Dear Governor Nixon,
Like the rest of the world, I’ve been following events in Ferguson. I’ve been reading the twitter feeds, following the Facebook posts and watching the news. I’m following it all from a safe distance away – far away across the state of Missouri in Kansas City. Full disclosure, I live in Kansas, but like many people from Kansas City, I work in Missouri, went to college in Missouri and spend a lot of time in Missouri. Missouri to many in Kansas City is like our second home. We may not rest our heads when we go home at night in Missouri, but most of our daytime hours are spent in Missouri.
That is why what I am watching is so absolutely unbelievable. Riots in the streets of Missouri. Journalists being arrested. Children being tear gassed. The whole thing is mind-blowing to me. Night after night I watch the live feeds and I just keep repeating..”unbelievable.”
If you look at my blog homepage you will know I am white. I am really white – I drive a hybrid, drink Starbucks and shop at Trader Joes white. I’m not going to analyze the racial issues in Ferguson in this letter to you. I’m going to leave that to the African-Americans who are living it.
What I will do is say this – you are epically blowing this. I mean this is a HUGE political fail. I am writing this to you as a Democrat. The protests flared up on Sunday and NOBODY heard from you until Wed. The twitter grilling was worse than when Robin Thick did a twitter Q&A. http://www.heyreverb.com/blog/2014/07/01/robin-thickes-askthicke-qa-goes-hilariously-wrong/91459/
The hashtag #whereisNixon was trending. As tensions were boiling between the police and the protestors people were issuing a Silver Alert for your whereabouts. The silence from you was as deafening as the sound canons being deployed against the protestors.
I understand you stayed back to see if local authorities could work it out on their own. News flash – nobody in this situation is able to work anything out on their own.
Before this you were a pretty popular Governor. You were holding your own as a Democrat in a Republican state. Some said you had a pretty promising future. I feel like I just watched your political career implode in the last week.
Here is a little bit of advice -
Treat Ferguson as if it had been hit by a tornado. Tornadoes are common in Missouri. You and every other Missouri politician can’t wait to beat each other to the podium to provide updates on emergency response when tornadoes hit. Take off your suit jacket and roll up your sleeves. Get out there on the streets and see how the people are doing. It’s an emergency – just a man-made one. Treat it the same way. Provide an update every damn day until this thing calms down. It’s like when the local weather guy breaks into the Big Bang Theory to provide a weather update and everyone complains. He’s doing it to keep people safe, but people find it annoying. Be that weather guy. Annoy the crap out of us. Provide us with too much information instead of not enough.
Why? Because people are afraid. The protestors are afraid. The police are afraid. The people in the entire state of Missouri are afraid. The situation in Ferguson could easily spill outside of Ferguson into other Missouri cities. Things are that tense.
I, like all of America, pray for peace and safety for those in Ferguson.
Please provide strong political leadership in this time of need.