Maintaining perspective on the tragic situation in Ferguson

Lee's Summit JournalAugust 26, 2014 

As the eyes of the nation and the world have remained fixed on the Missouri community of Ferguson, our thoughts and prayers have been with its residents who have dealt with this ongoing tragedy. While we still don’t know all of the facts of this extremely unfortunate event that resulted in the death of a young man, we do know that the most important thing in this case is to ensure justice is served. I know we all have our own opinions based on the facts we have been presented through various media reports, but for now it is most important that we reserve judgment until the legal process is allowed to run its course.

Whatever the final verdict is in this case, we need to maintain our calm and our perspective as we remember that, at the end of the day, we are all Missourians and Americans; all people who share the same dreams, hopes and aspirations. A situation like this highlights the underlying tensions that still run through many of our communities, but it also has the potential to show us how resilient the human sprit can be as people rally together to support one another.

While many of the news reports deal directly with the shooting, there are other positive stories that have come out of these trying times. Take for example the concerned citizens who have donated their time for clean-up efforts or the teachers from neighboring districts who have offered their services to the children of Ferguson, who had the start of their school year delayed because of the civil unrest. We also saw a teacher from North Carolina start an effort to raise $80,000 to help provide meals to young people who would ordinarily be getting free lunches at school. This effort saw people from around the world donate financial assistance, and has now raised more than $130,000. All of these positive stories are reminders that we can come together as a people to support and care for one another.

For now, we can hope and pray that the situation in Ferguson will come to a peaceful resolution. This week saw United State Attorney General Eric Holder arrive in Missouri, and I know many are hopeful he will take the reins to ensure the investigation into this tragedy is conducted properly. Our governor’s handling of this situation has caused many to be concerned, and this week our Speaker of the House called on the governor to replace Prosecutor Bob McCulloch with a special prosecutor who can provide an unbiased look at the facts of the case. We will now wait and see how this unfolds in the days to come, but let us all continue to provide our thoughts and prayers to the people of Ferguson in the hope this situation will be peacefully resolved sooner rather than later.

Gary Cross is Missouri Representative of District 35


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