St. Louis County has 90 municipalities – ranging in population from 13 to nearly 52,000 – and most of them sustain themselves by targeting, fining and jailing poor Missouri residents, many of them Black, who are unable to pay traffic tickets.
A “white paper” by ArchCity Defenders, a group that defends the poor in the St. Louis area for free, carefully details how Ferguson and other small villages and municipalities in the state have perfected the art of exploiting those who drive while Black – and poor.
White House Director David Johns admittedly gets a little emotional when he talks about improving educational opportunities for black students he affectionally calls “babies” – a nod to his Twitter hashtag #TeachTheBabies.
“Excellence is absent when talking about black kids in education,” said Johns who leads the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. The two-year-old initiative seeks to spark a conversation between school districts across the country on ways to educate low-income black students. “We live in a society where we believe black students aren’t smart. We hear that more black men are in prison than in college and that’s not true. We need to do a better job of policing what’s said about our babies.”
There’s no shortage of calls for racial healing or proposals for community initiatives in slowly back-to-normal Ferguson, Mo. But as the dust settles and the tear gas cannisters pile up in recycle bins, a malignant return to that special brand of Ferguson status quo may be what’s really happening.
After everything that’s happened over the last month—despite management malfeasance on an epic scale—the same city-government officials who were around when Michael Brown was shot on Aug. 9 show no plans of going anywhere anytime soon. They lay comfortably low: a very solid and nearly all-white (save one) political power bloc running a city that’s just under 70 percent African American.
Ray Rice broke his silence Tuesday for the first time following his indefinite suspension by the Baltimore Ravens and the NFL, telling an ESPN reporter that his main objective at the moment was to be strong for his wife, Janay, and his family.
“I have to be strong for my wife. She is so strong. ... We are in good spirits. We have a lot of people praying for us, and we’ll continue to support each other,” Rice said.
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