Thursday, 4 December 2014
For more than two decades I’ve been friends with a couple in St. Louis – I met her when we were teenagers, him shortly after, and kept in close touch with them as they married, raised two kids, and a few years ago found God. When the protests started, the husband decided he would go visit the protesters – not to join a conflict, but to be a friend and witness for people in a dangerous situation. My other friend, his wife, made dozens of sandwiches for him to bring, just to hand out to people who needed something to eat.
Some nights grew tense, as protesters faced off against rows of heavily armed police and were sometimes dispersed with tear gas. On one such night, when a protester needed a place to stay for the night, my friends invited him to sleep on their couch. My friends are white and the young man was black, coming out of a flashpoint of racial tension – but they let a stranger stay in their home, no questions asked.
It doesn’t fix everything, because nothing does. But a million decencies like that can make a civilisation, or rebuild one.
Photo: Courtesy of Wikicommons, Ferguson as you'll never see it in the media -- the way it looks on a normal day.