AUDIO: Maria Chapelle-Nadal Is "Off the Plantation" Not a "House Slave"

Categories: Politics
chapelle nadal 2.jpg
Chapelle-Nadal: Do I sound crazy? I don't sound crazy. No, not at all.
So, if you haven't heard by now, State Senator Maria Chapelle-Nadal earned the ire of many of her fellow elected officials on Tuesday when she compared them to "house slaves" during an interview on WGNU.

Chapelle-Nadal (D - University City) made the comments while discussing her opposition to a measure that would return control of the St. Louis police department from the state to the city. Several of her fellow African-American politicians, including State Rep. Jamilah Nasheed (D - St. Louis) and St. Louis Board of Alderman president Lewis Reed, are in support of St. Louis governing its own police department.

Chapelle-Nadal, meanwhile, referred to those officials as "house slaves" of Rex Sinquefield, the financier who's recently lent his support to local control of the police department.

Here, exactly, is what Chapelle-Nadal had to say:

I hate going here, but this really -- this movement, this campaign -- is nothing different than what slave politics was. And when I talk about slave politics, you know the whole impression of an individual who was a house slave versus the person in the field. The people working on behalf of the city -- on behalf of the plantation owner called Rex Sinquefield -- those people who are minorities working on his behalf those are the folks who are in the house. I'm off the plantation. I'm a Missouri state senator. I am no longer on a plantation. What these plantation owners like Rex Sinquefield are doing is using their house slaves that are elected in St. Louis City. They're actually disguising the conversation saying that this is a civil rights issue.
Yesterday, Lewis Reed responded by calling for Chapelle-Nadal to step down from office.

"This is not just an insult to me, but this is an insult to me as a father or four, as an African American male and to all African Americans across this nation," said Reed.

"Statements by the senator reflect the bigoted mindset that all African Americans, including the NAACP, 100 Black Men, Urban League, Clergy Coalition as well as many others, must have been 'bought' by, in the senator words a "plantation owner," when advocating a position. This type of racism cannot be tolerated in the St. Louis community or anywhere in our country"

Click the link below to listen to Chapelle-Nadal's interview.



Note: This isn't the first time that race has been brought into the debate over local control. In February a video emerged trying to tie state rep Nasheed -- the sponsor of the bill -- to the Black Panthers.

My Voice Nation Help
12 comments
Baddogmalik
Baddogmalik

St. Louis County already has too many municipalities. I have no problem with consolidated government for the county and city, but it should just be one government. There are numerous reasons why Missouri's poverty rate is as high as it is, and local control of the police department has nothing to do with any of them. Lack of education is a significant cause, but the government cannot solve that completely. People have to want to become educated as well. Lack of jobs is obviously a cause, but again, government cannot solve that completely. Drugs are part of the problem, but people have to want to be off drugs. A high teen birth rate and high number of single-parent households also contribute to poverty, but government can do virtually nothing about that.

Although I am what many would term a liberal Democrat, I am disgusted by the complete lack of personal responsibility I see on a daily basis. People are too quick to blame someone else for their problems, and claim they are mere victims. Yes, some people don't get good breaks in life, but people have to make their own breaks to a large extent. I grew up in poverty, with 9 brothers and sisters. However, all but one of us went to college, and we all have jobs. Although my parents had only high school educations, my siblings and I have law degrees, Ph.D.s, and Masters Degrees, and earn good livings. Our parents expected us to succeed, and we have. I never wasted my time whining that we sometimes lacked enough food to eat, lacked sufficient heat in winter, never had a new car, or anything else. I went out and did something about it! People in today's society need to do the same!

Baddogmalik
Baddogmalik

Sorry, Ehevens, but your comments are as ill-considered and incoherent as Ms. Chapelle-Nadal's (I reserve the honorific "Sen." for US Senators). I disagree with Mr. Sinquefield on almost everything, but happen to agree with him on local control over the police department. Only two places in Missouri do not have local control, St. Louis and Kansas City. The law dates back to the Civil War, and was intended to give Confederate sympathizers more control over city police. If Ms. Chapelle-Nadal truly believes local control is a bad idea, she should spend her time fighting to have the University City police, as well as all other departments in Missouri, under state control.

