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[UPDATE: The Arch project was a federally funded project and Mayor Krewson was not solely responsible for organizing the ribbon-cutting event. However, she and several of the other political figures in attendance were aware of black leaders not being on the list of invitees; therefore, she is still a part of the problem. Read on…]

Mayor Krewson has proven that although she is a woman, who may or may not have endured some forms of discrimination throughout her political career, at the end of the day—she is still a white woman. A white woman who still plays the good ole white boy game, while proving how racial equity and bridging the segregation gap in a city that has deep racial scars is not a priority nor concern of hers.

Holding steadfast to her “I could give two shits about y’all niggas black folks” attitude—I cannot say I am truly surprised at any of this. This is the same location that was a part of hosting slave auctions over 157 years ago. The same city that treats its black residents like Al Qaeda when they are fighting for their rights and the injustices of the justice system. None of this can be deemed shocking considering the way she handled the Jason Stockley case and events following was deemed poor and lacked good leadership skills. Everything from infringing on protestors first amendment rights with free speech safe zones, failure to denounce police misconduct, and cancelling townhall meetings to hide inside her house. All of which led to activists demanding for her resignation from office.

In lieu of being previously outed as a participant in the growing racial divide,  Krewson throws more gasoline on the slow burning flame in a recent pic posted on her Facebook page. On Tuesday, she appeared in front of the Gateway Arch, during the ribbon cutting ceremony for its newest renovations. The upgrades had been a long time coming and the city’s monument finally received the updates it needed.

The renovated Gateway Arch National Park has been the culmination of a $380 million public-private partnership. The Arch underwent a five-year transformation that included upgrades to the grassy park, highway and park entrance restructuring, and a museum to house more information about the national monument.

Now at first glance, some may feel everything in the picture seems right, may even look like a beautiful day. But what you don’t see is what St. Louis works overtime trying to oppress. The portrait portrays decades of the cultural mishandling of people who reside with the city’s borders. What is so evidently clear within this picture are the missing faces of those St. Louis has a history of disregarding, mistreating, and dismissing:

Black people.

If you look closely, I mean zoom in really, really close, you can see that there is not one black person in the picture. Like how is that even possible to not have at least one black person in the entire picture? Most of the time, white people love to have that token nigga black person out in front to prove it wasn’t a white only event—or to hide their clear racism. But not this time, and since this picture had the potential of circulating across the country—black people were not good enough to be front and center.

Whether you believe it or not, St. Louis likes to keep its niggas black people in the back and reserved for special occasions only. Unless it’s surrounding crime—the black on black crime stats are being mentioned—white people need to look like the hero of some sort—or they are parading one of us who fell into the sunken place to the rest to push their divide and conquer agenda—or they need a trophy nigga black person (ref: Ferguson events) to shut us up—there’s no need for us to be there.

This was obviously one of those events.

In attendance with Mayor Krewson was US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke (white), Missouri Governor Mike Parson (also white), U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt (white and still white), St. Louis crooked County Executive Steve Stenger (yep, you guessed it…goddamn white). There were also a bunch of other white people in attendance at the colonizing event who were good enough to be extras as you can see from the picture.

Yet, not one black person.

By the looks of the picture, one would never know black people make up 46.7% of the city’s population. Throw in the fact that even if we were not necessarily inviting the “public” to a public event at a public monument—and were just inviting people of “political stature,” you still have a complete conundrum on your hands. St. Louis City is made up of twenty-eight wards that have alderman appointed to represent each one. Out of those 28 wards, 10 of them are represented by black men and women.

So where were they?

Then there’s the board president (Lewis Reed), the City Comptroller (Darlene Green), City Treasurer (Tishaura Jones), Chief of Police (John Hayden), and Public Safety Director (Jimmie Edwards)—who are all black and hold prominent political positions on the list of missing people—you damn near have to play a game of Where’s Waldo to find a black person. But it’s no secret that clearing out black faces from downtown and hiding them in the gentrification shadows has been a longstanding mission of the city.

This picture is proof of it.

Adding insult to injury, both Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt made the picture cut, while both Senator Nasheed and Senator Nadal are nowhere in sight. Now compile that fuck you with the fact that not one of the seven State Reps were invited or are pictured in the ceremony. Bruce Franks Jr., whose district surrounds the Arch grounds were among the state reps who were not invited and felt shunned from such a momentous event.

Franks commented on the picture on Facebook by saying, “Bipartisan Whitness! Oh, the district that has the Arch—the rep is black,” and he wasn’t the only one. Several other people joined in the discussion that has now being called #ArchSoWhite to voice their opinions on the lack of diversity and overall all-white inclusion that continues to feed into the separate but not so equal mentality of St. Louis.

However, according to the Mayor, “The revamped Gateway Arch National Park & museum are perfect examples of what we can accomplish when we work together – local, state & federal partners, private donors, & YOU the voters. City & County voters came together to create this amazing attraction for our region. Thank you!”

Of course, she couldn’t possibly mean the black local & state partners, or the black voters—because none of them got invited.

Truthfully speaking, Krewson will probably ignore all the comments made on the post and social media. The moment she catches wind of the issue at hand, she will certainly reach into her white woman bag of excuses, and blame other people to downplay the major shade that was thrown to all the black leaders and people within the city.

Because that’s what white women have done in the past.

And that’s what Lyda will be doing the moment she is confronted about her all-white only party at the Arch.

Shadress Denise
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Shadress Denise

Editor-in-Chief at DELUX Magazine
Editor-in-Chief @DELUX, author, foodie, and a culture junkie who just happens to be the blackest person you will ever meet.
Shadress Denise
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