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More news from Ferguson:

Gov. Jay Nixon pledged today to make an "operational shift" in the way the Ferguson protests are being handled by police.

"You will see a different tone," Nixon said.

The governor is at the Christ the King United Church of Christ, 11370 Old Halls Ferry Road, to join members of the St. Louis Metropolitan Clergy Coalition and other civic and faith leaders at a meeting.

Nixon said he will be spelling out his plans later today. He told the crowd that he had talked with President Obama about the Ferguson issue.

snip

McCaskill told reporters that it was her understanding that the St. Louis County Police were going to be pulled out.

Nixon got loud applause from the crowd when he talked about the media. "If people in the newspapers want to cover things and take pictures and stuff," he said. "They ought to do it. It's a free country."

St. Louis Post Dispatch

This is necessary to prevent a potential loss of life.  This morning I feared that there could be a bloodbath.  Now I am more optimistic.

This should not distract from the fight for justice for Michael Brown.  

Originally posted to TomP on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 10:24 AM PDT.

Also republished by Black Kos community.

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Comment Preferences

  •  encouraging news (14+ / 0-)

    That was a shameless display of police brutality. They knew all eyes were on them, and it didn't make them blink.

    When two frat boys have a kerfuffle, it's a brohaha. Bubbanomics

    by raina on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 10:30:33 AM PDT

  •  That this even has to be said (17+ / 0-)

    is ridiculous. Just ridiculous.

    'If people in the newspapers want to cover things and take pictures and stuff, they ought to do it. It's a free country.' - MO Gov Nixon

    Stop the presses !  The First Amendment rights of a free press just went into effect.

    'Bin Laden is dead and GM is alive' - VP Joe Biden

    by RobertInWisconsin on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 10:30:41 AM PDT

  •  I won't feel any better (7+ / 0-)

    until after we hear what "operational shift " means.. to whom, when etc. and when we see how how it plays out.

    Would like to have seen swifter action by Gov Nixon and still think that it would inflame vs help the situation if POTUS were to declare martial law or otherwise take over as Rep. John Lewis called for.

    We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

    by Vita Brevis on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 10:34:35 AM PDT

    •  I too want to see what happens (13+ / 0-)

      though I don't think the POTUS can declare martial law - I have a pretty good idea he did some arm twisting with the Gov.  

      "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition." Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon

      by Denise Oliver Velez on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 10:37:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have a feeling Nixon got an angry phone call (16+ / 0-)

        Something along the lines of "Get your house in order or I will."

      •  Agree (6+ / 0-)

        As much as I love Social Media and the information age...there are things that need to play out.

        We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

        by Vita Brevis on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 10:41:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Moving the current police (16+ / 0-)

        out will help.  And allowing demonstrations at night.  Might be National Guard.  Kinda of weird when the National Guard appears less militarized than cops.  :-)

        I was scared this morning.  Most of those cops are out of their league with what they were dealing with and they were making it much worse.

        This is why the Panthers were about self defense.  It must hurt to see the same stuff is still going on.

        On a more positive note, no deaths in the demonstrations and the witnesses keep piling up showing that Michael Brown was executed.    

        And things in St. Louis were exposed.  It's not the worst place (City and County) and maybe even the best place to be black in Missouri (because outstate is so, so bad), but it is highly segregated and police crimes have been going on for a long time.  

        Some good can come from this.  Hope so.  First, justice for Michael Brown.  Second, deal with the racism underlying much of this.
             

        Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

        by TomP on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 10:43:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am less familiar with St. Louis history (9+ / 0-)

          than I am with that of right across the river in East St.Louis, which though in Il always seemed to me to be a dirt poor suburb of St. Louis MO.

          The racial segregation in St. Louis really shocked me when I've visited - but haven't been there since the early 1990's so maybe it has gotten a bit better since then.

          When you say "outstate" what do you mean - other counties?

          "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition." Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon

          by Denise Oliver Velez on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 10:49:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  IL has its tea partiers and racist problems. (6+ / 0-)

            IIRC yesterday I got an ACLU of IL report on "consent searches" showing our police are racially biased there, too. We ain't that much better, Deo. I wish I could say we were, but we're the state with the Ford Heights Four and the most known innocent people on death row at one time, so bad that even our Republican corrupt governor Ryan declared a moratorium.

          •  The rural parts of Missouri. (13+ / 0-)

            Tea party land, very racist.  KCMo is safe and Columbia, Kirksville, some of the university towns.  

