The tragedy of Michael Brown's death will be compounded if we don't examine how this incident is a reflection of the fault lines afflicting our society.
First is the fragmentation of governance in our metropolitan areas. St. Louis County has a multiplicity of governing bodies with great disparities of economic resources, wealth, financial capabilities, competencies and racial and socio-economic makeup.
Jurisdictions compete for highly productive tax ratables and exclude land uses and people who are viewed as not desirable or fiscally "unproductive," resulting in an urban landscape of wealthy, self-contained enclaves, pockets of poverty and communities of little mobility, opportunity or hope.
The equitable sharing of revenues and resources within a metropolitan region to redress these disparities is rare.
Second, there is, in some communities, a political and racial fault line between those who govern and those who are governed. Ferguson is two-thirds Afro-American yet the "minority" majority have little representation among those who govern and those who are empowered to protect their persons and property in the form of a police force.
Voting really matters to rectify imbalances in political power, and Americans don't vote enough at the state and local levels where it matters most for their communities to serve their interests.
Thirdly, there is a racial fault line resulting in a disparity in the respect for civil rights and application of justice. Black male youths seem to be targeted by local police as suspicious of committing crimes just by being present -- viewed as suspects, not citizens, perpetrators, not persons, hoods, not someone's beloved child.
Coupled with this attitude and compounding the overall danger for all citizens is the bulking up or militarization of police forces and their readiness to use lethal force.
These fault lines need to be addressed.