During Morning Edition and All Things Considered, or on Cityscape

Commentaries are opinion pieces provided by a wide variety of individuals in the St. Louis region. They are not necessarily the opinion of St. Louis Public Radio, but are intended to reflect diverse viewpoints on issues affecting our region. To submit a commentary or proposal, email



Darren Wilson
9:30 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Commentary: Missouri's Use Of Force Statute Goes Against Constitutional Rulings

Credit (via Flickr/davidsonscott15)

If the St. Louis County grand jury fails to indict Officer Darren Wilson, we may have the Missouri legislature to blame.

The problem is an old statute that most people agree is unconstitutional: As it is written, the Missouri statute says that an officer is justified in his use of deadly force if he believes that it is necessary to effect the arrest of a person and the officer also believes that the person “has attempted to commit or has committed a felony.”

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Earning Trust
7:52 pm
Sun August 24, 2014

Commentary: When Ferguson Protests End, The Basic Problems Must Be Dealt With

Marchers demand change on Aug. 18 in Ferguson.
Credit Willis Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

A week ago at the NAACP rally in north county, my good friend and a leading voice on stopping the violence in our community, James Clark, told everyone that “while we are good at protest we need to be good at the pivot to solutions.”

His words are both insightful and instructive. The challenges before us are both short term and long term.

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6:45 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Editor's Weekly: Six Half-Truths About #Ferguson = Three True Things

Capt. Ron Johnson
Credit Wiley Price | St. Louis American

Having trouble understanding what’s going on in Ferguson? That may be because #Ferguson is a new kind of protest. In #Ferguson, leadership is self-designated. Divisions — by race, age and motivation — are complicated. And Twitter gives everyone an instant international audience.

In the last couple weeks, I’ve heard #Ferguson explained in simple terms. They’re not entirely wrong. But they’re not completely right. Here are six common half-truths and what they reveal about what’s really going on:

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Learning, Looking forward
11:24 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Press Commentary: What Are Pundits Saying About Ferguson?

A protester on Aug. 16 in Ferguson.
Credit Durrie Bouscaren / St. Louis Public Radio

Call for patience and peace - U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder

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Racial Inequality
9:01 pm
Sun August 17, 2014

Commentary: Kerner Commission Warning Comes True — Two Societies, Separate And Unequal

Jamala Rogers
Credit Provided by Jamala Rogers

Lately, I can’t help but reflect on a 1968 best-seller book that was widely read and discussed but brought about little change. The book was the infamous Kerner Report.

The book was the published report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967. The seven month study looked at the underlying causes of city uprisings from 1964-1967.

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4:33 pm
Sun August 17, 2014

Commentary: How Do We Cross The Fault Lines In Our Cities?

Protests on Aug. 13
Credit David Broome | UPI

Distance, whether measured in space or time, is often a friend to understanding. It clarifies where proximity distorts, allows us to grasp things in their entirety.

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Michael Brown
3:09 pm
Sat August 16, 2014

Commentary: Black Leaders Have Failed To Protect And Promote Interest Of Those They Represent

Mike Jones, addressing the County Council earlier this year
Credit Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio

The following was written for the St. Louis American, which posted it on Aug. 14.

I got a call Monday from the Political EYE to discuss the murder of Michael Brown. I know that's a harsh judgmental description of this tragic event without benefit of all the facts and any official findings, but as a product of the sixties I know you don't always need a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing.

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9:49 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Editor's Weekly: A Week St. Louisans Can't Forget

Credit Ferguson Farmers Market

What will we learn from a week that will weigh heavy on the hearts of St. Louisans for years to come? These tumultuous days have changed the way we see each other and the way the world sees us.

The fury that unfolded after a police officer killed Michael Brown in Ferguson laid bare some of our area's underlying fault lines. It raised questions we usually leave buried. And it presented to the world an image of our region that those of us who live here didn’t always recognize and might rather not see.

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Michelle Tucker
1:11 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Commentary: Collegiate Moon Goal Should Be To Prepare The Next Generation Of Diverse Leaders

Dean Benjamin Akande and Michelle Tucker
Credit Provided by Webster University

As an aspiring English teacher during her undergraduate studies more than 20 years ago, Michelle Tucker’s ambition was to become a key leader within corporate America. Michelle’s aspirations led her to Webster University to pursue her graduate degree, which she completed in 2000. Michelle’s encounters with nurturing, farsighted professors at Webster University played a key role in refining her talents and maximizing her strengths in strategic planning, people management and employee development.

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Looking For Success
11:38 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Reflection: St. Louis Needs To Unravel The Lessons Of Pruitt-Igoe

The last streetlight in Pruitt-Igoe.

Going into the inner city and taking a hike through the abandoned Pruitt-Igoe public housing site could be regarded as a lark, but once the hike is finished, a visitor realizes it is considerably more than that. Pruitt-Igoe is forbidden fruit, but going in is all the more delicious because one is not supposed to be there. Plus, from the outside it looks dangerous, and that quality makes adventure even more appealing. Beyond those easily transgressed wires stretched across old, worn down streets, there is a place of rare beauty and of serenity.

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