Hell Hole vs. Murder City: Adjectives for East St. Louis Just Get Worse

east st louis hell hole.jpg
Saturday Night Live poked some fun at East St. Louis with a political skit this past weekend that had Keenan Thompson (Good Burger, FTW), in character as ESL mayor Alvin Parks, proclaim his city to be a "hell hole." The real life Parks was reportedly not amused by the characterization.

And then today, Senator Dick Durbin -- himself an ESL native -- paid a visit to discuss the late-night crime in his hometown with more than 100 community leaders and law enforcement personnel. This is the headline on the Belleville News-Democrat story about that summit.
BND murder city.jpg
It hasn't been a great week for East St. Louis in the media.
Please note that Durbin did not call East St. Louis "Murder City," nor did Illinois State Attorney Stephen Wigginton. Wigginton does point out that ESL has a murder rate of equivalent to 109 killings per 100,000 residents, which dwarfs the national rate of 5 murders per 100,000 people. That's a lot of homicide by any standard.

Mayor Parks, incidentally, did not attend Sen. Durbin's meeting.

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Look at ESl on google maps.  Go ahead.


Eureka that’s it!  It’s the clubs’ fault!  Not the flight of jobs and industry, the predominant black population, the lack of educational opportunities or the red-headed stepchild treatment from both Illinois and Missouri...it’s been those darned late-night clubs that are causing all the problems. Dick and his Illinois cronies will make them all close at 1am and then, miraculously, all the problems should go away.  Yep.  Sure will.  Overnight.  They really do care.  This isn’t the same song and dance you’ve heard before and they promise it’ll work this time.  Pick a scapegoat.  Wave the flag.  Make some noise.  Then we can all go back to ignoring them as usual. 


Mayor Parks has no interest in making his city safer. Closing the clubs at 1AM would mean no more freebies from the girls at those clubs, and no more envelopes of cash subsidizing his retirement. The man may be greasy as hell, but he's not stupid.

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