Editor’s note: This is the 7th part in Frontpage Mag’s new series on Racist Mayors. (See previous parts below this article). Stay tuned for more installments.
The murder rate in St. Louis, Missouri, which is at a 50-year high, is reportedly the highest in the country. Tishaura Jones, who became St. Louis’s first African American female mayor last April, rejects the notion that it is the individuals who commit the violent crimes who should be held fully responsible for their crimes and serve their sentences in prison. Jones, a radical leftist who has been described as a “champion of Black Lives Matter,” believes that society is responsible. She blames “systemic racism” and poverty as the root causes of the rampant crime afflicting her city. The newly elected mayor believes the answers to the crime problem in St. Louis are to cut the police department budget, close a jail, end cash bail, mandate mental health evaluations for police officers, and send social workers in response to 911 calls.
In one of her first decisions as mayor, Jones proposed an initial $4 million reduction in the St. Louis Police Department budget, including the elimination of 98 officers’ positions from the police force. “More police doesn’t prevent crime,” Jones asserted last month. Nevertheless, in the typical leftwing hypocrisy of “rules for thee but not for me,” Mayor Jones “doubled the number of police officers on her personal security team,” according to the Police Tribune. While “Jones is beefing up her personal security,” the Police Tribune added, “she doesn’t seem as worried about the security of her voters.”
Former St. Louis Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards, an African American, said last year that protesters outraged over police brutality against African Americans are ignoring the main issue involving the loss of black lives to crime. “Black-on-black crime–we run away from it like it doesn’t happen,” Edwards said. Jones rejects this premise out of hand, despite the overwhelming evidence that supports Edwards’ statement of fact. Jones’ rush to blame a supposedly white-controlled racist system for the crimes rather than the perpetrators themselves – too often blacks killing or maiming other blacks – is racist in itself.
During her campaign for mayor, Jones tweeted that she planned on replacing Edwards because “it’s time for a new direction. We’ll put the public back in public safety, we’ll make sure that police aren’t the only response when you call 9-1-1, and we’ll lead with prevention-first.” Edwards resigned before the April 2021 mayoral election.
As Matthew Vadum noted in his May 29th FrontPage article, “Jones’s campaign, which focused on ‘progressive’ criminal justice reforms, was unabashedly racist.” For example, Jones proudly tweeted on March 30th essentially what she had said during her debate with her liberal white female opponent: “A white person doesn’t have to have the ‘talk’ with their children. While I appreciate the role of white allies in this movement of progress, I don’t believe they have the lived experience to lead a majority-minority City right now.”
Jones racially stereotyped white parents and children as being too “privileged” to bother having a serious “talk” about crime.
Moreover, in Tishaura Jones’ racially divided world of “oppressors” versus the “oppressed,” whites have no business running St. Louis solely because they are of the wrong skin color. Jones reiterated this message during her victory lap as Mayor-Elect. During a CNN interview on April 8th, Jones said that “what I heard from voters is that they are ready for a black woman to lead this city, that a black woman has lived experiences that others do not.” Jones is a purveyor of racist identity politics.
This wasn’t Jones’ first run for mayor. “St. Louis is the epicenter of Black Lives Matter,” Jones declared back in 2017 when she ran against and lost to a white female, Lyda Krewson, who chose not to run for re-election in 2021. After winning this time against another white female opponent, Jones spitefully declined to invite Krewson to her April 20th inaugural ceremony – breaking a decades-old tradition.
Mayor Jones is now busy making St. Louis City Hall the epicenter of Black Lives Matter and its anti-white, far left progressive platform. Jones is also trying to do the same with the St. Louis Public Schools Board of Education, filling a vacant seat with a 25-year old pro-Back Lives Matter activist named Alisha Sonnier.
Sonnier made her mark as a leftwing agitator when she helped lead a student week-long occupation of a portion of Saint Louis University’s campus in 2014. Just seven years later, the young activist ran for a seat on the Board of Education. The only candidate out of ten whom Jones endorsed during the campaign was Sonnier, who lost anyway. Not to worry as far as Jones was concerned. After Jones won her own campaign for mayor, she used her current appointment power to have Sonnier fill a remaining vacant seat on the Board of Education.
