Saturday, August 16, 2014

Tension in Ferguson

St. Louis has been in the news all week, specifically Ferguson.  An eighteen year old was shot and killed while walking down the middle of a street.  There have been protests and peaceful demonstrations all week, with a lot of looting and destruction.  Everyone wanted to know why the policeman shot the boy and the name of the policeman, but that information was being held.  It got to the point where the policemen were carrying assault rifles and masks and throwing tear gas at people, even reporters. Yesterday the governor of Missouri took over and appointed the chief of highway patrol to handle the demonstrations.  Last night they were more peaceful.  Then today, they finally gave the name of the policeman and ironically, they began showing a tape of the murdered boy stealing some cigars from a small convenience store.  Apparently the policeman did not know about the robbery, but shot the boy who was on his knees with his hands up, execution style.  Now the policeman has left town.  What a mess. 

They keep talking on he news and in the paper about black neighborhoods and how they often have only white policemen, and how they need more black officers.  There is so much racial tension in St. Louis.  I wonder why we still have so many "black" neighborhoods.  I guess it's because we are one of the most segregated cities in our country.  There has been little effort to integrate our neighborhoods.  We live in Webster Groves, which does have a fair amount of blacks, but they are all in Rock Hill, part of Webster.  I remember in high school people called it "Hershey Hill," jokingly, and that was fifty years ago.  It's still the same.  And I remember twenty years ago when I taught at Ranken Technical College, which was predominantly black, the students would write about being stopped often for "driving while black."  Now it seems they are no longer able to walk while black. 

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