Ehevans
Ehevans

A few years ago Ucity AA residents were outraged about the caption of a photo selected for the calendar. It was taken by an AA woman living in their city (who’s in the same age group as the Senator); the caption was eeny meeny, etc. She wasn’t aware of its root from slavery & was mystified by the hypersensitivity.Listening to the interview, I heard the description of a power relationship. Others appear to have shut down on hearing the word ‘slave’ & interpreted her remarks as racist. Ms Nasheed has declared the Senator mentally unstable; this kind of shrill over reaction (as well as her recent re-districting vote) now has me questioning her judgment. The statement isn’t the issue but the reaction to it needs to be examined. It’s not what Senator Maria Chapelle-Nadal said, the problem is what some decided to hear. The local custom of reticence endorses mediocrity & the source of ‘brain drain.’ Rachel Storch was squeezed out. Greener more inviting pastures lure away our talent & investors. When & how will STL ‘get a grip?

Ehevans
Ehevans

This episode makes this a good time for observations & for StL to ask some questions. No one was identified during the interview: Ms Nasheed & Mr. Reed ‘outed’ themselves.Why? Missourians have a tradition intended to deter facing its legacy as a ‘slave’ state. Candor is instinctively crushed. Nazis & teapottiers’ right to free speech is sacrosanct. But any reference by AAs to their history is playing ‘the race card’ and justification for all kinds of silliness. For instance, we were advised by an AA Baby Boomer not to call a planned outdoor social event a ‘picnic.’ We learned the word originated from an ugly practice during slavery. You can have a ‘picnic’ in every state but MO and no one takes offense.

Chjock
Chjock

Ehevans a little hard to say it was taken out of context when you can click on the link and listen to exactly what she said.

Ehevans
Ehevans

Although I don’t live in Maria’s district, I’ve witnessed the long hours & conscientiousness with which she serves despite the indignities she has to tolerate. Sen. Chapelle-Nadal is a passionate champion of Progressive issues. It’s ironic that so many are citing this PD article featuring out of context statements by one woman. Bear in mind, some of these folks here complained about the PD’s disinterest in covering a gathering of 4500 in support of labor while a meeting of 5 TeaPottiers makes front page. Mr. Sinquefield’s history sets off alarms & calls for scrutiny by many over anything that attracts his interest/support. The campaign to repeal the city’s earnings tax is just one of his crackpot schemes. He is a generous contributor to pols in our area and some AA’s have been seen & heard boasting about their endless war chest. He may be personable & sincere but he’s our region’s Koch brother; his economic philosophy is deeply flawed & seductive. Hiis support for local control of STL’s police dept is the subject of suspicion among Progressive activists with the exception of those who enjoy his support on the down-low (who, BTW, are among those on this thread expressing their outrage.); the Senator was being candid! Politicians who ‘dance with the devil’ have no legitimate reasons for complaining about anyone’s criticism.No one was identified during the interview. Ms Nasheed & Mr. Reed brought public attention on themselves. Why? The PD & the Right are just ‘lovin’ the racial spin. It’s much sexier than pointing out the mediocrity of ‘leadership’ that doesn’t have enough sense or courage to engage & embrace ‘renegades’ but reacts by throwing them under the bus. And the Left’s predictable kneejerk reactions & cannibalism feeds the frenzy.STL wasn’t blessed with visionary leadership. Adherents to local traditions (still ‘singing’ the Beach Boys’ music) assume they can pass the burdens of their dysfunctions onto the Joshua Generation. With courageous spirits like Sen. Chapelle around, that ain’t gonna happen! Nor should it. Her candor is the quality we wish for more of. If you haven’t figured it out yet, A.A.’s Joshua Generation’s won’t make excuses for incompetence, poor judgment and lack of vision regardless of race. The local habit of reticence & endorses mediocrity & feeds the ‘brain drain.’ Let’s let the cream rise to the top!

