A moving sight has sprung up on the lawn of the Mt. Beulah Missionary Baptist Church in Vinita Park in North County: more than a hundred crosses, one for every homicide victim in St. Louis and St. Louis County this year.
There was the music of heartache to go along with the vision of somber truth during a ceremony for the planting of the crosses: too many crosses for a city-143, and for a county-23, too ravaged by violence.
Rev. Earl Nance: "Black lives matter..." (ignore the crosses on the lawn of his church)
Yet each cross planted stood as a symbol that St. Louis was too resilient for despair.
During the ceremony there was a call for anyone who knew that pain of such a tragic loss to pick up a cross and plant it in the church lawn.
Nearly everyone in attendance did just that.
Nora Morris was among them. She lost a son to homicide in 2000 and two nephews in the past year.
“My heart just gets heavy. I just can’t understand why they had to go so young,” she said.
Yet for her, it was to turn to the cross once more, in the hope of planting far fewer crosses in 2015.
“Prayer changes things,” Morris said.
The lawn became a show of strength, not just grief.Of course, those grieving families might not be leaving change on the deceased to ensure Charon ferry's them across the river Styx (there's no truth to the rumor an EBT card can be swiped in the afterlife as currency for travel on Charon's boat).
But who is responsible for all those crosses at Mt. Beulah Missionary Baptist Church in Vinita Park in North County?
Individual black people, collectively engaging in behavior that drives away businesses, decreases property value, and convinces white people to move vast distances to insulate their children from the type of community only blacks can create.[Study: More Blacks in St. Louis Killed by Other Blacks Compared to White Officers, KMOX.com,10-15-14]:
...a University of Missouri – St. Louis researcher says emotions aside, the number of black youth who have been fatally shot by white police officers has been fairly low in recent years.
Criminology professor David Klinger told KMOX’s Charlie Brennan that he conducted a thorough, decade-long study that showed there were 1,265 murders over that time, with 90 percent of the victims being black. And 90 percent of those black victims were killed by other blacks.
“While I understand the people are concerned about the use of deadly force by the police, by far – about 50 to 1 – more blacks in St. Louis are killed by other blacks as compared to white police officers,” Klinger says.
Over that same period, Klinger says 31 blacks were killed by police officers – 21 by white police officers.
“The sad fact is, we had well over a thousand black-on-black homicides in the city of St. Louis during that same decade,” he says.The KMOX headline to the above article might be the understatement of the century...
We can mourn the crosses placed in the church yard, but they are a reminder that a vastly different racial group is being asked to participate in a civilization created by a completely different people.
And the true crime is we continue to lower our civilization's standards to accommodate the glaring deficiencies of the racial group keeping the homicide rate alive in St. Louis (and... every American city).