Focus | Missouri - 12/03/2014 (2023)


Focus on Missouri and not only on Ferguson: the Missouri Bellwether, Thanksgiving in Kansas City, and local Sports i24news is an international 24-hour news and current affairs television channel based in Jaffa Port.
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Just four months ago few people in the world knew the small town of ferguson missouri.

But since august 9 2014, the suburb of st.

Louis has received international attention on that summer day, michael brown an unarmed 18 year old, black teenager was fatally shot by a white ferguson police officer, darren wilson.

The incident awoke, the long-standing racial tensions that exist in ferguson.

And in the united states as a whole protests erupted in the missouri town and quickly became violent in the name of justice after a few weeks of calm the ferguson grand jury in charge of the case officially announced last week, its decision, not to indict darren wilson.

The decision revived, the general anger and protests resumed, many have compared the town to a war zone.

Police forces are still mobilized in the field will ferguson missouri ever return to peace.

Our focus this week is on missouri.

Hello and welcome to our focus on missouri the state, which seems to get all the spotlight in the us recently, though under unfortunate circumstances.

Now with all the question marks around this incident, one thing is for sure the united states has not yet reached its post-race era to hear more about the current, delicate black white relations, we're joined by farah faisal, a journalist based in ferguson, hey, farah, hi.


Tal good day to you from ferguson missouri.

Thank you.

So farah from legal aspect.

It seems that all edges of this case are now pretty close, but is the tent's atmosphere.

Still that noticeable.

Well, it is, I mean on a daily basis there are protests happening.

And you know, the tenor tell has changed of these protests from the beginning of the week all around the world.

You probably saw, you know, buildings, burning, you saw people looting stores.

And and that was just five six days ago.

So over this this past week, we have really seen much of that violence convert and change.

And and we have not had and seen that kind of violence, really in in a few days.

Now what we have seen is a lot of protesters who are doing peaceful protests, and they are all day planning these actions and really carrying them out.


So far.

The ferguson shooting has turned into turmoil, which ignited the entire black white racial debate, all over the states in what way is it being felt on the ground.

Oh, my goodness.

We are feeling it here in terms of these, uh protests, actually, you know, a lot of the the the uh protesters are black.

But a lot of them are white.

They come from other places.

They are of different ethnicities.

And and you know, one of the things they keep saying to in these protests is that black lives matter.

And the reason why they say that is because for many many years, black people here have felt that they didn't matter that they were stopped for walking on the street, because they were black.

They were stopped for driving because they were black.

So really what has happened here is that we are seeing a different dynamic of this.

These protests they're really trying to find their message.

We know that they want justice.

They keep saying that we know that they want the justice system to change.

They want the health care system to change, but really how do they do that on a really instrumental critical level recently here, some of the cities around st.

Louis and ferguson decided to throw out all the warns that they had traffic warns.

And we know from some statistics that the majority of those warrants for traffic warrants were issued to black people in some of these cities and pharaoh.

Let me ask you this.

Why do you think that the racial discourse in the u.s is so recurrent? I mean, at the moment, it seems inevitable, right? Let me let me give you a small example, yeah, in the city of st.

Louis black and whites are divided it's 47 48 percent.

So basically it's half black and half white in many of these areas, you know, you're seeing really an inequality of black.

People will tell you that, you know, they they live in these communities, for example, in ferguson, 67 percent of people here are black.

There are three police officers on the police force out of 50 that are black.

So they see this inequity in in their communities, and that is really happening across the board in many of these little communities, it became normal for them to walk down the street and be stopped for being black go to court and know that they will not be able to pay these fines and then have to spend time in jail that has been exposed because of ferguson, because people really just got tired and said, you know, this is what how we have been living for so long and it's got to change farrah faisal.

Thank you so much for the interesting insights, unlike the state of new york, which is traditionally democrat or the state of texas, which is republican the political domination in the state of missouri keeps changing in the last 20 years since 1904, missouri has voted for the eventual winner of the presidential election with three exceptions, including mitt romney and john mccain.

They even have a name for this forecasting phenomenon called the missouri bellwether now let's, analyze it with nathan dickers a journalist based in kansas city.



Thank you for joining us.

Hi how's.

