“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” ~Mark Twain
A fragmented consortium of 91 municipalities and their government’s competition for revenue is depressing the overall economy of the Greater St. Louis region—worsening unemployment rates, widening the education gap, escalating racial tensions, and depressing business investment. In order to stymie and reverse these trends toward failure, the fragmented bureaucracy must be replaced with a streamlined model of responsible governance that takes into account all viewpoints of the residents of St. Louis.
In addition to these entrenched problems, recent eruptions of civil unrest have exposed economic distress, placing the Greater St. Louis region upon a precipice. It can either let petty divisions destroy the region or unite together in order to rebuild what was once the seen as the gateway to the future and discovery.
On March 4, 2015 the U.S. Justice Department released a report declaring that the Ferguson Police Department violated the rights of its black residents on a consistent basis. Clearly, the region now teeters upon a rocky bluff. Of course, St. Louis can enact marginal changes to placate the Justice Department and alarmed nation, hoping all will return to normal. On the other hand, it can address the frog in its breakfast bowl: a serving of rejuvenation marinated in bitter truths, a sour history, and an unsavory passage forward.
Many of us wish it would all melt away; however, “forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation,” (Viktor Frankl, Holocaust Survivor & Nobel Winner). The freedom to choose our attitude is our ultimate freedom. Such license requires the responsibility of thoughtful action, no matter how small the steps may be.
We have inherited a nausea that stretches back to the Missouri Compromise of 1820, the infamous case of Dred Scott in 1857, and the County-City split of 1876. Yet, we must acknowledge our duty to act urgently in order to ensure a brighter future for St. Louis. The “Real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present.” (Albert Camus, editor of an underground resistance paper in WWII, and Nobel Winner).
This humble blog joins other groups that are already digging in to the repulsive frog. In order to differentiate ourselves, we will dare to take a step further, for, “to dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself,” (Kierkegaard). Our goal is to eventually achieve a 501(c)4 status in order to advocate for legislation and candidates that would reunite the City and County in order to bring back economic prosperity and a true sense of community.
Dawn is rising in St. Louis and the breakfast menu reads frog. After stomaching our warty lessons, we will come to the realization that breakfast won’t poison us. Knowing that ‘what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger’ (Nietzsche), this Redbird Nation, with its Blue Blood and Ornery Horns, will stomach down its harsh truths and use the nutrients to become St. Louis Strong.