With St. Louis being in the funnel of the black tornado that upended Ferguson and swept across America, the upcoming mayor's race is probably the most significant in the city's history. All the combustible elements that combined to ignite Ferguson – principally poverty, race and an oppressive legal apparatus – exist undeniably in the Gateway City. And undeniably, the next mayor will have to offer solutions to this urban explosiveness.
The usual campaign rhetoric of "bridging the racial divide," or "healing" the racial strife, will not suffice. For the African-American community – an essential organ of the entire community – faces in the Ferguson era an evil equal to the evil of racism. Namely, inner destruction.
It is virtually impossible for black leaders, particularly the millennial leaders, to openly discuss the terror and horror blacks are subjected to from their own because it distracts from addressing the horror and terror whites inflict with racism, both overtly and systemically. In fact, the first wall of defense whites erect when confronted with white police violence against blacks is the "black-on-black crime" argument.
Thus, whenever a black is shot down by a white cop, whites almost instinctively turn a blind eye to that as a crime and reflexively focus on the statistics of blacks killing other blacks. And whenever a black shoots an innocent black mother or child, their response – and even that of some blacks – is to ask why there are no protests of that kind of killing.
Although the only logical connection between a white police officer shooting an unarmed black and a black shooting an innocent black is violence, the fact that the problem of one is not the same as – or even tied to – the other does not alleviate our imperative to solve both.
Due to protest actions, the next mayor will have at his or her disposal all the post-Ferguson implemented or suggested tools to solve the problem of police excessiveness, such as body cameras, civilian review, and increased and independent prosecutorial scrutiny. The tools to eradicate the violence that blacks wreak on themselves, however, have yet to be forged. And protests will not form them.
A protest against blacks killing blacks is impractical, if not irrational. Because unlike a protest against a cop shooting, in which a demand is being made on the authorities to bring him to justice, a protest against a murder in a carjacking crime, for example, has no effect on such perpetrators. The only protest that would make sense in that situation would be one against the police, demanding that they more effectively perform their obligation to protect the public from criminals.
The next mayor will have to turn instead to social engineering and cultural tools to end the destructiveness blacks perpetrate on the black community. He or she will have to construct a livable environment and an economic foundation that provides more than the subsistence survival that engenders crime in a society where wealth abounds.
Equally important, the next mayor will have to re-instill in the black community the brotherly and sisterly love that once made a black harming another black person an intolerable act and an unspeakable shame.