Ferguson is news, but it is not new

I have a brief op-ed in the New York Daily News on how the problems of Ferguson are not new or unique:

What is happening in Ferguson is news, but it is not new. The black population of Ferguson — and the surrounding area of St. Louis’ North County — has endured hard times for decades. Families who fled the city of St. Louis for a better life now struggle in its impoverished suburbs, where jobs are scarce, opportunities few, and resources denied.

They struggled for decades, and spoke out — privately and publicly. The only change now is that the world is listening.

St. Louis’ problems were never “invisible.” There is a difference between what is invisible and what people refuse to see. St. Louis is known for urban ruins: crumbling brick homes with no roofs or windows, a fenced urban forest where housing projects once stood. Less remarked upon is the fate of the families who fled them.

You can read the whole thing here.

I also spoke with NPR’s On the Media on press coverage of Ferguson and the struggles St. Louis faces. I discussed how St. Louis’s geography is informed by racial politics and answered questions about what the national media missed when they came to town. You can listen here.


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