Abby Hirshman and Essence Price are the student leaders of Social Justice. They wanted to get behind the news coverage of all that went on in Ferguson. After discussing several ideas with the Social Justice group, all decided to try and connect with individuals living in Ferguson as a way to get closer to the truth of what was and is going on in Ferguson. First, Social Justice invited Gina Watkins to speak with us about her experience; Gina has lived in Ferguson for many years. Next, Social Justice went to Ferguson to speak with Bishop Larry Jones and to get a guided tour of the town with Gina. It was an informative and special afternoon.
Bishop Larry Jones could not have been more welcoming and spoke to our group, as well as fielding questions. His answers and stories ranged from retelling the Civil War history of our area to regional demographics to being interviewed by major news networks. A few excerpts from our talk with Bishop Jones:
- As a pastor, I have a simple solution, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
- My saddest day was watching TV and watching that young man’s body laying in the street. That was very painful. I have a 17 year old and a 21 year old and it could have been them.
- The TV shows I was on all wanted me to say that it is terrible, but I kept saying that Ferguson will come back better and stronger than ever.
- I have never seen so many broken people as I did the day after the rioting.
- If you take a knife and cut into your skin, how far do you go before we all look the same? If that is the same blood and flesh, then we all feel the same pain.
- When was my best day? Today, because you are here and there is hope!