric.
While what happened in Ferguson Missouri may seem like an isolated encounter, there are points in history that the opening paragraph could be used to describe. Whether it is now or 50 years ago or 150 years ago, the cycle of hate and violence returns to roost in the same areas. Violence has been used every time, the peace bought with bullets and blood rarely lasting. Without the bonds on community and character, the peace is little more than a lull.