James (Jimmy) Loomis currently serves as the Democratic Committeeman for Clayton Township, a position he was selected to fill in March of 2013, one week after becoming eligible for the position at age 18.
The air is cooling (finally!), the kids are back in school, our favorite sweaters are coming out of storage, and all the trees are starting to change color. We love it -- with one, crucial caveat. We're city dwellers, and access to the vividly color-changing outdoors can sometimes be... well... limited.
I remember as a kid walking the fields with my grandfather. He said, "No man has the right to take more from the land than the land itself can withstand." That balanced approach made sense to me when I was six, and it still makes sense to me today.
Barbers and hairdressers, like Dionne Flowers of St. Louis, are an integral part of the society. The inconceivable, unknown detail in this story is that Dionne had more training for her license as a hairdresser, than the officers who pulled the trigger on Kajieme Powel had for their licenses.
Can we as a society cut through this vail and begin to know and understand those different from ourselves, to have the ability to walk in the shoes of another, to break down these "us" versus "them" notions that separate? First, we must abolish the denial systems that prevent many of us grasping our social privileges.
This week was dominated by news from Ferguson -- but much of what was really happening went untold by the media. While TV viewers were mostly presented with endless images of tear gas, violence and division, a fuller depiction would have revealed a community challenged by adversity, underrepresentation and institutional failure that responded with remarkable empathy, kindness and trust. At HuffPost, in addition to covering the protests, the failure of those sworn to serve the citizens of Ferguson, and the entrenched role of race, we also tried to shine a light on how the community came together -- cleaning up, handing out food, and raising money. There was a lot more love than looting in Ferguson, more compassion than conflict. How the media covers a crisis matters -- and showing only one side breeds cynicism about what we can become. The brave citizens of Ferguson have risen to the occasion. I hope the media will join them.
We're going to focus on the aftermath and ramifications of what has been happening in Ferguson, Missouri for the past few weeks. It even reached international proportions, as both Egypt and Russia got in a few digs at American police and protesters.
I hope every Black leader, parent, grandparent and preacher will mount a united and irresistible voice to end the structural exclusion of millions of children from the education and other opportunities required to keep them from dead-end lives.
The news accounts in recent weeks are tragically similar, from Los Angeles to Staten Island to Ferguson. Unarmed black men killed by police. But four years before anyone knew where Ferguson was located on a map, there was the fatal shooting of Danroy Henry Jr., known to his friends and family as "DJ."
It is not surprising that a local prosecutor would believe that a local police officer was "entitled" to "the benefit of the doubt."
Ferguson was not just an event in which police overreacted to heated demonstrations; it's a symptom of a generalized hatred of democracy in this country -- the hatred of the truly bold idea that politics should be the work of everyday people and that power should not be concentrated in the hands of a few.
I created these political cartoons to express my feelings about the current situation in Ferguson, MO. I am a native of St. Louis, by way of East St. Louis, Illinois, a community that mirrors Ferguson in it's racial and socio-economic climate.
As is true in Ferguson and other communities in the U.S., a gulf now exists between the rich and the poor, and between blacks and whites. This gulf is making it harder to empathize with people we don't know, and with people who are different from us.
The politics of respectability in the black community may not only hinder us from acting and engaging in the constructive protest, lobbying and collective action needed to create a more just society, as it has with respect to the Ferguson protests, but it may also prevent us from simply being and living freely.
They speak of it like the coming race war, not the race war we're already in. And it is not a race war really -- it is a racially divided class war.
Missouri is America, and like the nation itself, both racial strife and promise, are part of its enduring legacy. Long before black teenager Michael Brown, died tragically in a hail of police bullets, the dramatic epicenter of America's racial fault lines often emerged in Missouri.