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



Events Converge
9:07 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Commentary: 9/11, Ferguson And 'The Normal Heart'

The exterior shell of the World Trade Center south tower
Credit FEMA | Wikipedia

Some moments in life never lose their power. There are two moments, two short hours, that I will always, ALWAYS, remember. And both came together on the  evening of Sept. 11, 2014.

One memory remains as clear as it can be: the hour watching live TV in my kitchen here in St. Louis as two planes flew into the World Trade Center in the where city I was born and raised in. It was Sept. 11, 2001.

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Changes In '60s
9:57 pm
Sun September 14, 2014

Commentary: Negative Ads Help Candidates But May Hurt Democracy

This 1964 anti-Goldwater ad is seen as the beginning of the modern era of attack ads.
Credit Screen shot from YouTube

Representative democracies are rarely models of gentility. Their elected officials, motivated by self-interest and a certain belief system, often see their views as right and proper and those of their opponents as wrong-headed and dangerous. The U.S. system, based on separation of powers and checks and balances at all levels, has necessitated a certain need for compromise and the importance of being able to govern. The result has usually been country above party -- although that did not eliminate some hyperbolic rhetoric or using the system for personal gain.

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Public Meetings
11:16 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Editor's Weekly: In Ferguson, Anger Needs To Be Heard

Ferguson City Council meeting
Credit Jason Rosenbaum | file Photo | St. Louis Public Radio

Anger boiled up again when the Ferguson City Council met this week. It was the first meeting since Michael Brown’s death sparked upheaval here and since upheaval here created the possibility of a national reckoning with issues that reach far beyond Ferguson.

Our region will continue to play a pivotal role in determining whether the nation seizes this moment to tackle its Gordian knot of problems related to race, fairness, opportunity and mutual respect.

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11:13 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Commentary: What Will St. Louis Do Now To Combat Racism?

Credit File photo | Maria Altman | St. Louis Public Radio

Once again we in this region are faced with racism and alleged racist actions to be determined by the courts in the month ahead. Sadly this is not new.

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11:05 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Commentary: Work And Labor Are Common Themes In Art

Nancy Kranzberg

I went to see the musical "Billy Elliot" at The MUNY in Forest Park. The story takes place in the coal fields of Northern England, where mining had been the major employer for hundreds of years.

Sad, depressed Willie Loman, the protagonist in Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman," and his struggle and failure came to mind and the fact that work and labor are common themes in art was very much apparent.

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Veto Session
2:56 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Commentary: Missouri Public Will Be Better If Different Agencies Oversee Deer And Cattle

Credit Ian Sane | Flickr

The bad news is that chronic wasting disease, or CWD, has reached epidemic proportions among deer in some parts of the United States.

The good news is that the Missouri Department of Conservation has so far been successful in containing the spread of CWD after finding cases of the disease at a captive deer breeding operation in 2010.

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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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