            It's pretty segregated.  I live in a suburb that has a black population (and has had for 150 years).  My daughter went to good schools that were 25% black (10% deseg kids and 15% kids who live here).  (when I went there in the late 60s, early 70s, it was about 15% black in school)  More integrated than her college or law school.  But that is rare and even in this suburb, it is somewhat geographically segregated, although not as much as it was when I was a kid.  It's middle class, upper middle, and many of the AAs here are that also.  But there is an economic mix of both blacks and whites although not real poverty.  The only black high school in St. Louis County during segregation was here.  After 1954, it became a grade school.  

            St. Louis City voted in segregation around WWI.  Blacks were limited mostly to a neighborhood called the Ville.  

            This neighborhood is bounded by St. Louis Avenue on the North, Martin Luther King drive on the South, Sarah on the East and Taylor on the West.

            Prior to the United States Civil Rights movement, the use of restrictive covenants and other legal restrictions prevented African-Americans from finding housing in many areas of the city. As a result, the African American population of St. Louis became heavily concentrated in and around the Ville. The neighborhood became home to a number of important cultural institutions for the black community, including Sumner High School, the first high school for black students west of the Mississippi River, and Homer G. Phillips Hospital, one of the few black teaching hospitals in the United States.

            wikepedia

            In the 60s, North St. Louis became mostly black as the segregation (both legal and de facto) broke down.  Working class whites fled (white flight) and moved north to North County.  By the 70s, the fear of many of those whites sent them across the Missouri River to St. Charles County, an exurb that is Republican, white, and ugly in many ways.  

            North St. Louis faced disinvestment, etc.  Decayed.  Now there are many empty lots where houses have been torn  down.  It's actually coming back with grocery stores and housing.  We did a lot of political work on lead paint and an incinerator there in the 2000s.

            Anyway, black folks who could moved to the suburbs.  And they moved to North and Northwest County mostly.  

            South County is white; North County is both black and white.  Mid-County is a mix.  

            In some ways, my suburb is unusual.  In most places people work together on jobs, but often have separate areas in which to live and different churches, etc.  

            It's improving in the region, but at a very slow pace.

            I used to tutor kids in the inner city in the 1980s (North St. Louis).  Too many people still left behind.  Monsanto (and University of Missouri at St. Louis, which I was attending) was paying for it, and I was interviewed for a video for the Board of Directors about where their money was going.   1988 or 1989.  I recall saying, "that when you let a part of our people fall behind, it hurts all of us."

            I tried to appeal to their self interest.    

            St. Louis is like the rest of America: it never dealt with the legacy of racism, segregation, and even slavery.   A few half hearted efforts, but then things that made it worse.  

            Just some thoughts.
             

            Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

            by TomP on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 11:08:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you! That's a big help (9+ / 0-)

              am going to examine some early MO and St. Louis history on Sunday.

              From my pov nothing blows up like this out of a vacuum or detached from history.  
               

              "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition." Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon

              by Denise Oliver Velez on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 11:19:13 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Give a small section to Percy Green if you can. (7+ / 0-)

                I love that man.  He was with us on the incinerator fight.  He must be 70 or 80, and he was offering to lay down in front of trucks.  

                There have been bad things here, but also there have been African Americans like Percy fighting for justice, and there still are.  

                Here is a little about him:

                Percy Green II, a St. Louis native of the Compton Hill area, became widely known as an activist when he, along with Richard Daly, scaled the Gateway Arch in July of 1964. “The more progressive element of the organization [CORE-the Congress On Racial Equality] decided to do that because they protested that the city used federal money to build the monument without blacks getting a fair share of the contracts or the jobs.

                As the founder of ACTION, Green advocated for better jobs for black African Americans. The group targeted companies such as Wonder Bread, Southwestern Bell, Laclede Gas and Union Electric (now Ameren UE). The CEOs of the organizations belonged to the exclusive Veiled Prophet organization and ACTION members set their sights on targeting and disrupting the elite at their own highly celebrated function.

                “We thought that [the organization] was racist, sexist & elitist,” Green said in a newspaper interview. “If the city was going to truly integrate, they should not have a Ku Klux Klan-ish event. That’s why we attacked it.”

                ACTION’s attack on the Veiled Prophet organization culminated with an infiltration of the segregated ball in December of 1972. Debutantes who were sympathetic with ACTION’s cause provided white ACTION members, Jane Sauer and Gina Scott, with tickets to the gathering.  While Jane created a distraction by dropping pamphlets near the stage, Gina maneuvered behind the VP of that year-John K. Smith, then-VP of the Monsanto Corporation, and snatched the veil off his head from behind.

                After that well-publicized event, ACTION gained much respect and recognition for orchestrating a protest that magnified the elitism and racism in St. Louis’ upper echelon.

                Green’s penchant for speaking out against injustice has not come without a price. Like many activists of his era, he was targeted by the government’s Counter Intelligence Program [COINTELPRO], and has been on the bad side of many local elected officials.

