GRANT’S FARM (KPLR) – Hillary Clinton made her first campaign stop in St. Louis Tuesday but did not talk to local reporters. She appeared at an invitation only discussion in North St. Louis County. Racism and opportunities for young people were among the topics at Christ the King United Church of Christ.
It was the kind of visit some African-American pastors fear may become common place during the presidential campaign after the unrest in Ferguson and now the mass shooting in Charleston.
For decades they say, political and civic leaders have ignored issues of racism. Missouri State Rep. Tommie Pierson who is also a pastor in North County said, “When we needed them we couldn’t get in touch with them. Now that the campaign has kicked off they are coming here. Yes it bothers me. … I see this as a self-serving event.”
Glasgow Village Pastor Eugene Greer warned “It’s not gonna be you are going to use our influence to get yourself a vote in order to get in office and still have the same issues.”
Clinton supporter and U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill praised Clinton for tackling a controversial issue like racism. “I haven’t noticed the other candidates talking about how we level the playing field. I think she really wants to get at the hard problems and I think it shows she is willing to talk about problems that make many Americans uncomfortable.”
A pool video of the discussion was provided to media outlets.
Tuesday evening supporters gathered for a campaign fund raiser at the Busch family home at Grant’s Farm in the Affton area. The event for Clinton was hosted by Trudy Busch Valentine.