It going it's going great.

So first, nathan can you give us a short review of the political tendencies in missouri? Well, you described it perfectly it's a very much a bellwether state.

That means it swings as the country changes their political views.

You have a interesting balance between conservative and liberal voters in the state.

And that makes it very interesting.

Come every election season.

So what are the decisive decisive factors for the population of misery when going to the polls? I mean, what tips the scale for them? Eventually, I think you can really boil down the differences between rural and conservative a little more than half of the state lives in kansas city or st.

Louis and the other half lives in more rural areas, and those rural areas tend to swing conservative.

Those metropolitan areas tend to swing more liberal, because there are a lot of issues at play.

Rural areas tend to be more deregulatory, which aligns with the republican party.

The cities tend to require more social programs, which aligns them more with the liberal.

Democrats missouri obviously does not have a traditional political tendency.

Does this mean that during political campaigns, maybe the state is getting more attention because of it, well, missouri accounts for a very small percentage of the votes in terms of nationwide.

But I think what you see the focus on missouri is is more aligned with like political research, because as missouri's changes in political systems, generally affect wider parts of the country.

So you'll see missouri as sort of a predictive state for other places in the nation nathan.

So what about your prediction? What is your forecast for the upcoming? I mean, two years from now, the vote in missouri that that's, right? If I had to pick today, I would say that missouri is sort of going through a conservative phase that means that missouri would probably swing republican.

So you never really know, what's going to happen down the road with the way this state will vote.

Thank you so much nathan to thank you.

And now what else is going on in missouri missouri's.

Unemployment rate has dropped from 6.3 percent in september to 5.9 in october of this year, reaching its lowest rate since june 2008., according to the state department of economic development, the drop is due to the addition of thousands of job offers in missouri over the past year.

Missouri gun.

Dealers had reported a rise in sales last month in the period, just before the ferguson grand jury decided not to indict darren wilson.

The police officer who shot, michael brown, the surge in sales was particularly noticeable among first-time gun buyers, private shooting lessons are also reported full through the end of the year.

One of the four people killed in the recent attack in the harnoff synagogue in jerusalem was a native of kansas city missouri.

The victim 55-year-old rabbi carey.

William levine died.

When palestinian attackers burst into the synagogue during prayers levine had moved to israel from missouri in his twenties, an 8.5 million dollar facility in saint louis is providing housing for homeless people.

The garfield place apartments safe haven has opened in october and 10 people have already moved into apartments for one year leases.

Fifteen more homeless are expected to move in soon, including people struggling with disabilities.

The famous branson missouri amusement park.

Silver dollar city is competing for the title of best public lights display for the holiday season in the usa today, 10 best award race as it does every year.

The park has put out its christmas decorations made out of some 5 million lights, including a christmas tree covered in 000 led lights.

Missouri is a home of big sports clubs with a large fan base, which is a representative of the state's population.

Now miraf sevier I-24 news, correspondent is joining us.

Merv tell us did the ferguson incident affect the sports scene as well, absolutely todd, because you can't ever really separate sports from politics.

And we saw it this past.

Weekend ahead of the game, the st.

Louis rams game against the oakland, raiders, five of the players came out with their hands above their heads.

As we saw many demonstrators do over the past several months as they protested against, not only the decision over the past couple of weeks.

But also ahead of that of the shooting itself as they chanted don't.

You with their hands raised, they did that ahead of the game.

And before they took to the field and also after scoring, a touchdown in this blowout game and it's something that we saw these five black players doing showing solidarity with the common person on the street in ferguson, because you can never get away from mixing sports and politics.

And even though the team came out and said, you know, we didn't know that they were going to do this.

It wasn't a team sponsor gesture.

It is something that the players took upon themselves to show the people who support them because they're also demonstrators outside of the stadium, show them we're with you.

We are one it's, not just your fight it's, a struggle that we all have.


So sports and politics, definitely go together.

We heard before how big is politics there.

How big is sports in missouri sports are a huge thing and missouri is sort of a baseball state.

If you can call that there are two major baseball teams, the st.

Louis cardinals and the kansas city royals, and they could only be so different they're opposite ends of the spectrum.

Both of them made it to the postseason this year.

