Boots on the ground, from loyal commentor Ozark Hillbilly:
Last Monday, STL had several riots, not just the one in Ferguson. South Grand business district was pretty well trashed as well with the looting of about 2 dozen stores. It is a neighborhood I know well as I first started hanging out down there 4 decades ago as a teenager. Over the past few weeks I have been working on an apartment there and Friday morn I went for a walk with my camera.
Thought folks might want to see that STL may well be racist, but it is a whole lot more than that as well. The 2 “brothers” asked that I take their pic. My fav I think is the Arch.
What’s on the agenda for the start of a fresh week?
One thing I forgot to mention was that the rioting was Monday night, the board up was Tuesday morning, a call went out and the art happened Tuesday night. My son was there and he said he had never seen so many people there on a Tuesday night before.
Also, one I didn’t send you:
“Open your eyes
Open your heart
Justice is blind but we can see”
Nice collection of photos, O.H. – thanks for taking them! I’m no art critic, but those murals look pretty good, especially given how quickly* they were done.
[*from your comment at #1]
I’m really hoping the community will be able to pull out something positive from all the awfulness, and build on it.
@OzarkHillbilly: How beautiful! Thank you so much. In the 1968 student riots in france one of the graffitto said ” under the conblestones:sand” the students had pulled up the cobblestones to use as wespons but they were also critiquing the stability of the old order. What is scrawled on the wall reflects what is in peoples dreams and hearts.
Joe Scar’s offended by the Rams.
Relevant to the previous thread, this morning from local sports columnist Bernie Miklasz:
“The Rams are also trying to figure out what to do in response to the roiling events in Ferguson. The Rams organization hosted Ferguson business owners for Sunday’s game. During pregame introductions the Rams’ five wide receivers (Wide receivers Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin, Chris Givens and Kenny Britt and tight end Jared Cooke) emerged from the tunnel with the “Hands Up” gesture to convey solidarity with those protesting the police shooting death of Ferguson teenager Michael Brown on Aug. 9.
“The Rams’ symbolic show of support will probably create more controversy in a racially polarized community. But players have a right to express their views — just as fans have the right to agree or disapprove of the Rams’ opinions.
“But please don’t tell me that players should keep their mouths shut on a volatile issue that’s confronting St. Louis in a profound way. And it’s about time that people speak up so we can have open dialogue on a matter of critical importance. This isn’t North Korea.”
Bernie M, love him or hate him (I often do both) is no shrinking violet and this morning I say, “Dog bless you Mr Miklasz.”
@BillinGlendaleCA: To paraphrase the immortal Hawkeye Pierce, “The instrument has yet to be invented that can measure my indifference to Joe’s offense-taking.”
Back to work, albeit it will be a short month. School lets out in three weeks for the holidays and I am sure the PTB (powers-that-be) will find plenty of crap to seagull me before then.
@OzarkHillbilly: Them guys done good, and that gesture had to be warmly received by folks in Ferguson badly in need of support from high places. They won’t likely get such support from the current crop of major politicians – they certainly haven’t so far – so support from the local major sports franchise will have to do.
Of course there will be a day (or a few days) of sputtering incoherent racist tweets/posts all over twitter & FB in response. Nothing new there, sadly. H8rzzz gonna h8…
Impressive art. Pretty and real. I like the firey violet bird. I like it all.
Those are some beautiful pieces. Especially love the bear fetish; that has deep symbolism for me.
I love street art anyway, so these are fantastic to see. Thanks for sharing, and I like the arch one best too.
@BillinGlendaleCA: Joe offends me every time he opens his mouth.
Banksy would be proud of some of the art work.
I’m only about 2/3 through this rather lengthy interview of Chris Rock by Frank Rich, but it’s pretty good. And out of the bunch of good stuff over there, I liked this in particular:
I suppose he’s right on that “nicer white people” bit, though it doesn’t feel like it lately; we don’t own slaves anymore, so I guess, um, yay?
h/t Jeb Lund aka “Mobute”
@OzarkHillbilly: Thank you! I’d read this had happened but hadn’t seen pictures. I’m so glad to see them.
@sharl: A lot of those “nicer white people” are the ones posting hate-filled crap on FB and elsewhere. Polling indicates that a large majority of white people in this country are not particularly nice.
Iowa Old Lady
@BillinGlendaleCA: Joe Scar needs to STFU. I wish every NFL player, black and white, would come out with his hands up next week.
ETA: I’m getting angrier at JS as I sit here. He’s not the plantation boss.
@beltane: Yeah I thought of that too. I doubt those hateful crackers go to Chris Rock shows, although I’m sure Rock is aware of THEIR existence. I assume he is using “nicer” in a very strict manner, i.e., comparison of current status (really awful) to earlier status (super awful). So yeah, we’ve climbed a few yards above base camp, but the summit is 14000′ further up.
At least I assume that’s what he meant.
Here is Ross Douthat, a nicer white person, blaming Ferguson on liberals: http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2014/11/30/204447/22
I prefer out in the open white supremacists like Pat Buchanan to this type of passive-aggressive postuing.
It would be nice if some of those panels could be saved as a permanent exhibit somewhere. They are very well done, beautiful and meaningful. It would be a shame for them to be destroyed as the stores are restored and reopened.
