The last few months have been a blur of activity as we found, and bought, our new home. We’re now proud owners of a 3 bed/2 bath in unincorporated St. Charles county. I’m writing this from my office in the new home, watching the sun rise, sitting in its light by the window. The photo of the backyard is from the realtor’s photos. I’ll take some of my own when the weather clears.
One of the moving company people and the cable hookup guy both talked about how quiet the area is where we’ve moved. “Unlike St. Louis county and its recent troubles”, was left unsaid. I hate the thought that folks think we’re leaving St. Louis county because of those “black problems in Ferguson”. We picked the location because a) it’s close to Roomie’s job, and b) the housing is still relatively affordable where we moved.
But, it is true that we we also wanted to move away from Shrewsbury, though not for the reasons some would assume. If Shrewsbury is not Ferguson now, it will be in ten years. It has the same problems Ferguson has: too many police for too small a population, many of whom suffer much of the same arrogance demonstrated by the Ferguson police department. I haven’t seen any racism, but if other communities are any indication, it’s there, just under the surface. Compounding the problems of racism, and too many police stations under too loose a civilian control , is the fact that the generally liberal, white leadership in this area is the most astonishingly insipid group of people I’ve ever come across.
The attitude of the leadership is don’t rock the boat, don’t speak out; if you must protest, do it quietly and try not to disturb those attending the Cardinals game. Where the rural, conservative leadership in the state encourages people to speak out and to make a noise (as long as you’re speaking what they want to hear, and the noise suits their agenda), the leaders in the liberal urban communities surrounding St. Louis do the opposite: just shut the hell up and do what you’re told, people. You will vote for this candidate. You will follow these rules when you’re unhappy. Above all, you never question the leaders, because the leaders know what’s best.
It’s no wonder that Missouri swiftly tilted from purple to red in recent elections: the blue blood in our veins is thin, and anemic.
Now, in our new home, we’re surrounded by conservatives. We’re unlikely to agree with our neighbors on anything. But at least we’ll be surrounded by people who aren’t afraid to speak above a whisper.
And we have trees in our backyard.