Re-post from News-Kudo
I admit to being old school — I still read the actual St. Louis Post-Dispatch most every day. I skim the law and order reports and feel the heading should more appropriately be law and disorder. It reminds me of the relatively invisible world that surrounds those of us living in West County.
The April 14 issue reported that Maryon Jackson, 14 years old, was shot in the head and died. Another young child, age 16, was also shot. Unfortunately, there was nothing new in the report – same old stories with only the names and dates changed from the day before. And the day before that.
On April 13, I was at a noon open AA meeting* at the North County Office of Alcoholics Anonymous in Hazelwood. It was a wonderful meeting with sober birthdays of 34 years, 38 years, one year and someone celebrating 90 days clean. It was also the most integrated meeting I’ve ever been to: half old; half young; half African Americans; half white; half men; half women.
We read a story written by an African American woman. After reading, the discussion gently touched on racism and how addiction is colorblind and an equal opportunity destroyer.
All 20 of us shared as we went around the circle. The last one to speak was an African American woman. She was the grandmother of the 14-year-old child killed by, as she stated, “gun violence.” The way she said it made me think this wasn’t her first loss.
The violence in St. Louis isn’t new. It’s daily. It’s tragic. It’s epidemic. And listening to that grandmother’s sharing, I was abruptly reminded that it’s real.