Tuesday, October 31, 2006

St. Louis....Not so Dangerous

Hi everyone!

Porkchop is doing much better...she's up and about and recently galavanted across the river with her younger brother and other family members.

So I can write about other things.

I haven't cooked or knitted much, but I have heard about the recent study that named St. Louis the most dangerous city in all of the United States.

Fwah! is what I say to that!

The folks who did the study didn't take into account metropolitan areas. St. Louis proper (where Porkchop and I reside) is an urban core of roughly 330,000 people. Mainly poor people and fancy city loft dwellers, but I think the poor people outnumber the loft dwellers. You've got North St. Louis, an area left to rot. The scary Vandeventer corridor...not yet gentrified. And the Compton Heights and Tower Grove Heights (our neighborhood) areas. These are remarkable for pockets of splendor (fancy old mansions, many still resplendent and many recently restored) next to pockets of remarkable shabbiness. There are many other areas like this in the city...I could go on.

But my point is....the urban core of St. Louis had been neglected for DECADES as folks flocked out to the county. What do you expect happens when people are made to fester in run down homes, made to attend shoddy schools (whose superintendent actually makes the church rounds the week before school starts to assure parents that the school will be open and staffed with teachers!), and don't have businesses or industry nearby where jobs can be had without riding the bus for a couple of hours?

I'll tell you what happens....poverty, desperation, crime.

If these crime study people had taken into account St. Louis's fancy-schmancy suburbs of Ladue, Town & Country, Chesterfield, and so forth, we would have fallen down below the 100 mark. That's what city officials keep saying, anyway.

What makes me steamed, however, is that city officials keep downplaying the crime that does happen in St. Louis. And the crime I'm talking about is the abuse and negligence incurred by City residents. Let's talk about the need for better schools, work programs, and so forth. Instead of wringing our hands about the unfair methodology and pooh-poohing the report, why don't we address the real injustices?

Yeah, St. Louis has crime. Now what are we going to do about it?


Anonymous said...

That's right C-bear! Its shameful how run down parts of the city are. Its shameful how the large employers have left with the white folks to set up shop in the suburbs. How's a person supposed to get work? How's a person supposed to get TO work? St. Louis has so much potential and yet has had fields of boarded up houses and little economic development for years. Yet white folks keep building their stupid plans sprawling farther and farther out, taking jobs and their money away from the city. Is anybody putting money into the city to create jobs?

ken said...

You are right on, of course, Carrie. I didn't read the study--just heard the results on the radio. Part of the problem as to be that no one reads the studies--just listens to the sounds bites. Does the study address the fact that crime just does not spontaneously happen but rather is a result of the factors you mention?
But it is clear that headlines have an impact. At the conference I just attended board members were reporting on potential future sites that have been considered and recommended. We were told that St. Louis was considered but "no one wants to go to St. Louis."
Um, I would want to go to St. Louis. I mean we're going to Pittsburgh next year and everyone is saying "it's not as bad as everyone thinks."