Just as the town of Ferguson, Missouri is beginning to heal from the racial tension and civil unrest following the death of unarmed black teen Michael Brown at the hands of former police officer Darren Wilson, vandals have come to rub salt in wounds that are very much still open. A tree was planted in a Ferguson park, along with an engraved stone memorial, to memorialize Brown. The ceremony was held on Saturday. By Sunday morning, someone had chopped the tree down and stolen the engraved memorial. Members of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association had been responsible for holding the ceremony and planting the tree for Brown. So much for the tree being “symbol of peace and comfort and hope for all who gather under its branches” like the Association members had hoped.
Local authorities are investigating it as vandalism, and nothing more, which is also disappointing. Considering the amount of blatant and unchecked racism that has surrounded this situation since Brown’s death, one would think that any such act would be automatically investigated as a racially motivated crime. The fact that it isn’t being approached that way shows that, despite the actions taken to clean up the racism in Ferguson, efforts that stretched all the way to the Department of Justice, there is still a lot of work to do to combat racism in Ferguson. This tree planting and memorial for Michael Brown was an honest step toward unity, peace, comfort, and healing, and vandals have ruined that, and the authorities aren’t handling it as the act of racism that it so clearly is.
A spokesperson from the Ferguson Police Department says there are no leads on the crime at this time.
Watch a video news report on the incident below:
Featured Image: Screengrab via KMOV