Jacology – St. Louis Hates To Talk About Race

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - St. Louisans hate to talk about race. Except we talk about it all the time. We just never mention race while we're doing it. When we talk about city re-development or suburban sprawl or crime or mass transit or government spending or failing schools. We're talking about race.

There was a town hall meeting in South St. Louis County this week about a project to build housing for low-income elderly folks. The audience was against it. The developer in Columbus, Ohio said they had built things like this across the US and had never run into this sort of thing before. The complaints were aboutr the elderly renting, not owning. The complaints were about area resiedents not being notified. But the developer apparently thinks that people saw low-income and the federal department of housing and urban development (HUD) and thought, black people would move in.

A few years back, St. Charles County voted down expanding MetroLink in to the midst of the subnurban sprawl. The complaints were about lack of planning and lack of notification and the route MetroLink would run. But everyone to whom I've ever spoken about it says race was the real complaint. Fear that low-income African-Americans would take yher train into St. Charles and commit crimes.

Before we ghet too self-righteous, remember, when we talk crime in the area we're also talking about race. low-inmcome black areas tend to have horrific crime rates. When a lot of these folks see black people, they see crime waiting to happen and then react. They think the city and mass transit are crime ridden because of that. And we can talk about all of this and never mention race once.

I'm Charles Jaco and That's Jacology.