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. 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
There are some very basic things that a growing major American metropolis needs in order to become a a progressive city, and 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 one 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.


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1338 comments
ldjovian
ldjovian

Some things in this article are a stretch. Seems like the author was fishing for reasons, hoping that it would be quite popular with all the Ferguson business going on.


10. The Arch is just as "racist" as the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, even the Statue of Liberty. The entire US wasn't exactly unoccupied.
9. This one is accurate, but back when ML expansion was on the ballot this is what opponents to expansion used to have StCC vote it down.
8. "Every Sport except basketball?" Basketball teams typically play in gymnasiums. All of the sports use areas are not intended for anyone just to come along and start using it. If I went up to the skating rink and just climbed in and started playing hockey I don't think it would be appreciated. The sports areas (even the baseball diamonds) are not meant completely for recreational public use. A basketball court would only serve as a place for the general public to play basketball... not exactly something the park is willing to upkeep if they cannot attract clubs or athletic associations.
7. Yes, the blacks do in fact use racist terms referring to Asians.
6. This is a fallacy by not understanding the history of the Delmar Loop. The entire Loop district had fallen into shambles similar to the rest of the area. The dying businesses banded together to revitalize their street, and formed a coalition to renovate the Loop as we know it today. It has nothing to do with white folks building their own paradise. As for the white areas of U City, that is because the homes physically located in this area have retained higher values.
5. The Loop is plagued by crime. Since it is located near crime-ridden areas, it is very often seen as a target. Asking the police to reserve pre-judgement would easily result in more muggings. Is that what we're asking for? If these criminals didn't go to the Loop, we wouldn't have this problem. The police are reacting to public threats, and their proactive measures are based on previous experiences. Obviously if you sag your pants, wear a hat low on your head, and wear a large, oversized hoodie... you are dressing the part of those that have committed crimes in the past. Not to mention you match every description of the guy that snatched a purse 5 minutes ago - "I couldn't see him, but he was wearing a big hoodie and a hat and his pants were sagging." Naturally if I decide to wear an orange jumpsuit for a prison visit there'd be some serious issues.
4. People are people. I myself have been pulled over for DWW's - Driving While White in low-income areas. The police HAD to search my car, because it was obvious that I MUST be there to buy drugs. Doesn't matter how I was dressed, I was up to no good. Furthermore, I used to jog at night in St Charles. Yes, two white folk were pulled over by the police, wondering what in the world two shirtless white kids could be running from. And, I'm also eyeballed pretty heavily via my car being a little on the rough side. The police aren't just looking for skin color, they look for things that are out of the ordinary. Out of the ordinary varies by each community. It's their job, and that's how they police.
3. Where did this dress codes come from? Did the head of security one day decide to ban what black people wear? Maybe it stems from the fact that 95% of every security incident had to do with people dressing as such. Could someone in a doo rag be in a gang? As a private business, they're rather not wait to find out. Banned. They cannot pre-screen those entering the mall with a criminal background check, this is the closest thing they can do to keep the businesses vested interests as safe as possible. If it inconveniences someone, it's because someone else ruined it for everyone else.
2. Yes, many blacks refer to anything brown / Middle Eastern as an A-Rab. Definitely racist.
1. True. Very few recognize that it's income-based, not color based. The blame is on both sides - higher incomes refer to lower income areas as a black community, and lower incomes refer to higher income areas as white areas. The problem is that it's stuck in a circle - each side continues the circle. There are politicians even today that have championed this as a means for political gain (Ferguson) by making claims that white folk are "out to get" all the black folks. Naturally whites react to this, then the blacks react to the whites reaction, rinse, wash, repeat. Racial boundaries will not disappear when either side keeps pointing to the boundary line.

Blackman
Blackman

It is articles like this one that open our eyes, just to make us St. Louisans close them and shake our heads. I will say that racism should be a thing of the past. Right now though, with everything going on around the St. Louis area it is a race war, and not a peaceful one at that. Everyone reading this could change one piece of this world before they pass away. It is up to them whether they decide to change, and what they want to change. There should be no special treatment towards any race, at all.  

subgenius73
subgenius73

We don't call "Redbird Nation" the Kuku Kardinal Klan for nothing.

indridcold
indridcold

"I found St. Louisans cold, smug, complacent, intolerant, stupid & provincial."



