Ten Disturbingly Racist Things About St. Louis

archarcharch.jpg
Bruce Tuten
This week marks 58 years since Rosa Parks famously refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus, instantly rendering the brave young woman a hero and champion of the civil-rights movement. The following decades have seen steady improvement in race relations and equality, but as always, we still have further to go -- sometimes, especially, in the city of St. Louis.

We love our city, but sorry, St. Louis -- you are still pretty racist. And it isn't always black and white, either. Here are ten reasons why.

See Also: Six Musicians You Didn't Know Might Be Bigots

10. The Arch
Unfortunately, our city's shining beacon is also a monument symbolizing the genocide of North America's original inhabitants -- the Native Americans. Thomas Jefferson was a great man indeed, yet I doubt that our Native American brothers and sisters would consider him their friend. Throughout St. Louis, and the state of Missouri as a whole, you'll notice sprinkled evidence of a forgotten past. When I was in sixth grade we took a field trip and visited the famed Trail of Tears. It became a reality for me at that very moment that this land was occupied and owned by a group of people who were displaced and murdered. While westward expansion opened up the floor for America to flourish as a country, it also set the tone for what many consider the attempted genocide of an entire group of people. The Arch is a symbol of American greatness, but very seldom do we take time to push pause and reflect upon the lives stolen from the original American people.

metrolinkkk.jpg
David Wilson

9. MetroLink Expansion
I often ponder if St. Louis is serious about our ambitions to become a progressive city in this century. There are some very basic things that a growing major American metropolis needs in order to become a forerunner in this regard. In any big city, a stabilized and affordable public-transportation system is a must. A public-transportation system that services the entire metro area and opens up job opportunities in various communities is critical to the growth of our local economy. The fact that I cannot catch the MetroLink to St.Charles is just plain shady. It is also deliberately set up this way to keep a "certain element" from freely traveling to specific counties. A bus driver once told me the only reason a bus route was extended to West County Center was due to the fact that the mall was suffering economically at one point and needed inner-city teenagers and city dwellers to spend their money there in order to keep the mall afloat.

This also prevents that same certain element from living in these areas. If you don't have a car and you've lived in St. Louis your entire life, you're probably not going to attempt to move into an area that doesn't have access to the MetroLink. I'm sure the politicians in these areas blame their lack of Metro linkage on taxes and crime and everything else under the sun -- but the real reason seems to be more sinister.

forestparkkk.jpg
Carol Lara

8. Forest Park's Lack of Basketball Hoops
A close friend of mine once worked for Forest Park Forever. It asked her how could they get more minorities to visit the park on a regular basis. She replied, "Well, you have a facility for every sport besides basketball. Maybe adding some hoops would help a little bit." Sure, it's not the end-all be-all to this problem, but it is a start. We're talking about one of the largest parks in the U.S., and there is not one single basketball hoop. There are places to play nearly every other popular sport. Think about it. Now, all black people don't play basketball -- personally, I suck at the sport. I skateboard in the park, but I find it odd that there's no chance of me and my friends meeting there for a pick-up game. It's illogical; or worse yet, it's intentional.

Continue to page two for more.

My Voice Nation Help
1083 comments
Geoff Orwig
Geoff Orwig

Look, by setting yourselves apart by identifying as Afro-American or black or negro or african-american, or whatever you use, you are causing a schism . If you want to be separate and live by a different set of rules, then you have no place to complain if others don't just willingly receive your plan. One of my current big gripes is that loud-mouthed congressman who called Clarence Thomas an "Uncle Tom", when questioned as to why he thought he had the right to use such a racial slur he said, "because I'm black". You hear all the black hippy hoppy rappers and comics using the word nigger all the time and it's no big deal, but if I say it the world is coming to an end. I think it is absolutely disgusting the way the black community is taken advantage of by the black leadership. You know who I mean, that ilk that includes Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, you know them, they're the ones who couldn't express enough outrage over the unnecessary death of a young boy in florida, because a white guy shot him, but they ignore everyday black on black violence as a way of life. That is bullshit. It does not have to be a way of life. If you want to set yourselves apart why not do it by being better than everyone, police yourselves. Raise your children to want to be better rather than letting them be raised on the street by people who exploit, rather than love and care for them. I know I am way less a racist than the writer of the whiney piece of crap that started what could turn out to be a decent dialogue. So I guess race-baiting can be a good thing.........wait ...NO IT CAN NOT.

Angelo Pérez
Angelo Pérez

I mentioned that in a previous comment. Every group is racist. I've heard Mexicans being very racist as well as chinese and black and white. Hopefully it becomes less prevalent with my generation.

