Images of Ferguson Burning, Via Google Image Search[Previously by Paul Kersey: Feds Lynching Ferguson—But First They Fouled It Up, With Section 8 Housing]The Main Stream Media has gone back to Manhattan to watch for its next target (probably some hapless frat boy) but the residents of Ferguson, Missouri are living with an economic nightmare. And, thanks to the MSM’s Politically Correct riot, the worst is yet to come.What makes this all the more tragic is the implicit acknowledgement by the MSM that there wasn’t much racial injustice or public anger to begin with. As the New York Times wrote:
For years, local leaders in Ferguson ran unopposed in elections that drew 12 percent of registered voters, only single-digit percentages of black residents and almost exclusively white candidates.Now, eight candidates, many first-time political hopefuls, are trying to fill three of the seven Council seats; all three are being vacated by members who decided not to run again. City officials said the candidacies were unprecedented: Four African-Americans are running this year, compared with a total of three in Ferguson’s previous 120 years.[City Council Races Offer Change in Ferguson After Months of Upheaval, By Jack Healy and John Eligon, March 14, 2015]So the MSM has successfully followed the Saul Alinsky strategy of “rubbing raw the resentments of the people of the community.” But if Ferguson were a hotbed of racial hostility, wouldn’t more than three black people have run for office in the city’s entire previous history?Of course, the surge in black population and resulting increase in crime and instability is relatively recent. And the real explanation for the collapse of Ferguson wasn’t just the increase of a black population, but the surge in the Section 8 voucher population. That increase from 300 households receiving aid in 2000 to 800 in 2010—numbers that don’t include the number of people living in each home [Ferguson, MO Emblematic of Growing Suburban Poverty, by Elizabeth Kneebone, Brookings, August 15, 2014].The most dramatic case: the Canfield Green apartments, the location where Officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown, and a frequent source of complains about crime [Diverse police forces are not a panacea for fatal police shootings, by Jesse Bogan, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 3, 2014].As Gregory Hood noted in RADIX, Section 8 Vouchers represent “state policy, not a failure of government” and “the deliberate importation of a criminal class that devastated property values, eradicated social capital, and created permanent and insolvable racial conflict.” [ENDGAME, March 9, 2015].So what’s happened to Ferguson?Businesses that have left town since the unrest began include:
David Pope [an independent real estate broker] has been unable to find a buyer for a Ferguson building with 12 apartment units and ground-floor retail space - even before protesters this week smashed the windows of the retail shops."If I had to sell it today, I'd probably have to give it away," he said. [Come spring, 'For Sale' signs expected in U.S. riot-hit town, Reuters, November 28, 2014]And the problem has only gotten worse since then.
The average selling price of a home in the city has been on a steady decline since the shooting of Brown last August, according to housing data compiled from MARIS, an information and statistics service for real estate agents. Prior to Brown’s death, the average home sold in 2014 was selling for $66,764. For the last three and a half months of the year, the average home sold for $36,168, a 46 percent decrease.The trend has continued on through this year, with the average home selling for only $22,951 so far in 2015. Another negative indicator: in the eight and a half months leading up to Brown’s death, the average residential square foot in 2014 was selling for $45.82.[Ferguson home values are plummeting, and residents are feeling the pain, by Daniel Rivera, Fusion, March 16, 2015]John Zissler’s tire store was one of the victims of August 10’s looting [Zissler Tire owner despondent over looting of store, by Chris Higgins, Fox 2, August 11, 2014]. He opened Zisser’s Tires in 1987, when Ferguson was nearly 80 percent white. Now, he is quoted in the Fusion article as saying,
“If I sold this place today, I could probably get $300,000 for it, if anyone is crazy enough to buy. Last year, the county said this lot was worth almost a million,” he says. “The value here is all going down. There’s about nine burnt-out buildings this way,” he says, pointing. “And about four more behind me.”What’s the human cost of all this? Consider the case of one Barbara Bandy:
Barbara Bandy has been trying to sell her house for nearly a year, with no luck…She was optimistic when she started. It’s a nice Cape Cod with four bedrooms and two baths, built in the 1950s. In 2011, the St. Louis County assessor put its value at $117,500. She says she spent $20,000 fixing it up for sale…But when Bandy put it on the market, it sat. It wouldn’t sell at $98,000.She cut the price to $94,000. She switched real estate agents, cut the price to $84,500 and still it sits.“Now they want me to strike the price down again. Do you think that’s fair?” asks the elderly widow, who lived in the house for 40 years.Her real estate agent also wants her to offer to finance part of the buyer’s mortgage. “What do they think I am? A bank?”Her problem may be location. Her house is in Ferguson.Ferguson is a picture of pleasant suburbia, a town of tree-lined streets and well-kept homes, much of them built for the middle class at mid-century.But Ferguson is in north St. Louis County, and the area is suffering from one of the region’s weakest real estate markets. That’s worrying county officials, who fear it may reflect deeper economic problems in parts of North County.[Blame poverty, age for weak North County home market, by Jim Gallagher, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 18, 2013Bandy moved into her home in Ferguson in 1973, when she was 43 years old. She raised her children in a nearly all white city but was trapped in a home she couldn’t sell in 2013 when Ferguson was 70 percent black.How many widowed, elderly white women like Bandy are there across America?And this piece was published in the summer of 2013—a full year before Michael Brown attempted to steal Officer Darren Wilson’s gun. We can only imagine what her house is worth now.Where does all this leave the whites who are left in Ferguson? A condescending article in the Huffington Post covered a recent Ferguson City Council Meeting in which a primarily elderly white crowd discussed the future of the city. One candidate for city council, Mike McGrath,
drew strong support from the audience when he said the residents of Ferguson’s apartment complexes, who are mostly black, didn’t care as much about the city as the homeowners.As McGrath put it: “We have an issue with that part of town and they’ve been a bad part of town for a long time, sadly.” [At Ferguson City Council Debate, Some Still Don’t See a Problem After Brutal DOJ Report, by Mariah Stewart, March 10, 2015] No doubt that that “bad part of town” has long been a problem. But the whites of Ferguson still don’t seem to understand what has happened to their city.The federal government is responsible for creating that “bad part of town” and for making sure those who live there inherit the city government—and for the falling property values that ensure whites can’t even leave the disaster that their city has become.What’s next in Ferguson? It will become just another economically devastated Third World failure like Detroit, Birmingham, or Selma.But along with economic collapse, Ferguson is likely to see an increase in black political power. And despite the fact that Ferguson blacks be governing a wasteland, that will be enough for the Obama Administration and its pets in the MSM to call it Mission Accomplished.Just another idea watching your tax dollars at work in modern America.Paul Kersey[Email him] is the author of the blog SBPDL, and has published the books SBPDL Year One, Hollywood in Blackface and Escape From Detroit, Opiate of America: College Football in Black and White and Second City Confidential: The Black Experience in Chicagoland. His latest book is The Tragic City: Birmingham 1963-2013.