A year ago today, teen Michael Brown and Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson were locked in a fight that left the teen dead in the street, the cop vilified and a community in embers.
None of the issues were black and white, but all the issues were black and white. Gray smoke from the night fires has cleared enough to show us the shapes and sizes of the problems, and they are intimidating.
That is, they are intimidating when taken as a mass, and when we view them in isolation.
We should talk about policing, and education, and institutional racism, and economic opportunity, and political power.
Never miss a local story.
But do any of those conversations really matter, will they really lead to change, until we all take a close look at ourselves?
We remember what our parents taught us about other people. We remember them locking the car doors when going through a poor area. We tell ourselves we are better than that person because of our birth, or heritage, or attainment.
Yet we also know our flaws and failings. Fate or a father or a friend may have saved us in that moment from being exactly the person we look down on. The difference between us and them may simply be that no one caught them as they fell.
So we start there. We fix ourselves and start being honest with ourselves and with others about who we are.
To borrow from the Rev. John Curry, we poke a pinhole that lets in a glimmer. It is not much on its own, but if thousands of people poke a hole then the illumination will help us see the issues.
We need to see, we need to join together and we need to work to solve.