Enrique Mitchell
Enrique Mitchell

Geoff Orwig ^^^ " Theys just babies esspressin' theysevs"??????? Really??? With that alone you are exposing your own twisted point of view. Who exactly were you supposed to be imitating? Anyway, on to rebuttals -yes his words were indeed an indictment of certain black people as well, that was the point of the article. I think that the fact that he called out many groups that reside here in our fair city is refreshing. Just because someone points out negative characteristics of our city doesn't mean they are calling you a racist or saying you and/or you family/friends are burning crosses on black peoples lawns. They are making a point about society as a whole and pointing out specifics. This hypersensitivity of "oh well someone said this particular trait about our city is racist, so now I have to crucify him" comes down to not wanting to acknowledge certain facts, and being uncomfortable discussing them. I encourage you to embrace that uncomfortability and have a discussion!!!! It will only help. That is how solutions are reached, we cannot simply just erase the past or forget about it or get on with life because these societal traits still follow (dare I say haunt ) us to this day. And on another point maybe some better research should be done when referring to "black schools" which I think you are referring to SLPS Schools, many of which are not all black. In regards to these schools and their funding I do see an inaccuracy I your findings. Most of the SLPS teachers I know (who all care a lot about the children) have to many times purchase their own materials and are set to sometimes unreasonable rationing of things like copy paper, which my friends at county schools do not have to endure. So yes it's an uncomfortable article, but please KEEP THE DISCUSSION GOING!!! Even if you disagree!!! And if the vitriol is left out of your discussion, it's possible that points will be proven and problems solved... It's just possible!!! STL LOVE

Enrique Mitchell
Enrique Mitchell

" Theys just babies esspressin' theysevs"??????? Really??? With that alone you are exposing your own twisted point of view. Who exactly were you supposed to be imitating? Anyway, on to rebuttals -yes his words were indeed an indictment of certain black people as well, that was the point of the article. I think that the fact that he called out many groups that reside here in our fair city is refreshing. Just because someone points out negative characteristics of our city doesn't mean they are calling you a racist or saying you and/or you family/friends are burning crosses on black peoples lawns. They are making a point about society as a whole and pointing out specifics. This hypersensitivity of "oh well someone said this particular trait about our city is racist, so now I have to crucify him" comes down to not wanting to acknowledge certain facts, and being uncomfortable discussing them. I encourage you to embrace that uncomfortability and have a discussion!!!! It will only help. That is how solutions are reached, we cannot simply just erase the past or forget about it or get on with life because these societal traits still follow (dare I say haunt ) us to this day. And on another point maybe some better research should be done when referring to "black schools" which I think you are referring to SLPS Schools, many of which are not all black. In regards to these schools and their funding I do see an inaccuracy I your findings. Most of the SLPS teachers I know (who all care a lot about the children) have to many times purchase their own materials and are set to sometimes unreasonable rationing of things like copy paper, which my friends at county schools do not have to endure. So yes it's an uncomfortable article, but please KEEP THE DISCUSSION GOING!!! Even if you disagree!!! And if the vitriol is left out of your discussion, it's possible that points will be proven and problems solved... It's just possible!!! STL LOVE

Enrique Mitchell
Enrique Mitchell

Great work Tef Poe. There is nothing wrong whatsoever with pointing out characteristics of our city that have made and will continue to make it less than progressive. Raising awareness and addressing problems are how we reach solutions. Even if it is uncomfortable to read or discuss, racial issues are still very prevalent and this article promotes that discussion. Clearly. People feel this is stirring up trouble because they don't want to talk about certain unfortunate truths.

Jennifer Scroggs
Jennifer Scroggs

there is everywhere. I am white living in mexico and they are racist towards me.

Crystal De Ocampo
Crystal De Ocampo

Angelo Pérez it's funny how certain people commentating on this will never take the time to open their eyes and see things how they really are. St. Louis has a lot racist problems and it's sad. I hope most of it dies out with the baby boomer generation and the rest of us can finally move forward.

Angelo Pérez
Angelo Pérez

Not looking for anyone's sympathy. I already moved on. Just using evidence to back up my claims as one learns to do when writing

Angelo Pérez
Angelo Pérez

Multi layered cake this race thing. Some things you see on the surface...others you have to cut into the cake to see.

Angelo Pérez
Angelo Pérez

Yep very racist. Half black half mexican kid with Jewish siblings and stepmother who went to Ladue and has mostly white friends...lived in China and speaks chinese. Very racist. Loved your hateful attempt at Ebonics in your latest comment. I'm out of here to go meet up with my Pakistani friend to plot revenge against the man.

Geoff Orwig
Geoff Orwig

From what I can see ..you are the most racist person posting here.

Jennifer Bai
Jennifer Bai

Sadly witnessed a bit of this first hand on a our recent visit.

