Who's Who of Ferguson Protests: Leaders, Activists
Obviously, these collections of competing interests, ideologies and politics make Ferguson a staggeringly complex situation to comprehend, let alone analyze. But from another perspective, Ferguson is actually very, very simple to understand:
People live here.
Put aside the high-minded talk of a nation confronting its historical racism -- it is the residents of this St. Louis suburb who must smell tear gas leaking into their homes each night. They are the businesses owners suffering after each round of looting. They are the parents whose children are not going to school. They are the workers missing shifts because police have blockaded the roads.
They are the homeowners who allowed photographers and reporters to hide in their living rooms while armored trucks lobbed tear gas into the streets where children play. Or used to play. They were the first ones to shed tears of grief for Michael Brown and his family. They are the families who cannot burn their community to the ground for a cause. Because for the people of Ferguson, the future of their community hangs in the balance. There can be no other cause.