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View Diary: FBI Taking Over Investigation into Ferguson Killing UPDATED Justice Dept. Also Monitoring (76 comments)

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  •  Prolly a good idea, BUT (7+ / 0-)

    my 20 years in St. Louis City (near south side) taught me that racism is deeply entrenched in the area. My co-workers expressed fear for me living in a racially and economically mixed area of the city, where we worked together at a university that continually tried to separate itself from its own neighborhood. Most recently, the school has ringed itself with blue lights, a not-so-subtle attempt to separate itself from the surrounding area.

    Only once was I threatened at all -- by a white man with a gun!

    It's a damn shame.

    "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

    by cotterperson on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 12:55:53 PM PDT

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    •  How many thousands of times did you get asked (2+ / 0-)
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      Penny GC, cotterperson

      "where'd you go to school?"  That's the coded language that defines whether you're "the right kind" in St. Louis, you are about to get filed in the slot for the high school you attended, and it's implied ethnicity and/or station in life, and that is where you will always dwell.  If you didn't go to high school in St. Louis then you're a "newcomer" no matter if you've lived there for 50 years.  The segregation isn't just about black/white, either, it is ethnic as well and then there are the various religious groups.  No group avoids the side eye of the other groups in St. Louis.  It's been like that since at least the turn of the last century and probably all the way back to the Civil War, and it really picked up during the immigrant surge after WWI followed by the Depression.

      Anyway, "where'd you go to school?" is a loaded question in St. Louis.  You can bet that you are about to be judged, no doubt harshly.

      "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

      by Got a Grip on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 03:56:39 PM PDT

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      •  Thanks for that! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Got a Grip, mwm341

        Over and over and over again, I'd hear people ask each other that, but I never understood why. Figured it was about neighborhoods or something, because all I got was kidding (and the occasional snide comment) from people about my accent.

        St. Louisans identified me as "southern," but I'm descended from abolitionists and have detested Scarlett O'Hara since I first saw that weak, desperate woman on-screen at 12. (It was only recently I realized that's why I was a misfit in my small hometown in the Ozarks as well.)

        Screw it!

        I'm retired back to my beautiful old hills now, and am absolutely countercultural with a small circle frirends. In this corporatocracy, I wouldn't want to be anything else ;)

        "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

        by cotterperson on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 04:55:22 PM PDT

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        •  Hey, I hear ya.' (1+ / 0-)
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          cotterperson

          I grew up north of St. Louis, between there and Hannibal, in what was then waaaaaay out in the country but which is now being invaded by rich folk from StL trying to pretend they're country squires.  Anywho, when I was growing up and I'd go to visit my cousins in St. Louis and St. Charles I would be asked by every kid we ran into "where'd you go to school?" My cousins would then explain that I was a hick, hillbilly, shit kicker, and so many other much worse things.  The implication was that I was like that poor kid playing the banjo in "Deliverance" even though I was more well-read, more intelligent and more well-mannered than they would ever be.  I took the hillbilly label as my own and embraced it.  If being who I am defines me as a hillbilly then I'm good with that.

          "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

          by Got a Grip on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 05:45:18 PM PDT

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