Geoff Orwig
Geoff Orwig

Consider the source here, this is the RFT. I won't even use it to line the bottom of my bird's cage. I did take the time to read this piece of tripe. I am not at all surprised that the author who called areas of the city just a block from the white neighborhoods a "war zone" , consider his own whining to be an indictment of the colored people who act in an uncivil manner and rob and shoot each other. White people didn't come down the street and make them do it, and the white people aren't doing that stuff in their neighborhood. As far as the loop goes...the black teens have their cute little knock-out game they like to play, they's just babies esspressin' theysevs. I don't go to the loop because they go to the loop. The guy who wrote this whiney piece of crap and I have one thing in common when it comes to racism...neither of us will walk down cass avenue at night looking like we have money in our pockets. If you want to be treated better , be better, and start raising your children to be better, because that's where it starts. Here's one he forgot, the failing school districts are all black, and they failed with the same, or better, budget that all other school districts have.

cydney.jade
cydney.jade

if you feel this article is crap or that its sturring up more drama or racism then that is your opinion but to be honest this article is 100% true you dont see it because you have conditioned yourself to this is the way its suppose to be, its not. This stuff reflects our city perfectly.

Mary D'Amato
Mary D'Amato

I love St. Louis & I love this disturbing yet honest article. The DWB is so prevalent - and horrifying. I know. I'm white & I observed & got caught up in just such an incident. Don't kid yourself - everything he writes is true!

Heather Diesel
Heather Diesel

Oh my geez. Get over yourself. I don't cry when I am told I can't apply for the scholarships thru the UNCF. I don't get upset when called a honky. Life isn't "fair" for anyone.. it's called life, not racism

brettgrant
brettgrant

None of us ever killed the Indians, none of us were ever slaves nor slave owners....time to stop looking into the past for current excuses as to why things are the way they are in nearly every major city.  The vast majority of our cities have been and continue to be run by one political party, STL included.  The problems in 2014 are the same problems as the 1960's, 50 years of trying the same programs.  50 years of poor public schools, political corruption and cronyism.  Time to look in the mirror and VOTE for something different, that's the only way things will change. 

If you always do, what you've always done, you'll always get the same as you've always gotten....

Riverfront Times
Riverfront Times

Now that's is just ridiculous. St. Louis has innumerable problems with unnecessary division.

Shayne Hummel
Shayne Hummel

ONLY 10 ? I'M ASHAMED of St Louis being so racist !! on BOTH sides !!!!

Julie Srouji Gantner
Julie Srouji Gantner

Josh - completely agree with you. This is a horribly written article with very biased viewpoints!

Kirk Russell
Kirk Russell

No mention of racism against white people, yes it's real, no mention of black crime being the only reason that decent, working people don't want there town flooded with inner city criminals.. I don't care about the color of someones skin, the content of their character is what's important. If a man wearing a yellow hat punches you every time that you see one, eventually every time you see a man on the street in a yellow hat you'll go to the other side of the street..... It's just that simple !

Lau Cat
Lau Cat

live and let live....etc. etc.......

Derby Babz
Derby Babz

Assuming white girls with Mohawks are all racist. I got one recently for St. Baldrick's (you know, the charity that raises money to fund childhood cancer research). While going grocery shopping and wearing the same clothes that I normally wear, two African American women took turns circling me and staring me down like I was a freak at a zoo. They openly commented about if I am a racist or not. No, I am not racist, but I do have an allergy to idiotic behavior.

Becky Noble
Becky Noble

I would add writers for the Riverfront Times

Enrique Mitchell
Enrique Mitchell

Great work Tef Poe. There is nothing wrong whatsoever with pointing out characteristics of our city that have made and will continue to make it less than progressive. Raising awareness and addressing problems are how we reach solutions. Even if it is uncomfortable to read or discuss, racial issues are still very prevalent and this article promotes that discussion. Clearly. People feel this is stirring up trouble because they don't want to talk about certain unfortunate truths. Racism is here, it exists, it is institutional and people are challenged by it every single day. This is something that I for one will never tire of discussing. RFT please keep reposting.

John Drochelman
John Drochelman

Article was a waste of my time, the article itself Is more Divisive and racist than our city.

Jenny Chamberlain
Jenny Chamberlain

I agree with most the people on here that this article is crap and just trying to stir up trouble that's uncalled for.

Andrew Joshua
Andrew Joshua

This doesn't apply to any racial complex in anyways. Unless you choose to poke a finger an some issue you want to try to make as an issue. The biggest issue here is whether it would be a proper use of tax payers money..... That's what I believe is most important. Otherwise I'd be all about the metro connecting every community. But fight that debate instead of blaming some other entity. I can't justify what some idiots may believe. But this is truly what I believe. Whether or not it would be worth the use of tax payers money since WE ALL pay...

