Ferguson, Missouri 2014

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Ferguson

Watch what is happening in Ferguson. Pay attention to those who are present, and those who are not. Support those defending our rights and engaging in peaceful protest. On nextSTL, we write about new apartment buildings, historic preservation, transportation, and more. While covering these topics can provide context for how we live as a community, and can be interesting and important in their own right, they pale in comparison to the importance of issues revealed by ongoing events in Ferguson.

We will announce a couple events in the near future, and return to writing about the small decisions that shape our physical, economic, and social community soon, but for now, please follow events via Twitter, Facebook, local radio, TV news, national and international publications. Consider what you may be able to do to make St. Louis a better place.

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  • joe

    all black people are not racist, most just want justice. You can’t deny what blacks have suffered at the hands of whites, (no you) over the course of 300 or more years in this country alone. I would like to meet with you, you sound like a guy that doesn’t have black friends or associates, which wouldn’t surprise me, after all most of you fearful whites talk trash from 50+ miles out. But I believe if you had black friends or associates and knew them you would understand. I believe your a good guy fighting a fight with a limited knowledge. But most likely your kids will have black friends and chalk you up to a segregated bigot, like most white kids who grow up in the suburbs and move into an urban area, unafraid of blacks. suburb and segregation is one in the same to me rather race, economic or class segregation its all the same, the mind set of looking down on one group of people, seeing the speck in there eye but the plank that is in your eye you do not see.

  • joe

    all black people are not racist, most just want justice. You can’t deny what blacks have suffered at the hands of whites, (no you) over the course of 300 or more years in this country alone. I would like to meet with you, you sound like a guy that doesn’t have black friends or associates, which wouldn’t surprise me, after all most of you fearful whites talk trash from 50+ miles out. But I believe if you had black friends or associates and knew them you would understand. I believe your a good guy fighting a fight with a limited knowledge. But most likely your kids will have black friends and chalk you up to a segregated bigot, like most white kids who grow up in the suburbs and move into an urban area, unafraid of blacks. suburb and segregation is one in the same to me rather race, economic or class segregation its all the same, the mind set of looking down on one group of people, seeing the speck in there eye but the plank that is in your eye you do not see.

  • Juliana Melgar

    7/18- Jimmie Norman, white male murdered by black male. No national news.
    7/18- Terry Taylor, white male murdered by black male. No national news.
    7/17- Cindy Raygoza, white female murdered by black male. No national news.
    7/11- Luis Aguilar, 91 year old hispanic male murdered by black male. No national news.
    7/10- Brittany Simpson, white female murdered by black male. No national news.
    7/6- Sarah Goode, white female murdered by black male. No national news.
    7/6- Jeffrey Westerfield, white male murdered by black male. No national news.
    7/5- Perry Renn, white male murdered by black male. No national news.
    7/3- Laurey Kennedy, white female still in coma from beating by black male. No national news
    7/3 Eric Mollet, white male murdered by black male. No national news.
    7/2 Rupert Anderson, white male murdered by black male. No national news.
    7/2 Jennifer Kingeter, white female murdered by black male. No national news.
    6/30 Jim Brennan, white male, murdered by black male. No national news.
    6/29 Paul Shephard, white male, murdered by black male. No national news.
    6/27 Shirley Barone, white female, murdered by black male. No national news.
    6/27 Penelope Spencer, white female, murdered by black male. No national news.
    6/27 Inga Evans, white female, murdered by black male. No national news.
    6/26 Jake Rameau, white male, murdered by black male. No national news.
    6/25 Gina Burger, white female, murdered by black male. No national news.
    6/24 Nathan Dasher, white male, murdered by black male. No national news.
    6/22 Jonathan Price, white male, murdered by black male. No national news.
    6/20 John Whitmore, white male, murdered by black male. No national news.
    6/18 John Yingling,white male, murdered by black male. No national news.
    6/17 Allyn Reeves, white male, murdered by black male. No national news.
    6/15 Michael Beaver, white male, murdered by black male. No national news.
    6/11 Angela Cook, white female, murdered by black male. No national news.
    6/11 Nathan Hall, white male, murdered by black male. No national news.
    6/7 Harry Briggs, white male, murdered by black male. No national news.
    6/5 Laura Bachman, white female, murdered by black male. No national news.
    6/2 Robert Mohler, white male, murdered by black male. No national news.
    6/1 William Headley, white male, murdered by black male. No national news.

  • kjohnson04

    This is an opportunity to look at what needs to substantively change in St. Louis County. On the police; should smaller municipalities like Ferguson be allowed to police themselves, or be policed by the county, with civilian oversight and review? Situations like this should automatically have civilian review. We don’t have this in the city or county. This should change.