Tennessee Williams, 1947.



indridcold
indridcold

St. Louis is an island, surrounded not by oceans but grain fields. This has made us intensely parochial, and instinctively distrustful of people - not us. The author of this article makes many good points, stronger ones in my opinion, because he chooses to focus, not on in-your-face injustices (plenty of that), but on subtleties unnoticed (read - "unacknowledged) by most residents. No basketball hoops in Forest Park, Metrolink's limited service areas, "the Delmar Divide" - all seemingly innocuous stuff until one considers its greater, and as the writer sagely puts it - "sinister" implications. The rage-filled commentary accompanying the article is evidence of its truth. St. Louisans are loathe to confront the awfulness of this place - it's backwardness, it's unwillingness to embrace folk from elsewhere - and yes, its endemic racism. And our apathy is killing us - correction - it's killed us. Consider, for example, the fact that every major highway and river system (the Missouri, and Mississippi) confluence right here. Based on our fortuitous location, we should rival Chicago and New York for national prominence and influence. Instead, our population is dwindling, we no longer have an international airport and no important business wants to relocate here. In fact, nearly every one of our biggest and best employers have fled, and the iconic Budweiser brewery is now the property of a foreign beverage maker. Now that's progress! St. Louis is not just an outpost of Rural America, it's the capitol - the reddest of red state metros. We want even less than we have because change, even change for the better,  is a thing best-avoided. One day they'll padlock this place, and when that happens no one will care because no one will be here.

john2033
john2033

This article in and of itself is disturbingly racist. The Gateway Arch representing genocide? Come on. Chop Suey racist? Really? Stereotyping Blacks by suggesting that they don't go to Forest Park because of the need for basketball hoops? The writer is stretching hard to find racism. St. Louis is a metro full of a wonderful diverse population with a center city that is beautiful. The Men & Women of the St. Louis region live and work together every day doing good things for their community.We need to appreciate our assets and work on our problems. St. Louis has racial tension just like any other city. We need to appreciate our assets and work on our problems. The writer needs look at the bright side of his city, neighbors & friends and leave the race card in his pocket.                           John Beck - Emmis Radio- St. Louis

aaaa
aaaa

The real fact is, WE ARE ALL AMERICANS!!  AND CREATED EQUAL!!      Help Stop All Racism, it starts at home!!!!

Tony Wallace
Tony Wallace

Great article! Well written and even though I don't agree with everything, I like the perspective of this writer. I have lived here in the STL my whole life so I must admit that I have grown accustomed to some of the segregation. I have travelled to other cities where you will see people from different ethnic backgrounds living, working, and playing side by side, but not so much in St. Louis. Those that know me know I will defend the Lou. This is my home town. I find it very difficult to defend it any more. There are still great people here but the police differential treatments, the segregation of the communities, the downfall of the public education system in black areas, all stem from well devised and thought out plans long ago to keep blacks out of white areas. With the way some of us act... I can't blame em.

Scott Akins
Scott Akins

Its obvious a black person wrote this. FYI black people are more racist than white people. Stop your wining about racism. Minorities have it better than white people. White people have to work for benefits in this country etc. so screw you if you have a complaint about how things are go fuck yourself. Sick of black people bitching all the time. Fuck you. Go back to Africa.

Luis Cook
Luis Cook

Its so distasteful given the situation. I'm flagging it as promoting violence or inappropriate. maybe fb remove it.

Troy Woods
Troy Woods

Ignorant, racist a**holes on this board can't handle the truth. The article is pure truth.

Josh Revelle
Josh Revelle

The Arch?! No basketball courts in Forest Park?! That's what you come up with. Tef Poe is a fuckin idiot!

Patricia Ann
Patricia Ann

Thank you for writing about what how racism plays out in St Louis.

Carl Schroeder
Carl Schroeder

Only the Riverfront Times could publish such mindless, inane drivel.

Nicholas Robert DiCarlo
Nicholas Robert DiCarlo

Clearly RFT writers must be volunteers or Tef Poe would have surely been fired by now...not only for writing this article in the first place, but for constantly reposting it. Right???