Doesn’t he blame everything on liberals? I thought he was a one-trick pony.
@Iowa Old Lady: But he probably thinks he is at some sub-level of his Id.
@sharl: He is talking about white “kids today”. I don’t know about any one else’s but mine certainly are nicer. But then, racism was personal for them.
Beautiful artwork. Thanks for sharing this with us Ozarkhillbilly!
According to Joe, a guy that just knows, 95% of Americans feel the same way.
@bemused: 95% of white Americans, which are the only ones that count of course.
I think that poll is skewed.
The white guys who just know polls always trump those liberal biased polls.
Thanks for these pics. They are beautiful. I had heard about the artwork, but hadn’t seen any.
I’m home from the holidays, having survived my voyage into S. Texas and time with my parents. My father believes there should have been a trial for Darren Wilson and thinks most of the fires, etc were caused by outside agitators operating under cover of darkness and blames the prosecutor. My mother wonders why white people don’t burn their towns down when they are shot. My father is trying to learn basic Spanish – mostly vocabulary, little grammar at this point. My mother doesn’t understand why everyone doesn’t speak English.
I’m glad to be home.
Wonderful, wonderful pics. For those that don’t live in the area West Ferguson is the highly, highly African American part of town. Also the part that burned to the ground (estimated more than 15 businesses). Also in the local news here in St. Louis, not a single business owner they talked to on camera wasn’t African American.
I just refuse to believe that the citizens of Ferguson nor those from surrounding communities torched their own part of town. I got no idea who did it. None. And I don’t really think the police are looking into it much. Not seen on the local TV news, KMOX (our big news/radio station), nor in the Post-Dispatch a single arrest made for arson.
Maybe yet ANOTHER reason the African American citizens of the area are not “raving fans” of the police.
We left Ohio and went to St. Louis for Thanksgiving, and ate out on South Grand on Wednesday night (at Roosters).
I was an art major back in the day, and I’ve long been a fan of street art, so I enjoyed a lot of the images on the plywood that had been slapped up to protect the all the street’s plate glass windows.
However, the two images I saw that night that moved me the most weren’t images, they were words, and neither was on the main drag (and so not a part of the organized effort to decorate the plywood).
One was a sign on a side street’s restaurant’s courtyard that said, “Black skin is not a weapon,” and the other was on a nearby residential street, in a home’s front window and said, “Justice denied to one is justice denied to all.”
No, I don’t like violence, don’t like riots, am sad that it came to that. But the Peace, Love and Unity themes seemed a little premature to me, almost a denial of the legitimate anger underlying the riots. I kept hearing the lyrics, “Not ready to make nice” in my mind’s ear.
My St. Louis in-laws were an interesting case study. They had been appalled at Michael Brown’s killing and at Darren Wilson’s getting off; they had supported the peaceful protests. But after the riots, particularly the one on South Grand, they declared that they no longer cared about anything to do with Brown and Wilson, they were too angry about their neighborhood being destroyed, and businesses (particularly the restaurants) they frequent and consider their own being harmed.
inb4 trolls start talking about how the blacks are vandalizing stores with their gang graffitis…..
@sharl: That’s a good interview. I like Rock’s perspective on race relations. He says that white people were crazy; they’ve gotten less crazy. Interesting angle you don’t see enough of in our media. Being a comedian lets him speak frankly about where problems really exist. Thanks for linking to it.
Mom must have missed seeing tv broadcasts of rioting, vandalizing stores, burning cars, etc after pro/college sports and other events done by a whole lot of people with white faces.
@bemused: I did mention that. It’s not worth getting into arguments with her about anything. She’s not going to change her mind. Lost cause.
True from my experiences with some family members too. It’s just so depressing hearing it from people who are decent human beings in so many ways. It’s very disillusioning to learn that they aren’t who I thought they were.
J R in WV
Think Progress has an interesting article quoting Judge Tony Scalia on what went wrong in the St Louis grand jury. Judge Tony actually makes sense! For this one time!
Being a passive-aggressive busybody is Ross’s raison d’être.
Booman says some good stuff in there, especially the entire segment after he quotes Ross’s conclusion.
@J R in WV: unfortunately, the article is merely using scalia’s past reasoning to point out it supports questioning mccullough’s tactics. but you can be certain that scalia would ignore his previous comments on the function of the GJ to support mccullough if he had to make a comment on the situation.
@OzarkHillbilly: I don’t understand the heartburn that the Ram’s players’ symbolism has induced — those men are precisely the demographic that is the target of lethal police actions and I’m positive they have been the object of racist actions by cops like being pulled over for driving a nice vehicle in a predominately white neighborhood. Take them out of their football uniforms and have them walk down any street and cops will see them as the next Michael Brown.
@Petorado: Oh, after my weekend in St. Louis, I understand. The players should have come out singing Kumbaya, that would have been acceptable (please read in ironic tone).
@PurpleGirl: A lot of the boarded-up stores are open; many of the boards will have notes like “OPEN TO SERVE YOU” on them.
Nicely done, Ozark.
[‘Damn I wish I lived near there. Or then again, maybe I don’t.’]
Another Holocene Human
@sharl: I agree, those murals look amazing.
Another Holocene Human
@sharl: I laughed out loud. Apply lotion to the burn.