    • John

      Wehrenberg theatres will not have showings of the film “Spanish Lake”. Cancelled. It was supposed to start showing September 5th. I thought it would be a good opportunity to look at another north county area and race relations but apparently not. We need education and not censorship. Where else can folks see the film? What other venue? We need to have this film shown somewhere soon. Something like this is important right now.

      http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/dailyrft/2014/08/the_ferguson_effect_wehrenberg_theaters_pulls_documentary_about_race_in_st_louis_county.php

      • matimal

        So, they think it IS all about the movement of blacks from North St. Louis and the movement of whites from North County to the west. There is a third part of this ‘circulation”, the movement of young professionals into central St. Louis. Once all the ‘vaue had been extracted’ from the areas abandoned by poor blacks moving northward, gentrification can come in behind them. McKee was able to assemble so much land because its former residents had moved north. These events might even increase this circulation of the disadvantaged northward making room for gentrification moving northward from central St. Louis. What’s bad for north county might actually be an opportunity for St. Louis. St. Louis can offer an alternative example of how biracial politics can work within one common political jurisdiction in our region.

  • moorlander

    could this be the other side of the story?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzBdY6WXeRE

    • Michael C.

      Thanks for this post, moorlander. This testimony is an eye-opener and this issue is certainly more complex than many think. One should give all sides an equal voice and I hope the mainstream media listens to this side. It’s easy to print sensational stories but the truth can be far from what we often hear.

    • Alex Ihnen

      We’ll all have plenty of time to hear various versions of events. I’m not sure that a 3rd hand account that disparages “so called eye witnesses” carries much weight. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn or hear that actual events as best as can be determined are somewhere between the two sides we’ve now heard – where, exactly, who knows.

  • Jeff Leonard

    Alex, I greatly appreciate the sentiment you convey in your post. This is a time for reflection, not of debating the merits of a particular development, building style, etc.

  • Michael C.

    The parents of the victim are calling for peace. The president has called for peace. When something terrible occurs, it does not give anyone the license to destroy. No one has the right to damage or destroy anything. Instead, when a time of crisis arises, it is a time of giving and forgiving. Vengeance only breeds more violence, hatred, and division. The person who shot Michael Brown does not own Weave World, Family Dollar, Quicktrip, or Shoe Carnival. It is intolerable to make death an opportunity to steal or pillage. If these same people really cared, they would be assisting the family with food or fundraising to help with the funeral.

    It’s also a great shame that the St. Louis region is getting more bad press again especially when we have so much good to focus on. The problems that Ferguson is facing is a product of a larger American problem and must not been seen solely as a St. Louis issue. By a large extent, the city of St. Louis has become a more diverse and thriving community.

    • matimal

      “The city of St. Louis has become a more diverse and thriving community.” This is an enormously important positive point to take from this. The city of St. Louis has gotten past the worst effects of disinvestment and the divisions of race and class. The worst of St. Louis isn’t in the city of St. Louis anymore. This shows that St. Louis has turned a corner. That is the story we should be pushing in response to the sensationalist narratives of ‘St. Louis is America at its worst’ coming from the professional dividers and coastal media elites. As this was happening, the CWE was filled with diners and strollers and the Citygarden was filled with children frolicking in the fountains while hipsters enjoyed their coffee in the park café. Remind people of this larger truth.

      • Michael C.

        Thank you, matimal, thank you!

        • dempster holland

          But lets stop using the word “hipsters” as the peak of
          21st cent urban life

          • matimal

            I don’t mean to say hipsters are better than others, just that they too are part of St. Louis.

    • Dangling butt Sqweebs

      The riots are a good thing.

      I’m not from Ferguson… I’m lucky white man born into good money…. so I don’t speak for them. I am expressing my own opinion below.

      The riots and violence are a necessary evil.

      The people in these communities have been continuously mistreated. What happens in these communities, the disinvestment, money running away, policing going up, disease burden increasing…. these communities don’t do these things to themselves.

      Outside forces have turned these communities into places that are dangerous… terrible places to live in. I wouldn’t say anyone truly understands these forces, but someone has probably thought of ways we can prevent this decay.

      So it makes sense that the people here would be upset. Through no choice of their own jobs, education, and good will have dwindled.

      Rates of diabetes, depression, anxiety asthma, obesity, cancer, etc. skyrocket in these places. Crime goes up.

      The rich, powerful people just don’t give a shit. They just care about making sure their kids in their own community have it good. If police jail someone’s parents, shoot some black kids somewhere else…. lucky white, rich folk really could care less.

      These riots have proved that non-violence does not work anymore. These riots have called our attention to sufferings of people that is part of the status quo. If the tension keeps up we will see the institution of some policies that alleviates whatever decay happens to these communities.

      My guess…. if we see calm in Ferguson the issues facing these communities will go to the backburner. We have so many structural barriers to making these communities better places, if Ferguson calms down progress will too.

