Heroes of Ferguson

The people who make this country work don’t get nearly enough credit for what they do.  They’re mocked, insulted, portrayed as selfish for refusing to indulge the government’s bottomless appetite for cash, and given no real credit for how they make all of our lives better just by getting up in the morning and doing their jobs.  Throughout the Obama years, the notion of jobs as a bounty to be distributed to deserving peons by the Ruling Class, rather than an economic transaction voluntarily offered by risk-taking business owners, has grown more prevalent, from Obama’s infamous “you didn’t build that” speech to Hillary Clinton treating the very notion of private-sector job creation as a joke nobody should bother telling her.

Now we’ve got businesses in Ferguson, Missouri looted and burned to the ground.  Their owners and operators are expected to shut up and accept their fates as collateral damage from a temper tantrum.  There were heroes in Ferguson on Monday night, as well as vandals and looters, and they’re not getting anywhere near the attention they deserve.  Let me spotlight two of them.

The first is someone I mentioned earlier this week: bakery owner and single mom Natalie Dubose.  She was photographed in tears on the night of the riots as her shop was trashed, but by the next day she was all business, taking quick breaks from restoring her property to handle media interviews.  If she didn’t capture your heart already, a WNCN News profile that reveals she’s only been in business since June, after selling cakes at flea markets to raise the money to open her shop, ought to do the trick.  After I first mentioned her, readers contacted me asking if there was anything they could do to help.  I directed them to the GoFundMe page Dubose created to raise money for restoring her bakery, and I’m happy to learn it has been a smashing success:

Natalie Dubose opened her cake shop, aptly called Natalie’s Cakes & More, in June, but her shop was severely damaged during the riots Monday night and early Tuesday morning.

“My main windows were smashed and bakery damaged,” Dubose said. “I’m not sure where to find the money to repair my little bakery.”

Dubose said she was able to open her bakery over the summer after saving money she earned selling cakes at local flea markets.

“It was my dream and I’m working hard to accomplish that dream,” she said.

To help offset to cost of repairs while she continues to bake in preparation of the holidays, Dubose started a GoFundMe page to raise $20,000.

But less than four hours after launching the fundraiser, more than 1,100 people had come together to raise more than $38,000. And that figure is increasing by the minute. A second fundraiser had raised more than $10,000.

“It’s going to be rough, but the love shown has been tremendous,” Dubose said. “The outpouring of support on Twitter, Facebook and in the media has been amazing. I was in tears.”

She added, “I’ve never felt such love.”

That article was posted on Tuesday morning.  At the time of this writing on Wednesday afternoon, her GoFundMe page had raised over a hundred thousand dollars.  She’s been trying to thank everyone who donated, but it’s hard to keep up with them all.  This is the latest update on her blog:

Thank you to actresses Patricia Heaton and Brandi Glanville for supporting me! I must have missed thousands of other tweets, and I’m so sorry I can’t mention them all. The sweet lady who offered money from her social security check brought me to tears. The prayers. 

I’m trying to check into social media and facebook to respond. But Twitter moves soooo fast.

Thank you to EVERYONE for the kind words, prayers, and emotional support. 

I am so humbly blessed!

I don’t understand how anyone can learn the story of Natalie’s Cakes and More, then defend the people who trashed it.  I therefore conclude that more people need to hear the story.  Do me a favor and spread it around, especially if you run into some twit prattling about how riots, looting, and vandalism are good for society.

Then you’ve got the woman who went toe-to-toe with looters when they showed up to trash the local Papa John’s pizzeria.  She didn’t own the store; in fact, according to the UK Daily Mailshe didn’t even work there.  She just stood her ground and shoved the looters away, resolute even when threatened with violence:

She pushed away masked thugs who was trying to punch his way through the store windows, stood her ground while they screamed at her to get out of the way (backed up by a woman who can be heard shouting “Move, this ain’t your business!”) and managed to keep the pizza store in one piece while the nearby Fashions R Boutique, Title Max, and Auto Zone went up in flames.  If Papa John’s ever learns her identity, I hope they at least give her pizza for life, and hire Natalie Dubose to bake her a thank-you cake.

Every story of a thwarted crime fills us with elation that people are still willing to stand up for society, the law, and the nation.  Like anyone caught in a long struggle, we like to hear a bit of encouraging news from the front lines now and then.  If these two ladies were any more potent symbols of America, they’d be carrying indestructible shields and punching out HYDRA agents.  I hope we hear more about the heroes of Ferguson in the days to come, because I’ve had my fill of hearing about the villains.

In case anyone is wondering, I have no idea where either Natalie Dubose or the mysterious defender of Papa John’s stand on politics or the issues of the day.  I don’t care.  If you’re looking for someone who thinks character is defined by political stances, you’re in the wrong neighborhood.