Three weeks prior to the announcement of Sonnier’s appointment to the Board of Education on May 11th, Sonnier tweeted “that it’s time we look at how systematic oppression, capitalism & other structural inequities are negatively impacting us all & we’re overdue for systematic changes.”
Less than two weeks after her appointment, Sonnier tweeted enthusiastically about an event she attended where she had the opportunity to discuss “the intersection of white supremacy + class + patriarchy + abortion.” With Sonnier, Mayor Jones’s handpicked leftwing progressive wunderkind on the St. Louis Public Schools Board of Education, some radical changes in education may be right around the corner. St. Louis public school teachers and students could soon see the racist, anti-white critical race theory and the New York Times’ historically distorted “1619 Project” become an integral part of the St. Louis public school curriculum.
Mayor Tishaura Jones blames St. Louis’s out-of-control crime rate on systemic racism and poverty. The police, she believes, are a major part of the problem rather than a key part of the solution. It is estimated that the homicide rate per 100,000 in 2020 was 87.2. If systemic racism and poverty are the long term root causes of crime as Jones and her Black Lives Matter allies claim, how do they explain the much lower homicide rate between 1997 and 2001, when a former African American mayor who had previously served as chief of police was in charge? It’s worth looking back for a moment to get some perspective on Jones’s racially divisive agenda as the third African American elected mayor in St. Louis.
During Clarence Harmon’s one term as the second African American elected mayor in St. Louis, the average homicide rate per 100,000 was under 40. Harmon’s predecessor, Freeman R. Bosley Jr., was the first African American elected mayor in St. Louis, whom Harmon defeated in the March 1997 mayoral Democratic primary. During Bosley Jr.’s one term, the homicide rate per 100,000 exceeded 50. After Harmon completed his term and brought the homicide rate down by approximately 20 percent, the rate did not rise above 50 again until 2015.
Bosley Jr. and Harmon had widely divergent approaches to dealing with crime and race, which first played out when Harmon resigned out of frustration as St. Louis’s police chief in 1995 while Bosley Jr. was mayor. Harmon felt that he was not getting enough support as police chief from Bosley Jr., who tended to look at the police through a racial prism. Harmon decided instead to run in 1997 against Bosley, Jr., who was seeking a second term as mayor.
During their 1997 primary campaign for mayor against each other, Bosley Jr.’s father, Alderman Freeman Bosley Sr., called Harmon a “rented Negro.″ Bosley Jr.’s campaign was built around such racial polarization, casting Harmon as the white establishment candidate. Harmon ran his campaign as a coalition builder seeking racial rapport. ”The best representation is provided for all the people,” Harmon said. ”Everybody has to feel included.”
The voters in St. Louis back then were turned off by the racially tinged rhetoric of Bosley Jr.’s campaign. They felt more confident voting for the law and order candidate with a strong police background and sent Bosley Jr. packing. After Harmon won the general election the next month against two white opponents, he said “I’m ready to start the healing process beginning with this moment, the healing process St. Louis so desperately needs.”
Fast forward to 2021. Tishaura Jones ran a racially charged, anti-police campaign. Rather than seek to heal racial divisions in her city after she won the election, Jones is using her office to widen the racial divide. That’s how leftwing progressive racists roll.
Other Parts of the Series:
Part I: Chicago’s Lori Lightfoot.
Part 2: LA’s Eric Garcetti.
Part 3: DC’s Muriel Bowser.
Part 4: KC’s Quinton Lucas.
Part 5: SF’s London Breed.
Part 6: Philly’s Jim Kenney.
Part 8: Jackson’s Chokwe Antar Lumumba.
Part 9: Seattle’s Jenny Durkan.
Part 10: Minneapolis’s Jacob Frey.
Part 11: Charlottesville’s Nikuyah Walker.
Part 12: Portland’s Ted Wheeler.
Part 13: Atlanta’s Keisha Lance Bottoms.
Part 14: NYC’s Bill de Blasio.