Environment Impacts Everything

I don’t like going without posting for weeks at a time. I feel like when I should post, I should say something interesting. There’s a part of me that doesn’t want to step on anyone’s toes.

You may want to curl your toes back.

missouri_flag

The classic question of racial discourse in the United States: Which state is the most racist? Mississippi or Alabama?

That used to be a topic of debate. Not anymore.

Missouri is the most racist place in the United States.

In the past week, the people of St. Louis have become more than upset. In one report, I saw a person on the street saying, “The police have to understand they can’t keep killing us.”

Gov. Eric Greitens called for the National Guard to be put on standby before that verdict came down. He also called for “peace.”

The same man who thought this was a good way to show his character is the man who called for peace.

This is the same man who signed legislation that resulted in the first-ever NAACP travel advisory for a single state.

The same man who was too cowardly to “officially” approve lowering the St. Louis minimum wage. (Somehow him not signing or vetoing allowed the measure to become law. It doesn’t seem reasonable to me either.)

Greitens isn’t alone. HIs predecessor, Jay Nixon will be forever linked to a series of events that can be summed up by saying Ferguson.

I don’t live in St. Louis, though I have friends who do. I do live in Missouri, as I have all my life.

It’s never been this bad before.

Growing up in a small town (~480 people), I’ve seen a lot of stupidity. I have also seen people getting along. My Dad once told me that when the schools were integrated, the school board let everyone know that “you’re all going to have to live together and if you don’t like it, you’ll have to get over it.”

Missouri has forgotten that lesson. Yet I still live here.

I could rant about political ideology or Confederate Pride (side note: You know the Confederacy is a traitorous conglomeration of people who hate the US and American values, right?) but I’d rather make it clear the sort of environment that has formed as of late.

When I returned to my regular job from two weeks of vacation, some of my coworkers thought I’d been in California during that period. That led to my boss declaring: “I wish I had known you were going. You could have taken a thermonuclear device and left it behind when you came back.”

That’s right. I live in a place that thinks it’s funny to kill millions of people because of political differences. Or it could be that they want to kill non-whites. I’m honestly not sure.

Last week, the coworker is work beside every shift didn’t like how something had been set up on a machine. The reason he gave was a flippant racial slur.

I have coworkers who chastise the local news for having an African-American reporter do a 30-second spot about kids from Ferguson trying to have fun at a summer camp.

They all forget that humanity came from one place, Africa.

This is the sort of place I live in. Somehow, I keep writing. If my work takes on too political of a tone, you now have part of the reason why.

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