Steve Morgan
Steve Morgan

Racism exists everywhere. That said, this article is nearly 100% BS... The only thing I could agree with is driving while black in west county. The writer is working too hard to make a point. "FAIL"

Jordan Kulagé
Jordan Kulagé

Someone needed to say something...It's absolutely disheartening to see how stuck we are as a society. I'm so disappointed that the majority of comments about this article are so bigoted. To think of all the lives that have been so negatively impacted by this type of oppressive behavior...and how the ignorant continue to berate the oppressed with no idea the destructive effects. To grow as a human being and live a fuller life you must practice compassion, you must practice empathy, you must understand love. We have grown way to self-involved and narcissistic. We have lost our genuine care for others and only look to serve ourselves. The end result of such selfishness is distention, which serves no one.

Doris Hickam
Doris Hickam

Why cant race be kept out of this and get to what really happen. A 6ft3in 300lbs. teen charged and beat on a cop, cop defended him self. Then a bunch of thugs started burning business and stealing. Now how did that help anything. Another excuse to steal and cause trouble.

Jimmy Vaughn
Jimmy Vaughn

I just want to point out that Metro doesn't go to St Charles because the city told them no, not because of a conspiracy in Metro

Chris Martin-Nicholson
Chris Martin-Nicholson

Please stop acting like you don't know theirs a racial problem in St. Louis. The RFT is not the only publication that has written articles about the problem. Let's stop pretending and acknowledge what we all know is truth

Shelly Gutierrez
Shelly Gutierrez

No matter what the answer will be they will continue to be dicks

Belinda Draper-Washington
Belinda Draper-Washington

I see nothing wrong with my grand children marrying yours either Benjamin Abraham. an you handle that? Then get some love in you :)

Jerrod Harris
Jerrod Harris

See that's the illusion of inclusion. Crime and employment are both higher in black communities under Obama. You're talking nonsense. Dodging the truth as most of you people do. Hate to hear what your people done to my people, and you are reaping the benefits to this very day. You sound delusional. Stop with that. Until a white kid gets shot by a black cop get back at me. Continue to live your pressure free life. Trust me, you'd never trade places if given the chance.

Belinda Draper-Washington
Belinda Draper-Washington

It's true, let's deal with it. I think most of the comments on here are from fear. I understand to a certain point.

Slade Bittler
Slade Bittler

Agreed! It's only news because it says racist or racism in it.

Destiny Andraya
Destiny Andraya

Racism is alive and strong in Saint Louis. Acting like it doesn't exist or happen anymore is one of the biggest reasons why it won't go away and why the victims won't shut up! However, I feel some kinda way about this article. I guess its an eye opener but its kinda a mockery. Do y'all really get what's going on!!??

David Ross
David Ross

Anybody see any Native Americans at the Loot-a-palooza?

Misty Becker
Misty Becker

First off how would you ever know what being a slave felt like? Walk in your shoes are you kidding... Who are you to judge what anyone else has or how their life is!!! We have a black president for the love of God! Racism won't die until you stop bitching about something that never has happened in your life time!

stacistatic
stacistatic

John, we certainly have work to do but the fact that you accuse him of pulling the race card in and of itself is a problem. I wish people would stop using that term. It's silly and insulting.

lilsino2001
lilsino2001

Scratching my head while typing this. I live in the south county/ Arnold area where I so happens to notice a lot of whites using government assistance. So who is working for what you lowlife waste of sperm.

lilsino2001
lilsino2001

I live in the in South county/Arnold area and I see nothing but whites using government assistance. With that being said what are you saying??

akqadafi
akqadafi

This must be parody, really, hahahah!!!

anonymous
anonymous

How is it that black people got here from Africa?

TASHE
TASHE

You are a racist ignorant uneducated fool to post that. Leave the country! You are un-American! This is not your country, idiot.

zlee
zlee

The writer is spot on. I think people from St Louis are so used to it they are blind. I lived there for 4 years and the racism i've seen there , was the worst i seen anywhere and I've been to many places all over the world.

jim4peace
jim4peace

My opinion is Metrolink does not go to St. Charles county because of St. Charles county racism, not St. Louis.

TASHE
TASHE

You are racist! I'm tired of uneducated people like you saying racism don't exist. Please get some black friends and listen to their stories! Your city is worst city in U.S right now because of racist people like you.

anon
anon

@anonymous nor have they been slaves, but they still hold that as if they were.

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