Not Far From Ferguson

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

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Not far from Ferguson
in South St. Louis,
a Bosnian man
was murdered days ago
by four teens--three Black
and one Hispanic.
They pounded Zemir Begic
with hammers
while his fiancée watched.

The newspaper claims
race didn’t play a role
in Zemir’s death but
the Bosnian community
felt otherwise as they
marched peacefully down
the main thoroughfare
in their neighborhood.

Today the newspaper teems
with articles about Ferguson,
something it has offered daily
in the three months since
the killing of Michael Brown.
But three days after the death
of Zemir Begic the paper offers
no further explanation.

No word either as to whether
the Reverend Al Sharpton
will come to St. Louis to meet
with the Bosnian community.
President Obama has yet
to offer condolences.

Most Bosnians in St. Louis
are immigrants who understand
hatred and discrimination,
having come to the city
to escape death in Bosnia
at the hands of Serbs.

This is not a good time
to be either Black or Bosnian
in metropolitan St. Louis.
It’s not a good time
to be anyone else either.
We are at best observers
in an urban forest
surrounded by
anger and gossip.

Many of us would prefer
a bridge to crawl under
provided it’s home to trolls
who offer a silent night.
That might be the best place
to spend Christmas this year,
better perhaps than
almost anywhere else
in St. Louis.

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Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.


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