                ACTION ceased operations in 1985. Green, a graduate of Vashon High School, continues to be active. He ran the minority and women-owned business utilization program for the Bosley Administration. In this capacity, he made sure that no “front” businesses (where a women or minority posed as the owner of the business, while a white man ran it] were given certification and he controlled the certification process, itself. He was retained by the Harmon Administration, but his role was reduced to certification.

                Green was terminated by incoming Mayor Francis Slay in 2001. Green turned his consulting services skills toward making sure development in North St. Louis is handled fairly and he’s actively working to make sure a Civilian Review Board is instituted to oversee matters concerning the Police’s treatment of citizens.

                Percy Green has fought for almost five decades for equality and Black inclusion in the St. Louis region. He has inspired countless activists, laborers, professionals and executives alike. Green is married to well-known activist and journalist Jamala Rogers. Percy Green III, his son born out of his first marriage, is a firefighter. Percy Green, a member of the Peace Economy Project’s board and actively involved in issues of social and economic justice, is clearly someone still willing to take ACTION when necessary.

                Percy Green II

                He is also known for this:

                McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792 (1973), was an early substantive ruling by the United States Supreme Court regarding the burdens and nature of proof in proving a Title VII case and the order in which plaintiffs and defendants present proof. It was the seminal case in the McDonnell Douglas burden-shifting framework.

                snip

                 Percy Green was a black mechanic and laboratory technician laid off by McDonnell Douglas in 1964 during a reduction in force at the company.[2]

                Green, a long-time activist in the civil rights movement, protested that his discharge was racially motivated. He and others, in a protest referred to in the case history as a "stall-in", used cars to block roads to McDonnell Douglas factories. On one occasion, someone used a chain to lock the front door of a McDonnell Douglas downtown business office, preventing employees from leaving, though it was not certain whether Green was responsible.[3]

                Soon after the locked-door incident, McDonnell Douglas advertised for vacant mechanic positions, for which Green was qualified. Green applied, but was not hired, with McDonnell Douglas citing his participation in blocking traffic and chaining the building.[4]

                Green subsequently filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), alleging that he had been treated unfairly because of his activity in the Civil Rights Movement, but not alleging any outright racial bias. He then sued in U.S. District Court on both of those grounds, though the EEOC had not made a finding on the latter, and later appealed the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit before the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.[5]

                The case was argued in front of the U.S District Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals, and in front of the Supreme Court by Louis Gilden, a leading civil rights attorney and sole practitioner from St. Louis.[citation needed] The Supreme Court's decision was awarded to Green in a 9-0 vote.

                wikepedia

                Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

                by TomP on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 11:46:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks, TomP, for your narratives and reporting (4+ / 0-)

          on this whole matter.

      •  Ike Federalized the Nat'l Guard to Enforce Inte- (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        worldlotus, raina, TomP, elwior, Orinoco, Mopshell

        gration; certainly governors as in Arkansas and Alabama would never have used the guard to protect court ordered integration.

        Maybe it's the race-related political considerations around Mr. Obama but it strikes me that after 1 day of this nonsense the Guard should've been brought in by some authority to relieve both city and state cops. No way should it have gone on for several days.

        This is EXACTLY the problem I faced in person in the spring 1970 campus protests, and it was the OH governor who resolved the situation a long way with the Guard after only a handful of hours, at Ohio State.

        This was before the rest of the nation's campuses blew up, and unfortunately, there are several things that were executed wrongly about his followup action up at Kent State as we all know. Too few guardsman for one thing.

        But in many situations the Nat'l Guard was a whole lot saner to face than city cops. Even 40 years ago the city and state forces were D-Day recreationists. Fortunately for us, in addition to our being white, they were far less armed than these cops here.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 10:47:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The posse comitatis thing comes into it. (4+ / 0-)

        This was an issue about federal intervention with Katrina.

  •  Thanks for your (10+ / 0-)

    instate reporting.  I'm not interested at this moment in any focus on who has or has not scored political points.  I'm terrified for the citizens.  Many of us lived through the '60s and remember vividly the horror.  

    Obviously, the ugly cancer of racism isn't eradicated.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 10:36:10 AM PDT

  •  I'll hold my applause (10+ / 0-)

    until we actually understand just what the hell an operational shift means to Gov. Nixon, and IF he can reign in these seemingly rouge cops.

  •  Tom - a question (or two or three). (7+ / 0-)

    have been trying to puzzle out how the heck the elected officials in Ferguson are all white except for one city council member.

    Can't find the info on the city council party affiliations - I know the mayor is Republican.

    Is the police chief elected also?

    Tried to get election results and voting demographics but the site doesn't seem to be responding.

