Ten Disturbingly Racist Things About St. Louis

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JWolff-STL

4. Driving While Black in St. Louis County
Yeah, this one doesn't really need a explanation. I once worked for the mayor as a canvasser. One day I was sent to his neighborhood to work and knock on doors with my partner. We were educating St. Louis voters about a particular proposition on the ballot when we had the cops called on us. We were only about four to five blocks away from Slay's own home.

Another time, I was walking home from the studio in north county, early in the morning, and the cops pulled me over while I was walking. How the hell do you pull a person over if they're on foot?

And last but not least, I've learned that my black ass doesn't have any business whatsoever being in west county past 8 p.m. I swear, if the cops flag me in any of those neighborhoods, I'm going to jail. That's all she wrote. There is no rebuttal. I can be innocent of all crimes, but it doesn't matter in these circumstances. I am guilty until proven innocent.

See also: 10 Worst Places to Drive Black in St. Louis

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Sofía Salom

3. The Dress Codes at Certain Public Establishments
These nonsense dress codes usually are spelled out in plain English: "No doo-rags, no fitted caps, no Air Jordans". Union Station at one point was notorious for this. Officials there even stopped Nelly and asked him to remove his doo-rag. This incident occurred at the height of his popularity, and I'm willing to bet Nelly and his millions have never set another foot inside Union Station.

Most people probably don't see how this is considered discriminatory behavior, and I'm sure many will say these dress code rules are designed to eliminate gang/criminal activity. The truth is, though, the rules are always off the mark. Union Station had a doo-rag ban, but it still sold Cardinals and Blues apparel. Doo-rags have nothing to do with gang activity. The colors red and blue, however, have everything to do with gang activity. I'm not saying we need to ban our hometown sports apparel, but I am saying to tighten up on your discrimination excuses and come up with something that's more concrete, logical and effective. The only thing worse than this is the "pop-up dress code" rule. The white guy in front of you in line at the Oz has on the same exact outfit. He's cleared and allowed to enter the club, yet when it's your turn the bouncer says your shirt is too long.

Continue to page four for more.


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927 comments
floe
floe

Great article.  Shocking racism in STL though deniers will deny by saying something else racist.

Julie Frederickson
Julie Frederickson

This is the most ridiculous article I have ever read. Rotfl. I feel I just got dumber after reading that.

jbishop1987
jbishop1987

(sigh) I guess we need BBC here AGAIN to spell out how strong the racism here is since its own citizens that commenting don't want to believe it.

nanababy9
nanababy9

Writer needs to learn the difference between racism and racial profiling and racial stereotyping. I did from my Black sociology teacher. Racism is when you feel another race is inferior to your own. Most white people don't, they are just "scared" and stereotype based on little information they have received. And foreign people are awesome it's a way to get some cultural learning without all the expensive traveling!

Zepel Anderson
Zepel Anderson

How is no saggin rule racist....I'm black and I agree with the no saggin rule, because this saggin pants crap is not part of our culture...

Maren Elisabeth
Maren Elisabeth

This a joke. Making problems in areas where there aren't. Not that STL is perfect. But you're going to find racism in any city if you look hard enough. This is trying to get people upset and further divide them. I have lived in St. Louis for almost 22 years and one of the last places you're going to see blatant acts of intention racism is downtown St. Louis. There are PLENTY of other more than logical and reasonable purposes for some of the "issues" presented in this article but the author would rather turn them all in the race issues.

Lauren MadMax Conner
Lauren MadMax Conner

Ive worked in plenty of restaurants and bars that had dress codes. You're causing problems where there aren't problems.

Josh Sample
Josh Sample

Omg give it up on the stupid dress code.

Shayne Hummel
Shayne Hummel

Dress code should be like always "No shoes, no shirt, no pants worn below your butt , NO SERVICE " DA!...... no wonder this City does not mature.

baubrey89
baubrey89

Yeah, I'm another white guy posting on here. Some of the things said here carry some weight, some not so much. I grew up in KC, went to college in Columbia and live in North County now. I've been in the St. Louis area for five years. Let me be the first to tell you St. Louis is the least racially charged of all three cities I've lived in. I graduated from a marginally middle income high school with over 600 kids. We had less than 50 minority graduates(if you exclude caucasian females as minorities.) KC is highly segregated, St. Louis not so much. Yes, the Delmar Divide is interesting and the cops over-zealous towards minorities. (I worked the Jimmy John's at the end of Delmar for 2 years as a Delivery Driver.) The real truth is that you can find racism anywhere in our society if you look hard enough. This article should've been less about how awfully racist our city is, and more about the fact that 50+ years since the Civil Rights Movement, racism is still unbelievably abundant.