But in very different ways, you have the st.

Louis cardinals who have been a team around for the past over 100 years versus the kansas city royals, who have only been around since 1969, the royals have made it to less postseasons and the st.

Louis cardinals have rings on their fingers from his many world championships.

So, um, anything else we should put the spotlight on absolutely one of the biggest stories coming out of sports in missouri this year, doesn't really have as much to do with the game, but it's, michael, sam, the defensive end for the university of missouri who in february came out of the closet and became the first openly, gay football player.

Not only in collegiate sports, but also to be drafted into the nfl.

And he was actually drafted to the st.

Louis rams.

So keeping him within missouri.

He was waived later on.

But even if his football career does end after less than the full season.

He has made his mark.

Other players have come out.

Notably two months after him, derek, gordon the university of massachusetts division one.

Basketball player came out of the closet.

So he is paving the way and keeping the ball rolling and collegiate athletes coming out saying, I'm, gay openly, gay I'm proud of it and I'm here to play.

Well, he's, inspiring, you're, inspiring.

Thank you so much.

Thank you a tradition of the kansas city.

Thanksgiving celebration is the plaza lighting display.

It started with a single strand of christmas lights strangled over a store entrance in 1925.

And the only time the lights were not in operation was in 1973.

When president nixon called upon all americans to curtail, the use of christmas lights to reduce dependence on foreign oil imports.

So luckily, for us, the tradition goes on and we're excited to join the event and speak to chris hernandez, the public information officer for kansas city, hi, chris and happy holiday.

Well, happy holidays to you as well.

How are you doing I'm great? So uh, first tell us what is special about the thanksgiving atmosphere in kansas city? Well here in kansas city missouri, this is one of the biggest traditions of the holiday season.

This really kick-starts the holiday season because families spend all day together eating a big, huge american thanksgiving meal, all the turkey all the fixings.

And then everyone comes down here to this it's, an entertainment district, a lot of posh, shopping stores to shop at restaurants.

And they string these lights as you can see everywhere for blocks around and then there's that magical moment when they flip the switch, the lights go on.

And you know, everyone feels like a kid again.

And it just puts you in that mood and that special spirit of the well that sounds magical indeed and tell me how many people get there for this event every year tens of thousands of people are here, and they just crowd every corner every sidewalk they're on rooftops they're hanging out of balconies it's, a lot of fun.

So, uh, chris for people like us, uh, who got familiar with missouri in recent months, only under unfortunate circumstances.

Can you characterize, the population in missouri what's, special what's, typical about that, you know, st.

Louis area where you've seen the recent events that's on one side of the state.

And here, kansas city missouri.

We are on the western side of the state.

And there really is this feeling here that once you get to kansas city missouri, you are entering the space where the frontier started, uh back in the 1800s.

So there's a little bit of a different feeling a bit of a more wide open space, but it's also a place where in the days when the pioneers were here, they were the original entrepreneurs.

They were coming here to seek a better life.

And what we're seeing now in a modern sense is that people see this as a big open space to come for tech and arts.

Now we are seeing a lot of new stuff happening here with startups and tech entrepreneurs because google as you know, everyone knows what google is right? Yes.

They just started this this high-speed internet.

And we are the first city in the nation to get this.

So a lot of folks are coming here to take advantage.

Well, this is one interesting fact, do you feel like the the ferguson incident, the ferguson events, the protests have affected the holiday atmosphere? Maybe I think what a lot of people are hoping is that as we turn the corner there.

I mean, obviously with that, a lot of people really wanted to exp express their emotions and their feelings about that, but an event like this really helps people maybe turn that corner and feel like they can get back to what life is about, which is peace, let's find peace for everyone.

Thank you so much for this interview.

I wish you a very very happy holiday season.

Thank you as well say, hi to everyone for me and here's.

The fun fact about missouri, did you know that st? Louis is the place where the ice cream cone was invented.

Well, this happened at the st.

Louis wools fair in 1904 when an ice cream vendor ran out of cups, and he asked a waffle vendor to help by rolling up waffles to hold ice cream.

Interesting, right.

So enjoy the fireworks.

Some good stuff is happening there people.

And we have good stuff coming up ahead next week.

Another focus you.

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