VonDerrit Myers Jr.’s memorial desecrated by cowards!

ST. LOUIS, MO.–A text came through to my phone,at 10:03 a.m. on an abnormally warm Tuesday morning: “Some coward just set VonDerrit Myers, Jr.’s memorial on fire.” It was a text placed by Syreeta Myers, VonDerrit’s bereaved mother.
Alarm set in, as all of St. Louis InPDUM got the text about the same time and began trying to figure out what action should follow. 
There was more contact between the InPDUM representatives in St. Louis and the Myers to see what could be done at that point.
We were told the actual memorial was saved by the corner store owner, who recalls VonDerrit as a good kid. He saw the blaze and quickly came out and extinguished the fire.
The culprit only managed to do damage to a large stuffed monkey and a couple of smaller stuffed animals, which friends and family discarded and replaced with even bigger ones.
The family held a vigil at the site later that evening. There is always a great amount of support surrounding the families who have been brave enough to come to the front and give a face and voice to their pain.
The action of contempt,though they didn’t succeed in completely destroying this memorial, is a display of how contrite an atmosphere St. Louis owns with regard to its wrongdoing, and having to face that in the memorializing of the young black people the State is picking off and the many faces of the loved ones looking for answers and resolve in the midst of this madness.
There has been a proposalfor quite a few weeks toremove the memorialaltogether, citing it as an eyesore. But why?
Why should these parents who had to bury not just their only son, but their only child, have to dismantle the thing that will aid others in joining them in remembranceof his life?
Why should the city of St. Louis be relieved of the burden of facing the signposts of racism and oppression in the form of memorials and impeded traffic? Why should the divided Shaw neighborhood have the peace of affecting a portion of its own community without acknowledging the impact of that decision to exercise its privilege to remain guarded and divided?
Why should we pack up our signs, get out of our feelings, and simply wait till the next time it happens, knowing full well that if we don’t smash their faces in the crap they keep dealing us, it’s only a matter of time before they’ll crap on us again?
I cannot with any certainty say who did what with regard to the attempted desecration of VonDerrit’s memorial. We will probably never know whether the culprit was that of a political hired hand, police effort, determined neighborhood association member, racial antagonist, or other.
 What we can say for sure is that this incident is but a reflection of the social climate that has always existed in St. Louis. The only added element to the landscape is an unwillingness of the people to go unseen and unheard, quietly into the night, to suffer in silence. Such is the dawning of a day of freedom.


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