As I visit Ferguson each day, I’ve had the opportunity to speak to so many wonderful community leaders—citizens, young people, clergy, local officials, and small business owners. This isn’t a community that normally has a high crime rate, it’s a law-abiding, safe community, whose residents want to see justice, calm, and peace.
I went to church in Ferguson on Sunday, and as I drove there, I saw that every church was packed. Clergy are doing wonderful work. Community meetings are occurring around the clock. Young people are active and engaged on the ground, trying to help their community heal, and brave citizens are trying to help identify the small group of outsiders who are seeking confrontations and causing violence. Too often, news cameras want to show the confrontations, when what we also need is coverage of the healing that’s going on, and of the good people who live and work in Ferguson.
We need to restore the health and vibrancy of this community just as much as we need to restore safety and fairness in the way the community is treated. So as I continue to talk with folks on the ground and work the phones with officials at the Justice Department, I’m going to be spending time visiting businesses in Ferguson over the coming days, and tweeting my experiences, to remind folks that Ferguson is a safe, vibrant community needs our support and our commerce. I’ll be shopping and visiting with local business owners, and encouraging others to do the same.
Please join me in sharing your experiences supporting local businesses in Ferguson with the hashtag #ShopFerguson.
And let’s keep working toward peace, justice, and normalcy for this great community.