Dennis Springer
Dennis Springer

Rft..just tried to make it a race issue with your comment asshole

Jason King IAm Glover
Jason King IAm Glover

Inevitably, white people either claiming that they have a similar experience because they grew up in an all black neighborhood and got chased on the way home from school a few times and OMG THAT IS SO RACIST and it is the exact same thing and they expect that ignorance to be suffered in silence and with respect. diminishes and minimalizes the real and actual experiences of People of color who really do encounter racism. There is no system of oppression in America that actively works to oppress and subjugate white people. Sorry to break it to you, but your individual suffering is just that, individual. The individuals acting against you do not have the institutionalized power to actively oppress you in every facet of your life, nor would their racism be upheld and supported by government, media, and legislation if they did. Because you’re white. Written by Sara Luckey

Jason King IAm Glover
Jason King IAm Glover

I agree with those who say topics in this article not racist but it do have that it could be. At the same time when you treated a certain way or go through certain things that's deal with race it's easy to put things in that group. If people spend more time on educating themselves about what some/few black people go through you wouldn't be quick to down play the article. Yes it's like a conspiracy you see it and know the signs are there but there's no 100% proof to prove it. Just because a few people of another ethic wear something/do something that another ethic use/do on a basic doesn't mean they not singled out a certain group.

LilCrystal StLouis
LilCrystal StLouis

Rft is always going on about #STL is racist. Hello I'm white & I'm the minority! I think the writers are bitter about their own experiences, yes the dress code does suck but why is it about race? Geezzz

Deb Woods
Deb Woods

Ok beyond the dress code - SOME bars at BPV are charging a $1 cover charge that MUST BE paid by credit card after 9p at night. That is not necessarily racist but it IS DISCRIMINATORY. I guess they want to make sure you have the proper economic status before they let you in. That makes me sad.

Doug Thompson
Doug Thompson

Basketball hoops would be torn to pieces like the housing projects.

Joshua Steinmetz
Joshua Steinmetz

I'm gonna guess more than half of you idiots didn't even read this article before getting upset that someone said the word racism. He's pretty thoughtful and points out problems in several different demographics in our town. One only needs to scroll through the comments under this article to grasp how uncomfortable and uptight white people get when someone utters the R word.

David Grubbs
David Grubbs

I didn't bother finishing the article. I stopped at the basketball hoops. I don't want to make any conclusions about race, but I think we can agree that while basketball hoops in observed gymnasiums are a wonderful contribution to society and the youth population there of, while unobserved basketball courts are hotbeds of violent crime and drug use. Anyone who disagrees, doesn't go to public courts. Secondly, I won't have the unsavory ethics of west and north county bureaucrats sully the name of my good city. Anyone with a brain and a 631XX zip code would have called this article 9 half truths about STL racism and very unsettling inconvenience by west/north county racist landowners. I don't know who this author, but I name him/her a poor journalist.

Bailey Moonchild
Bailey Moonchild

This article is absurd. Whoever wrote this is really stretching the truth to make a story. I think this article is more rascist than any of its content. It should be taken down

Ali Rockwell
Ali Rockwell

Only comments in disagreement I've seen are from white people. Coincedence?

Gina Dillard
Gina Dillard

This is full of more racist stereotypes than actual racist reasoning.

Cindy Cernicek-Evans
Cindy Cernicek-Evans

I must share that I lived in the greater St. Louis area until I was about 26 years of age. 25 years later I am still traumatized by the various acts of racism I experienced, including being physically assaulted by a teacher while in elementary school. My husband and I are both docs. He used to get pulled over on his way to c patients at the hospital ... For driving while black. Perhaps the issue is one of perspective.

Genia Way
Genia Way

Please don't trivialize racism with the BPV.

Gina Dillard
Gina Dillard

Cam someone explain how a dress code can be racist? Why aren't schools being sued?

Connie Yount Adams
Connie Yount Adams

Obviously you are not from St. Louis Patricia. White people here can be just as poor and homeless as any other race. Privileges -- that's just funny. (FYI_ I work with homeless and whites aren't any different than any of the other races when it comes to poverty).

Connie Yount Adams
Connie Yount Adams

This article takes the "race card" way too far. Doo Rags aren't just a "black thing". Bikers of all races where them too. People having a gated community doesn't make them racist, it makes them conscious of their safety and security. I could go on and on and break down just about every one of your so-called "disturbing" things (that are definitely not facts) but the biggest thing I want to say here is that the writer of this article is probably more racist than anyone just for noticing such stupid NON-racist things and turning them into something racist. As for cultures other than black or white, I know first hand that St. Louis is rich with diversity and we DO try to embrace other cultures. Shame on you for lumping the whole city into your tiny little biased world.

Paul LaBelle
Paul LaBelle

Until people are physically incapable of buying certain items of clothing because of their skin tone dress codes are not racist. No one forces anyone to sag or wear long t shirts or khaki shorts or baseball caps.