    Any ideas?

    "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition." Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon

    by Denise Oliver Velez on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 10:42:48 AM PDT

  •  I've never seen an enemy with tanks surround (7+ / 0-)

    where I live. I've never seen an enemy parachuting into the city I live. I've never seen protest signs used as lethal weapons.

    What I've been seeing across this country is a government that is afraid of the people because they bring income inequality, lack of justice, shredding of the very documents this nation is built upon and making innocent Americans an enemy for the 1% so they can continue to destroy the United States of America for their own use.

    I call this situation by our government treason, because I can't find a more adequate word for what is happening.

    I'm not insane and the 99% of people are not insane. It is those who are bought and paid for in our government that is insane.

    Many times I’ve returned. Never was I the same in any of my guises. I feel inside, my times before, with no memories of each journey. My soul’s shadows haunt all the paths it has traveled.

    by Wendys Wink on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 10:44:39 AM PDT

    •  Wendys Wink comment recommended (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wendys Wink, elwior

      tho I don't agree with all of what you say,

      I Feel about it in the same way.

      and about who acts how, and for what,
      it is indefensible crazy on the part of The Establishment, and their toy soldiers, trained to be belligerent and ignorant and agitating, and their trapdoor phony agencies, corrupted beyond normal responsibility.

      for the love of humanity please protect the light in all that may glow and try not to make anyone else's path more cruel than it would be on its own.

      by renzo capetti on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 10:56:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The GOP bears some responsibility (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mopshell, Sojourns

    Their relentless campaign of inflammatory rhetoric towards Obama and their constant vilification of minorities as "takers" has pushed these people to their boiling point.

    Racists have been in a rage ever since Obama got elected. They are taking their anger out on Ferguson.

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist." Dom Hélder Pessoa Câmara

    by Haningchadus14 on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 10:55:08 AM PDT

    •  I'd say the GOP bear the elephant's share (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sojourns

      of responsibility. Their vile inflammatory rhetoric has ginned up the base to boil-over point. They built this.

      Please note that lamps in the Magic Lamp Emporium are on a genie time-share program so there may be a slight delay in wish fulfillment. (◕‿◕)

      by Mopshell on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 04:26:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Welcome back, Governor Nixon. (5+ / 0-)

    I hope you enjoyed your vacation.  Where were you?  The Appalachian Trail?

    Anyone arguing that there's no difference between the parties is a fucking moron who can simply go to hell. -- kos

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 11:18:31 AM PDT

  •  What, five days, now? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bull8807, Sojourns

    Five days before we even hear from this anal orifice, and now I suppose we're supposed to be grateful that POS has made a vague statement about maybe doing something real soon...

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

    by Greyhound on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 11:32:05 AM PDT

  •  Guess we still DO have Nixon... (0+ / 0-)

    ...to kick around! (Wait, wrong Nixon. Never mind.)

    Nixon got loud applause from the crowd when he talked about the media. "If people in the newspapers want to cover things and take pictures and stuff," he said. "They ought to do it. It's a free country."
    Bwahahahahaha! Somewhere, Richard Nixon is scowling, because we all know how HE felt about the press! :-D

    Their cause must be our cause too. Because it's not just Negroes, but really it's all of us, who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice. And we shall overcome. -- Lyndon B. Johnson

    by AllTheWayWithLBJ85 on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:56:35 PM PDT

  •  The entire Ferguson Police Department should (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sojourns

    be out on its ass.

    Damn!

    •  I think you'll find it was the county police (0+ / 0-)

      who escalated the problem. It isn't clear where the Ferguson PD fit into this picture beyond one of their members murdering Michael Brown.

      That poor dear boy has become an activist in death; his sacrifice will not be without its purpose. His name will live on in Ferguson and, I believe, be the catalyst for greater good coming out of this violence.

      Certainly it has become personal to mainstream media who will not let up their focus on Ferguson until real solutions are implemented. This has been a long time coming and it's time to lance this hideous boil.

      Please note that lamps in the Magic Lamp Emporium are on a genie time-share program so there may be a slight delay in wish fulfillment. (◕‿◕)

      by Mopshell on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 04:34:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What Happened (0+ / 0-)

    to our constitutional rights and liberties? Where did they go? Why isn't our government defending them? Oh, I'm sorry; I almost forgot. Welcome to the new America, where you have no right to peaceably assemble and voice your opinions.

  •  promises promises (0+ / 0-)

    For MO gov to promise 'operation shift' in policing is more like putting the fox in charge of the hen house.

  •  Sanity (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks  to the governor for being a sane voice in a crazy world. This certainly proves that when crimes are being committed those in charge have a responisbility to take charge. Good job governor.

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