A few days before Thanksgiving much of Ferguson, Mo. went up in flames, but the match that lit the torch was struck years before.
Even before the Aug. 9 slaying of 18-year-old, college-bound Michael Brown – the unarmed teen killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson – there was the toxic stench of systematic racism that permeated not only in Ferguson, but in most of north St. Louis County – an area with more than 20 separate municipalities. And for each municipality there is a police force that earns its city millions of dollars in revenue by stopping motorists (particularly Black motorists) at will. And the curiosity of most of these municipalities is while the residents are majority Black, the elected officials and police departments are overwhelmingly white. Ferguson Democratic Committeewoman Patricia Bynes is working to change that.