Bad News: World's Most Important City, Ferguson, Elects White Mayor
April 07, 2017, 07:00 AM
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From the New York Times:
2 Years After Racial Turmoil, Ferguson Re-elects White Mayor


James Knowles III won re-election this week as the mayor of Ferguson, Mo., disappointing some activists trying to increase black representation in politics.

FERGUSON, Mo. — When a national movement for racial justice flared here two and a half years ago, activists nationwide hoped to upend the political order. Ferguson was one of many predominantly black communities across the country that were under white control, and they strategized about ways to change that.

But those hopes for sweeping increases in black political leadership have not come to fruition, a point driven home in the mayoral election this week.

Although much of the activism today stems from the killing of Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson, voters here — at least the few who turned out — re-elected James Knowles III, a white Republican who has been the object of much scorn among those who believe the city has discriminated against black people. About 67 percent of the city’s 21,000 residents are black, and 29 percent are white, according to the 2010 census.

Some activists are now assessing what is happening politically for black people and whether there needs to be a complete rethinking of how they engage with mainstream politics.

“With all that’s happened within the past two years nationally, I think I am concerned,” said Allen Frimpong, an activist based in New York.

Now, you and I might recall that New York City once elected a black mayor way back in the 1980s. But that turned out to be such a traumatic experience that the nice people of NYC haven’t done it since. In fact, the next five elections in a row after booting out poor David Dinkins, they voted against the Democratic nominees.

Of course, important people live in New York, such as New York Times subscribers, so New Yorkers can’t risk taking a chance on a black mayor again. But New Yorkers are all in favor of Ferguson having a black mayor. Who knows, it might make the ever declining numbers of African-Americans still taking up space in NYC feel more comfortable in moving to pathetic suburbs, such as, to pick a random example, Ferguson.

To be sure, the Black Lives Matter movement has made significant gains nationwide in areas ranging from policing to education.
Not to mention looting and burning much of Ferguson’s commercial strip.
But the barriers that black and other marginalized communities face in engaging and succeeding in politics run deep, organizers and political observers said. Many black communities remain skeptical that any single candidate can erase what they see as generations of unfair treatment by political leaders.
I blame FDR’s redlining.
… Voters in nearby St. Louis, also a center of activism after the Brown shooting, also elected a white mayor, who received support from the departing white incumbent over a slew of well-known black candidates.

“To me, Missouri as a whole is ground zero” in the fight for racial justice, said Stefanie Brown James, a political strategist. “For Ferguson and St. Louis to not elect black candidates, that frustrates and angers me.”

If all the black people in New York City got on buses and moved to St. Louis that would be great for Bed-Stuy property values for Black Lives Matter!

In other news, Ziad Ahmed’s press agent reported that the Princeton teenager was moving to Ferguson to lead the resistance against Trump’s racism: “But, funny thing, it turns out that first he has to spend four years in Palo Alto. You can be sure, though, he’ll be moving to Ferguson right after that.”

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