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Quarterlife Queer

A never ending story

There was a horrible shoot out at the Kirkwood City Hall last week. I watched it on the news as it played out. Every channel was covering the blood bath that was the result of a much larger problem in all of St. Louis. While St. Louis (City) is ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in the country the County is suffering from other problems, racism and gentrification.

I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t watching the news saying “oooh I hope he is not black”  St. Louis is just not the place that you want to give white people a reason to justify kicking a neighborhood out of a municipality for a shopping center. They have it bad here. The area the shooter was from, Meechum Park, already had that happen. Over half of the neighborhood was used for a mega Walmart and friends development. ( The same has happened in Maplewood for a Walmart, Richmond Heights for a Target, and another part of Richmond Heights that has been slated to be bulldozed in a few years.)

You see St. Louis County has come up with the master plan of buying up all the predominantly black low income neighborhoods and building stores and condos that these people may or may not be able to afford. Its happening in North City as well, even though there was for a long time movement toward rebuilding for the community.

I also know that if they can’t buy you out they will make your life a living hell. I have had many family members and the church I grew up in fall victim to gentrification. The residents in Meechum park are treated like second rate citizens. I have heard plenty of stories about police harassing people and people getting fined for things randomly. I have also heard white people that had to go to city council meetings with their black friends so that the city council would take them serious. But all of this is not new, Meechum Park has been Kirkwood’s step child since segregation. Generations and generations of people have had to endure this treatment.

Does all of that justify a person to kill a bunch of people…. of course not. But I ask what does one do when every other thing doesn’t seem to work? When you just can’t take it and nobody is listening to you because they are too busy trying to keep you and your little neighborhood from being part of theirs? I mean from what I see “war” is how we deal with governments that don’t comply…. right… thats why we are in Iraq..right??

You can only push a person so far before they get desperate , and a desperate person is a dangerous person.

This was backlash of a problem white people in St. Louis don’t think exists, but it does. I think its time to stop ignoring it.


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