Ten Disturbingly Racist Things About St. Louis
2. Referring to Muslims as A-Rabs/Soldan Race Riots
This problem is not unique to St. Louis. But the STL is the city that introduced this term to me. It's grown to the point now that people of Middle Eastern decent in the ghetto basically embrace this as a term of endearment. A friend of mine used to refer to all Muslims as Habiedes (pronounced ha-beed). I guess he knew some Arab dude whose name was pronounced this way, so he stuck to it. Some black people seem incapable of not saying the word A-Rab when referring to Muslim folks. It's not normal, and it's not right.
The race riots of Soldan High School during the late '90s between the blacks and Bosnians probably could've tied with this one right here. I had to flip a coin and decide which topic should be No. 9. Blacks and Bosnians have long had suspect race relations between each other in this city. The race riots at Soldan did their part to make sure certain wounds would never heal.
1. Being Any Race Besides Black or White in St. Louis
We're ignorant to any racial group that isn't black or white. We don't understand their culture, and we don't care to learn about it, either. It's either black or white in St. Louis, point blank. And this transcends into everything else. Either you're winning or you're losing. There are no gray areas. If your racial identity consists of anything we don't understand, we quickly scramble and find a way to label you whatever we feel comfortable with. I travel to other cities, and people quite frankly don't give a damn about race as much as St. Louis does. We're stuck in the past in so many regards, and this issue is no different. We don't understand modernized race relations. Black and white dictates everything here. It is well past time that we better understand our own unfair discrimination, no matter the shape or color it takes, and strive to overcome it. It is time to do what is right.
Editor: Tef Poe is an artist from St. Louis city. Through powerful imagery and complicated honesty, he has earned a reputation as one of the best rappers telling the story of St. Louis, which is about much more than one place. Poe has been featured in music publications such as XXL and Urb Magazine. His project The Hero Killer was released on January 21 and will be followed up by a full-length with DJ Burn One entitled Cheer For the Villain. Follow him on twitter @tefpoe. Get The Hero Killer here.
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