Tag Archives: David DesRoches

Attention voices of St. Louis: Ferguson Files seek your contribution

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The Ferguson Files wants to hear from the voices of St. Louis. The site was initially formed to present the reporting of its founder, journalist David DesRoches, but it has since evolved to become a forum for people to express their views on what’s taking place in this St. Louis suburb, and beyond.

Are you a student who lives in Ferguson? We want to hear from you. A police officer covering the Ferguson beat? Let us know your thoughts. Are you a disabled resident who can’t leave your house because of the blockades? Let us know. Tell us your story. Are you out of work, looking for a job? Tired of the racial tensions? Write about it. Take photos. Record video. Send it to us. We can’t guarantee we’ll post everything (we won’t print libelous or incendiary material), but we’ll look at it all.

The focus should be on not only what’s wrong with racism in Ferguson and in the United States, but what can be done about it. How can we heal as a city, as a nation? What is it like being young and black in a racially tense neighborhood? What is like to be white and always made to feel like you’re the bad guy? How can we bridge these gaps and find unity as human beings?

The focus should be on positive forward movement. No attacking. No finger pointing. Call out the problems, yes. Call out the roots of the problems, absolutely. But if you’re going to call foul, you better come with a solution.

Let’s get this taboo topic out in the open, once and for all, in all truth and honesty. Race is neither something to be ignored, nor is it something to be overemphasized. It is what it is — a physical and cultural construct. Nothing more. Nothing less. It is something to be celebrated, not feared. Embraced, not abandoned. Liberals pretend we’re beyond race while conservatives pretend race invades everything. Both are right, yet both are wrong. Let’s talk about why they’re right, and why they’re wrong. Let’s do it with positivity and respect and dedication. Let’s find a way to reach a single simple goal: To heal the nation of racial animosity.

If you’re up for the task, send us your thoughts or ideas or photos or YouTube links to FergusonFiles2014@gmail.com . Who knows, maybe this little website could help end a conversation that has taken thousands of years too long to complete.

From Connecticut to Missouri, looking for Ferguson stories

Sometimes events happen that compel us to take action. That’s what happened to me as the Ferguson story unfolded (in case you’re unfamiliar with what’s happened there, click here for a timeline of events). I’m not judging who’s right or wrong. Social media and the major news outlets have done that job. I just think that something has been missing.

At this point — with no disrespect meant — it’s beyond the death of Michael Brown. Right now, it’s about a community in turmoil. A place continuously subject to judgment and ridicule by an outside world that has not walked a step in its shoes.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m also ignorant of what makes Ferguson tick. There is nothing about me that makes me especially equipped to shed fresh light on this story. Sure, I’ve won a few awards (See here and here). All I have is an idea, and a nagging instinct, that something is missing. And I want to find it.

So on a Wednesday night, after speaking with a close friend and colleague about my nagging desire to add my two cents to the fray, I bought a round trip ticket to St. Louis, arriving on Thursday, Aug. 21, at 7 p.m. (I wanted it to be a one-way, since it would make for a much better story, revealing a carefree gusto that wins instant respect. I guess the return ticket adds a sense of finality, or security, to my trip, that otherwise would be absent)

I don’t have an agenda here. I simply want to tell Ferguson’s stories from the eyes of its people. That includes the police, clergy, business people, blue collar workers, stay at home moms and dads, homeless people, activists — anyone who calls Ferguson home. Hopefully I can do this fairly and factually and without sensationalizing or editorializing. I want you to make up your own minds about what’s happening and what, if anything, should be done about it.

I plan on posting at least one story to FergusonFiles.com per day, with images. I tweet @SavingEJ, so feel free to check out those as well. If you need help covering something, or if you have any news tips, please contact me at FergusonFiles2014[at]gmail.com . If you’re a reporter or photographer and you’d like to contribute, shoot me an email.

Here’s to a better present.

– David DesRoches