Let's cheer for Ferguson -- but keep our eye on the bigger truth that our representative democracy is weakened when voter turnout is so low and so poorly reflective of our citizens. But before we rush to make any sweeping conclusions, keep in mind that "argument by anecdote" is dangerously seductive.
We are hearing a great deal from those in our society who would like to turn the clock back on voting rights, civil rights, and the right to peaceably assemble. But I believe there are many more people of good will among us than various news reports might lead us to believe. Hopefully, more of them will raise their voices in continuance of our search for "a more perfect Union."
Now is the time for us to speak out, join together and reclaim the promise of America. That starts by educating our students about the impact of the civil rights movement, acting collectively to achieve a renewal of the Voting Rights Act and redoubling our efforts to ensure all children grow up in safe communities with high-quality neighborhood public schools.