Kirk Ward
Kirk Ward

What a steaming pile of crap! You're the racist for thinking successful people should lower their standards. If it wasn't for the crime, do you think there would be gates? What a moron! If you really want to help your people, learn about what it takes to be successful and teach it to those you say are held down by "Da Man"!

James Bryan Welch
James Bryan Welch

I've considered unfriending RFT, but am trying to b tolerant. We'll see how that goes.

Paul LaBelle
Paul LaBelle

Rft must not be getting enough hits so they trot out this three or four year old article that's full of bullshit made up racism and the hits come rolling in

Mike Clay
Mike Clay

RFT, you're the epitome of the liberal media. It is because of people like you that racism is still an issue. I have an idea that you, like the rest of the media, is losing ratings, business, etc and you have to post articles like these to keep a ember burning so you don't completely go out. Go join your buddies at CNN and find MH 360 so you both can RIP.

Kevin K Neumann
Kevin K Neumann

So only black people play basketball? Your article is racist.

Christian Anderson
Christian Anderson

I'm not saying that, and it sounds like you might have more experience and insight than most white folks here about racism, discrimination and labeling. But again, this article is much more than the headline and talks about many other things besides dress codes.

Mimi Le Yu
Mimi Le Yu

I love that all the white people are commenting on how none of these things are racist. Quit attacking the RFT. Tef Poe is a fantastic artist. RFT writes articles that cover a wide range of stuff. If you don't like what you are reading, then don't read it, and don't post how much you don't like reading it because you look dumb. If you have a good point of discussion, then by all means share, but most of these comments just opinionated and small minded judgements of the article instead of offering valid counter points.

David Vinyard
David Vinyard

This could pass for an article on the onion, but that would actually be an insult to the onion.

Mark Ballard
Mark Ballard

I think this article is racist. I'm sorry, but calling the arch racist towards natives is like saying I'm racist for having lived there. It's intended purpose was to celebrate westward expansion. Although the oppression of natives occurred during this time, westward expansion could have and sometimes did exist in the absence of such things. Don't get me started on the rest of the article! This toolshed is looking for racism behind every cup & saucer! Give me a break!

Bill Ground
Bill Ground

News flash, RFT: If you think a stricter dress code is harder on minorities, YOU'RE actually the racists.

Brian Sanguinet
Brian Sanguinet

I stopped at "Forest Park's lack of basketball hoops." I certainly hope this journalist didn't come from my great alma matter Mizzou and their great J school. Is this written by a real, professional journalist? This article is a complete joke and is almost as pathetic as an angry middle school kid venting and pulling the race card for every argument. I think Facebook is racist because their colors are only blue/white and not black........and to assume the dress code applies to blacks only is racist in itself as it insinuates blacks are the only ones who dress like bums-which is certainly not the case.

Ben Mansfield
Ben Mansfield

I wear a lot of the banned items Is this all you can do to get readers?

Russ Losing
Russ Losing

No riverfront times that is not what your referring to you were talking about racism and poi ting out how it still occy in st Louis.Therfore we pointed out significant problems and occurrences to your 1 thru 10 list.I didn't even mention businesses lost to businesses gained that come with the element to the many different county's or municipalities I mainly stated we don't want metro link in st Charles.As for racism whoever wrote this article sounds to me like they are hiding behind the term racism and shame on riverfront times for allowing it to be printed Facts are Facts. Drive through any of the areas I mentioned or go down to Washington street on Friday or saturday night

Mickey Bentley
Mickey Bentley

I happen to be a white guy who doesn't fit that dress code. And as far as experiencing descrimination. I've been through it all. Wigger, green nigger, white bread etc. I'll agree it is a class issue, but not a race issue. I'm lower class, but not black. Don't assume everyone in this class is black, cuz once again: That is racist.

Tracey Lenz
Tracey Lenz

Go pick on another city we are no different then any other city. Get a life

Christian Anderson
Christian Anderson

That's cool and doesn't surprise, but we're talking about more than baggy pants and dress codes in this piece. The author makes some points worth thinking about here before we dismiss all of it as stupid and acting as if racism has nothing to do with it.

homer19
homer19

Black people are the only ones keeping racism up. Everything is holding down the black man. Well if they would actually get their shit together and not suck down every town into poverty, while maybe getting a job and getting off welfare, then maybe they would be looked at as equals. Not all but just the ones that say hey your holding down the black man. Look at it from a black man huh. Well look at it from a white man. Black people have way more rights then whites do. Black schools, holidays, bla bla bla. So quit bitching and get the held down black man off his ass and actually do something besides handouts and try working. God I'm so tired of hearing it's because I'm black. Listen. If 9 times out of 10 it becomes true. Then I guess that's not racism. It's just the way it is. God they should fire you.

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