Study: White Missourians Are Pretty Racist And Don't Even Know It

Categories: Racism

Project Implicit
The more red your state, the more implicitly racist it is.
After months of reeling from turmoil after the fatal police shooting of unarmed Ferguson teen Michael Brown, St. Louis has had an u- close and personal look at implicit racism lately.

And we're not talking about overt, explicit racism -- the type that wears a klan hood, uses the n-word or photoshops pictures into viral memes about black crime. (Though there's plenty of that here, too.)

We're talking about uncontrolled or unrealized bias against people of color, like the Sullivan High School senior girls who were "very embarrassed and shocked" last month to learn that wearing blackface to look more threatening during powder-puff football came across as excruciatingly racist.

See also: Wearing Blackface, Sullivan High School Seniors Play Powder-Puff Football Game

Implicit bias is an important, though little-discussed, factor in police shootings. In parts of St. Louis where mostly white police officers patrol mostly black neighborhoods, implicit biases "influence split-second law enforcement decisions" and "could have life or death consequences," according to the Washington Post.

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Wearing Blackface, Sullivan High School Seniors Play Powder-Puff Football Game

Categories: Racism

Image from Facebook
Seniors at Sullivan High donned blackface for the school's annual powder-puff game.
When a dozen teen girls in blackface ran onto the Sullivan High School football field November 5 for a powder-puff game, Jennifer Schmidt recalls her gut reaction as, "Oh my gosh."

"And then I thought, 'Oh, they don't mean anything by it. Just let it go. No one thinks anything of it.' I didn't think anyone did," says Schmidt, the principal of Sullivan High School. "Evidently, someone did."

Evidently indeed. Photos taken during the game show twelve members of the senior class wearing dour expressions beneath full-blown blackface, and someone at the game shared those photos on Facebook. The reactions to the photos have been rippling within the small town of Sullivan (60 miles southwest of St. Louis) ever since.

The girls, says Schmidt, have been "very embarrassed and shocked at some of the responses they've gotten, because I think some people had some stuff on Facebook and got the wrong intention."

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St. Louis is Sixth Most Segregated City in America, But Still Better than NYC, Chicago

Categories: Racism

Daniel Schwen/Wikimedia
That the St. Louis area is heavily segregated is not necessarily news. But a new study details how that segregation plays out and how racial inequality in St. Louis compares to other cities around the country.

Where We Stand, a study conducted by the East West Gateway Council of Governments, found the St. Louis metropolitan area is the sixth-most segregated area in the country based on several social, economic, and health factors. For St. Louis, the study focused almost exclusively on black and white populations, due to low numbers of other race populations.

The five-most segregated areas, in order, are Milwuakee, New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Cleveland.

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After Night of Looting in Ferguson, Protesters March Looking for Answers

Photos by Mitch Ryals
Davion Lorich asks police officers if they feel bad about what happened.
By 9:30 a.m. Monday, with the smoke and violence of last night's looting and riots gone, a crowd of some 50 demonstrators arrived in front of Ferguson's police and fire departments to continue the protests over the death of Michael Brown.

Meru Muad'Dib of Bellefontaine Neighbors and Camelia Murphy of Pagedale stood directly across from Vincenzo's Restaurant where officers in riot gear waited.

"Those were different people out there last night," Muad'Dib said. "They took advantage of the situation. Don't commit crimes in the name of Mike Brown," he pleaded.

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Black Drivers Still Get Pulled Over More in Missouri, St. Louis: Attorney General

Categories: Racism

Walt Stoneburner
"Pull over, please."
African-American drivers are more likely to be pulled over and searched by Missouri law enforcement, and white drivers are more likely than Hispanic or black drivers to have contraband in the car, says a new report from the Attorney General.

Attorney General Chris Koster released his fourteenth annual report of traffic stops last week, highlighting the disproportionate number of black drivers pulled over.

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White Woman Says She Was Kicked Out of African Arts Festival for Dancing While White

Categories: Racism

Twitter/Susan Stone
Are white people so oppressed these days that they can't even twirl around incoherently in glittery wings and tutus at arts festivals without getting discriminated against for the color of their skin? That's what Susan Stone, a.k.a. the "Dancer of Life," has been telling local media outlets after an incident at the African Arts Festival this past weekend.

But the truth might be more about ego than skin color.

Stone is well-known around St. Louis for attending festivals in colorful, butterfly-ballerina costumes and wowing (or confusing) audiences with her interpretive dance moves. But when she tried to inspire people through dance at the African Arts Festival in Forest Park, some folks just wanted her to stop.

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Is the St. Louis Family Court Racist? Department of Justice Opens Investigation to Find Out

Maybe not so blind?
The United States Justice Department announced that it is beginning an investigation of the St. Louis Family Court that will look into whether the court treats juveniles differently based on race.

In a press release, the DOJ said the investigation will "focus on whether the court provides constitutionally required due process to all children appearing for delinquency proceedings and whether the court's administration of juvenile justice provides equal protection to all children regardless of race."

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Missouri Hate Tweets: State Has High Rates of Homophobia, Racism, N-Word Usage (MAPS)

Categories: LGBT, News, Racism

Areas with a high concentration of N-word tweets.
Compared to many other states in the country, Missouri has a high concentration of racist, homophobic tweets that include offensive, hateful language. And the tweeters are located all over the state.

So says a neat new interactive map called the Geography of Hate, which analyzes geocoded tweets that use the N-word, "fag," "homo" and other "hate words" from June of last year through April of 2013.

In some categories, Missouri appears to be one of the worst in the country. Hooray!

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Sigma Alpha Epsilon: Washington University Frat Accused of Racist Pledge Prank Reinstated

Categories: Education, Racism

Thumbnail image for Rush SAE.jpeg
A Washington University fraternity that got national attention earlier this year in the face of accusations of a bizarre, racist pledge prank has been reinstated.

As we reported in February, the local chapter of the frat was suspended following reports that white pledges had photographed black students and then recited a rap in front of them that included racial slurs.

"I can confirm that the temporary suspension of SAE has been lifted by University," Wash. U. spokesman Steve Givens says in an e-mail to Daily RFT this morning. "The investigation is now complete."

But what discipline did the accused students face?

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Hotshots Sports Bar Sued for "Racist" Servers and "Ghetto Specials"

Categories: Racism

Hotshots logo.jpg
Hotshots is in hot water.
Six patrons of the Bridgeton location of Hotshots Sports Bar & Grill are suing the chain and its owner for discrimination.

While gathered at the bar to watch a Cardinals World Series game, the plaintiffs charge that they were essentially refused service because they are black. The weirdest part? The suit alleges the waitresses were outed as racist by their own manager.

We know what you're thinking. How could something go so awry at an establishment known for "School Girl Thursdays"? Well, here's how it allegedly went down.

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