KittyLitterKing
KittyLitterKing

Brilliant. And people wonder why the City continues to lose population. It ain't just the crappy public schools, people.

DJ27
DJ27

She may have a point, her objection to the local control has only to do with protecting the pensions. How much money have Nasheed and Lewis taken from Sinquefield?

Ehevans
Ehevans

IMO, issues are more pertinent than titles. But your perspective is common among those who grew up when the US led the world in all ‘indicators,’ in communities when a high school dropout could find a job that would support a family on one income, where we had neighbors (vs. people next door), kids went outside to play, etc. That period wasn’t idyllic but today’s gains & losses were unimagined.In addition to the effects of globalization over the past 30-40 years, inflation has almost ended single earner households, the US is losing ground in many areas, and we spend more to jail a non-violent offender than on education, yada, yada! As Americans, it’s in our DNA to overcome obstacles. We’re learning that one size does not fit all (nor should it) & creative solutions are emerging.Consolidated government makes sense to people with mile long driveways & no idea who lives next door. Small cities operate efficiently by networking & sharing resources.But there is also a strong drive to re-create a sense of workable communities confirmed by demographics. St. Louisans are decent, good hearted people accustomed to toxic traditions. There’s much more vibrancy outside politics. With access to resources & know how, most people are quite capable of defining & leading productive lives. Policy makers have a lousy track record.Colin Gordon, “Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City” "A searing indictment of policymakers, realtors, and mortgage lenders for deliberate decisions that sacrificed their own city of St. Louis on the altar of race. Colin Gordon's use of cartography to visualize this painful pattern of injustice and bad sense is a forceful exemplar for a new kind of history: one told visually as well as textually; analyzed spatially as well as chronologically. Written with empathy, Mapping Decline is a new milestone on the road toward a necessary reckoning of the precise responsibility for the extended urban crises of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries."—Philip J. Ethington, University of Southern California"Colin Gordon combines intellectual rigor, a compelling argument, and extensive archival research with the latest geographic information system digital mapping techniques. Dozens of color maps, together with numerous figures and tables, allow the reader to examine the data with fresh eyes. Gordon's focus on a single city, a single neighborhood (Greater Ville), and even a single house (4635 North Market Street) gives his comprehensive analysis an immediacy and power that it might otherwise lack. And the prose is so thoughtful, so well written, and so engaged with recent scholarship that scholars on the topic will be fascinated."—Kenneth Jackson, Political Science Quarterlyhttp://www.stltoday.com/news/o...

Ehevans
Ehevans

I understand & respect your concerns. For the past 4-5 years, I’ve sat in on forums about the state’s budget & tax inequities trying to understand how/why MO keeps its poor in poverty. Mr. Sinquefield’s tax reform proposals usually benefit special interests & ignore the necessity for upgrading our workforce in order to attract investments. Local pols boast about access to unlimited campaign money. So, when RS changed his mind about returning STL’s Police Dept to local control, suspicion was raised & word spread. Control of the pension fund has been a thorny issue.The Senator just said it aloud.Her comments would have gone unnoticed but it was some hypersensitive AA Dems who ‘outted’ themselves, contacted the media & planted the ‘racist’ spin. IMO, she must have hit a nerve! BTW, are you aware of her bill to make STL City the 92nd city in STL County?

STLNEWSMOD
STLNEWSMOD

Actually Chapelle-Nadal is from University City and represents parts of north county and not the city. I should've mentioned that in the post.

KittyLitterKing
KittyLitterKing

So, she's race-baiting AND sticking her nose in City politics, even though she doesn't live there. Heck, even Sinquefeld owns a house in the City.

Now Trending

St. Louis Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...