An 11-year-old Ferguson, Missouri youth is being hailed as a voice of change for the area after speaking out at a St. Louis City Council meeting.
Marquis Govan has had enough, and took to the podium to express what he thinks needs to be done after the death of Michael Brown last month.
“I would just like to say that the people of Ferguson, I believe, don’t need tear gas thrown at them. I believe they need jobs.”
Meet 11-year-old Marquis Govan.
“Where are all the African-American police officers in our community?”
In two minutes’ time Govan tackled Ferguson’s problems with unemployment, housing, and diversity:
“You’re paying attention to the wrong things. You’re paying attention to the looting and things like that, when the real issues aren’t being solved. There’s a reason why those people are out there.”
“I thought he was right on, he’s exactly right,” said Hazel Erby, who chairs the council (and whose district includes Ferguson). “You know, the jobs, education, all of that had everything to do with what happened in Ferguson.”
Pauley asked Govan, regarding the protests in Ferguson, “What I saw on television was basically your backyard. What did it feel like to watch those protests that inspired you to write that speech?”
“There has always been a problem, even when Ferguson never happened,” Govan said. “The minority community, we need more African-American police officers.”
Pauley asked if anyone in his school aspires to become a cop. Govan said no.
“Look, let me tell you why: From the beginning we’ve felt abused by these people. Why would you go up to serve among the abusers? It doesn’t make any sense.”
While other sixth-graders are playing video games at home, Marquis is watching cable news. He’s currently reading President Obama’s book, “The Audacity of Hope,” and hopes to be a senator, maybe even president one day.
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