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Darren Wilson & the Status Quo

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The Way I See It

Published in St. Louis American, Nov. 20, 2014

 

In the 100-plus days since Mike Brown was gunned down by Darren Wilson, we have seen incredible incompetence and intractable racist behavior by the white power structure in the St. Louis metropolitan region. Every week since August 9 there have been acts of defiance and missed opportunities to show real leadership because of institutional racism.

As tensions mount in anticipation of the grand jury announcement, we have to ask ourselves, “Why is an entire system working so hard to protect one cop?”

We are now on the brink of the grand jury announcement with plenty of angst and fear to go around. As guns fly off the retail shelves and the mainstream media over-exaggerates the extremes on both sides, one lone fact has deliberately been clouded to divert our attention. Regardless of the circumstances (which we are still piecing together), an unarmed teen was shot down by police. Remember this. Read more

The Rink Rebooted

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At a time when racial tensions fill the St. Louis air, G. Whiz cut the air with a light-hearted but serious documentary on the history St. Louis skating. Local skaters and rollers convened at the Missouri History Museum to screen the sequel to The Rink,  The Rink Rebooted. A few of the St. Louis skate legends were in the house and fielded questions from the audience.

Some years ago when I saw The Rink, it was a real awakening. Growing up skating in Kansas City, I never knew the “Crazy Legs” was a St. Louis original technique. I just knew I loved watching long-legged brothas in locked arms, or sistah in backward duets–all rolling in perfect choreographed harmony.

Whiz will not sell copies of Reboot since he still has boxes of The Rink.  Ask him about getting a copy or two off his hand–email him at g.whiz@gmail.com.

Thank you, Whiz, for keeping the history of skating alive and well. Black folks have definitely made skating an art form!

 

Watch the Reboot trailer.

Bracing for Hurricane McCulloch

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The Way I See It
Published in St. Louis American, November 6, 2014

Recently I ran across a 1988 letter from St. Louis Police Chief Robert Scheetz to an African-American clergy. It acknowledged a meeting with a group (of which I’m sure I was a part) around police-community issues and cited a number of documents the chief was including that had been requested in the meeting.

These included the department manual, its policy on firearms, the current Academy curriculum for recruits, and stats on shots fired by police officers. I can’t tell you how many times groups that I’ve been involved with have requested the documents Scheetz referred to in his letter.

It’s no wonder that informed citizens such as Mary Clemons are expressing both weariness and wariness at Governor Nixon’s announcement of the Ferguson Commission to explore the factors leading to a Ferguson uprising.

Clemons’s recent commentary in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch states “that there is no new ground to be broken.” She asserts that we already “know many of the things that are wrong; they have been identified time and time again” and goes on to identify major reports and their important findings that have found little traction. And can we say 1968 Kerner Commission Report? Read more