      • Alex Ihnen

        That’s tough, but mirrors my thoughts almost exactly. My Q: What would it take for a significant number of upper class St. Louisans to care enough to help create real change? The answer may be bigger riots nearer their homes. Obviously, many would blame the rioters, call them names, etc., but it’s very difficult to see what other events or actions will push real change. One can already see that we’re slipping back into complacency on the issues desperately needing attention.

  • matimal

    Though this has made me wonder about the particular history of Ferguson, it seems to me that the most important point is that this is NOT happening in St. Louis. Much like the 60s riots made the effects of urban disinvestment caused by suburban expansion undeniable for all to see, I think the Ferguson situation makes it undeniable that the center of disinvestment has moved away from central St. Louis. Investors are always looking for the weakest and strongest investment options to inform their decisions. They want to minimize their financial exposure to risks and costs and maximize their exposure to benefits and increases in value. This had made it clear that central, or even near north, St. Louis is no longer the weakest investment choice in the metro. North County is now undeniably that weakest link. Will it break? Is it right to say that the more successful the central neighborhoods of St. Louis are in attracting investment, the less there will be for North County? One must succeed at the expense of the other?

  • Joe_Martin

    There’s a lot of national new coverage that focuses on comparing Ferguson (north st. Louis county) to Iraq or Afghanistan. It is shown in the Huffington Post headlines, calling Ferguson “Baghdad USA” (today’s top story) and in Mashable, the headline is “Ferguson or Iraq”. Take a look at the photos in the second link (mashable). Yeah, there’s this focus on militarization or making Ferguson out to be a police state run by St. Louis county police. I wonder if Governor Nixon will remove St. Louis county police from the case and replace it with the state police. Not sure if that is the better choice or how that will improve the situation. We shall find out soon.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com

    http://mashable.com/2014/08/13/ferguson-police-protests-vs-iraq/

  • Mike F

    The mayhem present after what was likely a murder-by-cop of an unarmed young man pissed me off, but the clumsy, heavy-handed, police-state tactics of “law enforcement” leave me seething with anger. Deploying the Homeland Security-supplied hyper-sound weapon of torture was particularly loathsome. None of this should come as any surprise to any American. We have all seen the professionalism of ALL law enforcement–from the FBI to local LE–taking a nosedive over the last thirty years. In many cases, it’s not a violent protest until the pigs show up. I suppose this is a somewhat flippant statement, but the protesters who turned violent were simply anticipating the usual LE response, and did them a solid by starting the party early. Truly, if there were any doubt that the security-state apparatus is out of control this response by LE should put those doubts to rest.

    But…we’re safer now, right?

    • matimal

      It depends on how you define ‘we’.

      • Mike F

        Tongue-in-cheek, snark, sarcasm were the words running through my mind in writing that last sentence.

    • disqus_XkG6f7viaC

      “Pigs”? I agree the police strategy was terrible, but you really think that without the police everyone would have held hands and sung “We are the World”? The people who loot and steal are criminals who do the worst disservice in a time like this by wasting the moral authority that the family and the peaceful protesters have.

      • Mike F

        As I noted, those who turned violent–both the police and the ‘rioters’–have earned my disdain. Stupidity and a mob dynamics do not excuse the behavior of either group. Yes, the police actions often appeared similar to those of a mob. Which, in my eyes, makes them pigs.

        There are police officers–respectful, professional, empathetic, patient. There are cops–officious, brusque, poorly-trained, lazy.
        And then there are pigs–sociopathic, disrespectful, short-tempered, immature, insecure, violent, utterly unprofessional, opportunistic, corrupt.

        Guess which categories I put Ferguson and STL Cty. LE?

        Police have value in our society, and are often necessary to maintain our societies’ relative stability (I will not use the word peace; that can only come when ALL members of society are able to take the opportunity to rise to a higher level; this is not currently possible with so much of our Nations’ wealth concentrated into the hands of those who don’t deserve it, didn’t earn it, and who have no right to erect obstacles to equanimity, equality, and justice. Oh, that and the “defense” budget which is multiple times larger than the next TEN countries’ spending). However, misuse of power to subvert Constitutional rights to organize, to state one’s opinion, to illustrate injustice when it occurs, to freely associate with one’s peers, to cast light on government wrongdoing, and a host of others in today’s America, is absolutely unacceptable. And frankly illegal. Don’t even get me started on the militarization of the police over the last thirty years, both in tactics and materiel.

        The ‘police’ crossed a line, and that makes them pigs. And yes, I agree that violence has never solved a fucking thing. From World Wars to fisticuffs, and it never will.

        The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., if I may*:

        “The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder the hate. In fact, violence merely increases the hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

        *My late mother sent this to myself and others after 9/11/01. I will leave it to your own judgement as to how our response to this cowardly act was “solved” by our response to this violent act.

        I know my own mind on this subject, and my country is not reflected well in my thoughts.