The cover of The New Yorker’s next issue is now online, and it does a great job of capturing the tension in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, where there have been a lot of protests recently.
The main landmark of St. Louis, the Gateway Arch, is split in half at the top of the cover, with white coloring on one side and black coloring on the other:
The artist, Bob Staake, told The New Yorker that he “wanted to comment on the tragic rift that we’re seeing” in Ferguson and all over the country.
“Before I moved to Massachusetts, I lived in St. Louis for seventeen years, so it breaks my heart to watch the news right now,” he said. “At first glance, a picture of the Gateway Arch might look like it’s broken in two, but I hope that the events in Ferguson will be a way for the city and the country to learn from each other and come together.
Since the police shot an unarmed black teen named Michael Brown, there have been protests and riots in Ferguson. People have broken into stores and burned down buildings and police cars. At times, the protests have turned violent, and police have fired tear gas into the crowds.
“Hands up, don’t shoot” became a sign of the protests and a slogan. This was shown on the front cover of the Sept. 1 issue of The New Yorker:
This week, protests started up again after a grand jury decided not to charge the white police officer, Darren Wilson, who shot Michael Brown after stopping him and a friend from walking in the middle of the street.
Wilson says he shot the teen to protect himself. He told the police that Brown grabbed his gun after there was a fight in his police car. But other witnesses had told a different story, saying that Brown was running away with his hands up as a sign of surrender when he was shot.