Raid a QuikTrip and then burn it down, the state will inevitably bow down to your demands. [Nixon creates 'Office of Community Engagement' in wake of Ferguson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 9-18-14]:
Gov. Jay Nixon today announced the creation of a state "Office of Community Engagement," which will focus on issues in minority and low-income communities in the wake of the Ferguson riots.
Nixon appointed former Missouri state Sen. Maida Coleman as director of the new office. Former St. Louis City Municipal Judge Marvin Teer was appointed deputy director and general counsel.
Coleman will be paid $120,000 annually and Teer will be paid $110,000 annually.
“Across our state, Missouri communities are facing serious issues involving race, educational and economic opportunities, and poverty,” Nixon said in a written statement. The new office, he said, “will be responsible for facilitating meaningful communication about these issues that will yield concrete results . . . and help to develop specific policies to address them.”
Under an executive order Nixon signed today, the new office will be housed within the state Office of Administration. Its duties will include "engaging communities, public and private sector leaders, clergy and citizens across the state in communication regarding critical issues affecting Missouri communities," according to the statement.
The new office may make recommendations to the state Department of Economic Development, Missouri Community Service Commission, Missouri Housing Development Commission and other boards, commissions and agencies that administer programs designed to assist low-income individuals.Why might certain Missouri communities [black] be facing serious issues involving race, educational and economic opportunities, and poverty? Perhaps two stories from the past six years in St. Louis will help illustrate why the Office of Community Engagement is destined for failure. [Black leaders in St. Louis to recruit 'street teams' in anti-crime campaign, Missourian, 6-8-2008]:
Black leaders who organized an anti-crime march that drew tens of thousands last weekend in St. Louis said Thursday they have begun recruiting “street teams” to mobilize in high-crime neighborhoods.
Teams of men, including former gang members, will be assigned a city neighborhood to visit regularly for “real talk” with youth about teen pregnancy, drugs and gang violence, and to be role models for the rewards of education and employment. They’ll also encourage residents to report crimes and suspicious behavior to police.
Other plans call for partnering with other groups to mentor young people, and holding regular neighborhood summits to get residents tackling their problems.
“We want to liberate our community, and help them know themselves,” said Bishop Courtney Jones of Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship.
“Our kids like to talk real talk,” Jones said. “We’ll talk to them about having six or seven babies, the need for child support and the effects of drugs. This won’t be surface stuff.”
The announcement follows Sunday’s much publicized black men’s march in St. Louis to protest violence, especially black-on-black crime and the social ills that feed it.
The march was the launch for a plan dubbed “Call to Oneness” that black ministers, businessmen and community leaders have been working on since February. Its aim is to reduce crime and violence and resurrect struggling city neighborhoods.
The march succeeded in getting people’s attention and demonstrated the black community is not complacent about its problems, said the Rev. F. James Clark of Shalom Church in Florissant, who heads the “Oneness” campaign.
Now, it’s time to inspire and recruit people to get involved. At a meeting Monday night, the response was overwhelming, Jones said.
“This is not magic,” Clark said. “This is going to take a whole lot of hard work.” He added, don’t expect results overnight. “We’re in this for the long haul.”
Sunday night, the crowd from the day’s march to end violence had barely dissipated when 16-year-old Shirlene Williams was fatally shot in the head at a St. Louis gas station parking lot.
Has sustained violence in a majority white area ever necessitated the need for a march by whites to mandate the creation of a "Oneness" campaign?More than 100 men organized by the “Oneness” campaign gathered the next night at the same gas station in a stand against violence, Clark said. Some of them later visited the dead girl’s grandmother to offer condolences. They plan to attend the girl’s funeral Monday.
But perhaps this story will explain why poverty and a lack of economic opportunity exists in the majority black areas of St. Louis. [Thieves Cart Off St. Louis Bricks, New York Times, 9-19-2010]:
By the time Raymond Feemster awoke to the pounding of firefighters at his door, flames were already licking his shotgun-style home. The vacant house next door, which neighbors said was frequented by squatters, had burst into flames and was now threatening to engulf houses on each side.