D.j. Freshstep
D.j. Freshstep

Except all this "oddities", as you put them, are true and racially charged. The only one I don't necessarily agree with is the Wash U./Loop example. I was born and raised black in this city. And frankly, I know better.

dms583
dms583

This article is racist. St. Louis is not racist. Claiming the arch is racist because of Native Americans is like saying it's racist to even live in America if you're not Native American. 

Marina Surratt
Marina Surratt

How about people getting a life and worrying about more important things

Robert G Andrews
Robert G Andrews

Nothing racist, but it is a fact that the most dangerous parts of St. Louis to live in, are North and East St. Louis.

D.j. Freshstep
D.j. Freshstep

I beg to differ, the fact that the term race baiting over and over is being used so much in this conversation are simply people using a distraction technique for people to side track the actual issue addressed. It sort of like saying, slavery ended over a hundred years ago, there is no way racism against blacks is even an issue anymore. This statement is used to distract against current racism and to make those in denial feel better. Now that was an extreme example and I'm not saying that is what you're saying...merely an example. Here are a couple of reminder quotes from earlier in this discussion where several people suggest that racism is in no way an issue in the Metropolitan Area: "How about we stop trying to make things look more hateful than they are." and "No shit RFT, let's keep making issues that don't really exist."

Ellen Bond
Ellen Bond

This is just so wrong!! Are you just trying to pit people against each other? Seems like a very pointed agenda to me.

Mindy Guzman
Mindy Guzman

Also goes back to my statement that black people can be racist as well. And like the Chinese cant be racist yeah right. Have you ever been to a nail salon???

D.j. Freshstep
D.j. Freshstep

Mindy and Janet, white guilt, please! Did you read the entire article? Let me refresh your memory, go reread number 7....Here's a quote in relation to Chop Suey establishments being referred to as the "chinaman", "But the fact that black people refer to these establishments with such a racist name is not excusable."

Jimmie Thomptson
Jimmie Thomptson

just remember in STL it seems most of the racism these days is directed at Whites, oh go ahead call me names....

630291
630291

It's not "nigger", it's Nigga. And you and I can't say either one because we're too old. The only white people who can say "Nigga" are young hip-hop generation kids who grew up in a different way than we did. If you haven't noticed, the current 20-something generation is a lot less "apart" from each other (racially) than in "our days" meaning that when we were in our 20's there were big differences which today have become much smaller, except when some old fucker on one side or the other tries to get these kids to "keep up the fight". Whose fight? WHAT fight? I have Black teenaged and 20-something step kids. 8 of them. And 7 grandchildren by them. Not one of them acts anything like you assume. 2 were born living in fifth ward (Houston) but their momma got them out of there. THe rest? Lawndal (Chicago) and I got us out of there. Just because people came from a 'hood doesn't mean that the 'hood raised them in the streets. Character? Yes to tattoos and facial piercings. Yes to college educations and career jobs too. They're all doing fine, looking like somebody you'd run from if you judged them on their appearance alone but the fact is that ALL of them work hard, raise their children on nothing but money earned, and say "Nigga" to their heart's content. But not you though. Point is, it's your turn to be the old man who thinks he has all the answers in a brave new world you obviously know nothing about. Just like your Daddy did and his daddy before him. "Young wipper-snappers..."

630291
630291

@brettgrant The "problem is" that we fail to recognize the fact that we're being led around by the nose, being told what the problem is and then we try to "fix it ourselves". The problems which the media throws at us constantly become our reality. Meanwhile, do NOT look at that man behind the curtain. Don't you see that "they" give us something to fight for but we don't get to pick the fight, we just follow along because somebody has the time and the will and the backing to make their issues OUR issues. Stop and address what you personally have to deal with on a day to day basis and THEN tell me this crap is important to anyone other than a race-baiting hate-monger who loves to keep up sheet. And gets paid. Sensationalism at it's lowest.


BTW, I am in agreement with your post.

meper4m
meper4m

I have to ask about the loop curfew.  The writer state that anyone under 18 was ushered out of the area but Wash U students were welcomed back year after year. In my experience, Wash U students are over 18 and thereby exempt from the curfew.  Interesting article.  And I don't think he's necessarily wrong about Metrolink and St. Charles.  I've often heard that St. Charles county voted down Metrolink because they didn't want "that element" from the city coming out and stealing from them.  As if they're going to ride on Metrolink with a stole big screen TV on their lap.  Sheesh.  So I say, don't put Metrolink out to St. Charles.  Let those fools sit there in rush hour traffic day in and day out.  Bring Metro out Hwy. 44 instead.  I'd love it!



Now Trending

St. Louis Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Clubs

Loading...