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Forward to Equity


Published in the St. Louis American, October 1, 2015

The long-awaited report by the Ferguson Commission is appropriately titled “Forward Through Ferguson: A Path Toward Racial Equity.” Before I could be overwhelmed by the 189 recommendations embedded in the nearly 200 pages, I was underwhelmed by the region’s so-called leaders. Where were the declarations of commitment, of pledged resources, by those entrusted with the power to do so?

“I commit to you today that these efforts will not be in vain.” These were the words of Gov. Jay Nixon at the public release. That sounds nice, but the governor would’ve have been more convincing had he punctuated that remark with very specific actions his own office would be taking to implement parts of the report.

The impact of the release would be still reverberating had the governor, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger, a federal legislator or two, a few state legislators, a prosecutor, judge, rep from Civic Progress and, of course, a few police chiefs stood on the stage and proclaimed what they will do next.

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Book Signing in Kansas City, MO


Thanks to all who came out last night to the Lucile Bluford Library for my book signing in Kansas City (yes, I was competing with Empire!). In the house was KC-National Black United Front, MO CURE, Cenral High School alum, One Struggle-KC, St. Paul Presbyterian Church, MADP-KC, Valerie and Darryl Burton (MO Exoneree). We sold the highest number of books at a single event here in my hometown. We are family. #UnitedWeFight.


Why can’t the Post-D get it right?


This paragraph comes from a St. Louis Post Dispatch article, ” With execution looming, lawyers cast doubt on Missouri inmate’s guilt.”  September 29, 2015. The State of Missouri is about to execute a possibly innocent man on October 7–Kimber Edwards.

The St. Louis area saw a false confession in at least one other high-profile murder case. In the 1991 murder of Robin and Julie Kerry, their cousin Thomas Cummins confessed that he pushed them off the Chain of Rocks Bridge, then said police had coerced and scripted a confession. Four other men were later convicted of raping  (JR’s emphasis) and murdering the sisters.

Why is this paragraph so problematic? Two big reasons.

If one is going to bring up Tom Cummins’ coerced confession in the Chain of Rocks Bridge case, you should also include how police beat the crap out of Reggie Clemons to secure a confession from him. This not Jamala’s view; this was the conclusion of the independent judge assigned to review Reggie’s case.

Second, none of the black defendants in the Chain of Rocks case were ever convicted of rape. I have corrected PD editors and reporters over the year so the reference of rape is intentional and unethical. Rape was thrown out to the public from the very start by the prosecutor–and propagated by the white media–to incite white folks with the image of three savage, black men “raping” and murdering two, young white women. The racial and sexualized false narrative worked and the three, black men were all sentenced to death in 1993.

The Chain of Rocks Bridge case is a tragedy all around. The Kerry Family lost two loved ones and the lives of the four defendants and their families were changed forever.

We still seek the truth. We still seek justice.