Mr. Feemster, who gets around on an electric scooter, had to be carried out of the burning building, but today he considers himself lucky that the damage was contained to just two rooms.
“My neighbor’s house was completely destroyed,” said Mr. Feemster, 58. “I guess it was one of the crackheads in that vacant house.”
Perhaps. But the blaze, one of 391 fires at vacant buildings in the city over the past two years, may have had a more sinister cause. Law enforcement officials, politicians and historic preservationists here have concluded that brick thieves are often to blame, deliberately torching buildings to quicken their harvest of St. Louis brick, prized by developers throughout the South for its distinctive character.
“The firemen come and hose them down and shoot all that mortar off with the high-pressure hose,” said Alderman Samuel Moore, whose predominantly black Fourth Ward has been hit particularly hard by brick thieves. When a thief goes to pick up the bricks after a fire, “They’re just laying there nice and clean.”
It is a crime that has increased with the recession. Where thieves in many cities harvest copper, aluminum and other materials from vacant buildings, brick rustling has emerged more recently as a sort of scrapper’s endgame, exploited once the rest of a building’s architectural elements have been exhausted. “Cleveland is suffering from this,” said Royce Yeater, Midwest director for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “I’ve also heard of it happening in Detroit.”
After the fire that devastated much of St. Louis in 1849, city leaders passed an ordinance requiring all new buildings to be made of noncombustible material. That law, along with the rich clays of eastern Missouri, led to a flourishing brick industry here. Historians say that at the industry’s height, around 1900, the city had more than 100 manufacturing plants, and St. Louis became known for the quality, craftsmanship and abundance of its brick.
“They love it in New Orleans and the South — wherever they’re rebuilding, they want it because it’s beautiful brick,” said Barbara Buck, who owns Century Used Brick. “It really gives the building a dimension, a fingerprint.”
Mr. Moore, who is drafting a bill that would increase the penalties for brick theft, said that while many thieves still used cables and picks to collapse a wall, arson had become the tool of choice. Thieves even set fire to wood-frame homes to create a diversion. Firefighters often knock down walls, making it easier for thieves to harvest the bricks.
“The whole block is gone — they stole the whole block,” Mr. Moore marveled as he drove his white Dodge Magnum through his ward’s motley collection of dilapidated homes and vacant lots. “They’re stealing entire buildings, buildings that belong to the city. Where else in the world do you steal an entire city building?”
There are more than 8,000 vacant buildings in St. Louis, and more than 11,000 vacant lots.
The maximum penalty for brick theft here is a $500 fine or 90 days in jail or both. The city police said there were 34 brick-related thefts in the last year.
“You see these guys with mortar dust all over them, and they’re stacking on a pallet, and they’ll say, ‘I’m just a day laborer working for that guy over there — whoa, where did he go?’ ” said Maribeth McMahon, a lawyer with the city counselor’s office. “So this poor stiff, who’s just trying to earn an hourly wage, gets a summons.”
Ms. Buck, who said thieves often arrived at her brickyard with “bricks in the trunk of a Lexus,” said she followed city ordinance and required brick vendors to produce a demolition permit to sell their bricks. A pallet of 500 goes for roughly $100, she said, but other less scrupulous buyers do not require permits.
Ms. Buck estimates that as many as eight tractor-trailer loads of stolen bricks leave the city each week for Florida, Louisiana or Texas, because “St. Louis brick is in such high demand.”
The toll on the city’s struggling north side has been particularly heavy. During a hard-luck tour of his ward last week, Mr. Moore pointed out several piles of rubble where houses once stood.Capitulation.
To a people willingly burning down the memory of what whites built in St. Louis; who can never hope to replicate what whites built in starting in 1849.
What the Black Man Demands, Becomes Our Command.