If it seems like the African-American community in Ferguson, Missouri is not crazy about Governor Jay Nixon (D-MO), a move he made as attorney general back in the early 1990s could be part of the problem.
As the Washington Post’s Philip Bump reported this week, one year after becoming Missouri’s attorney general in 1992 Nixon filed a motion to end St. Louis’ school desegregation program, claiming it was not cost effective.
Nixon’s position infuriated the local NAACP, anger that was resurrected shortly before he decided to again seek a Senate seat again in 1998. While he was speaking at a Democratic dinner that June in St. Louis, 15 protestors marched outside the hotel, as CQ reported at the time. Among the signs they carried were ones reading “Deseg Yes, Segregation No,” and “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO INTEGRITY?” One leader said flatly, “As of now, I’m going to vote for the Republican.” Another compared him to Alabama’s George Wallace. For the second time, Nixon lost.
Nixon did receive praise this week for removing the Ferguson Police Department’s control of the city and instead turning it over to Missouri State Patrol under Captain Ron Johnson. But during a press conference Saturday, where he announced a state of emergency and midnight to 5 a.m. curfew, he received angry heckles from a crowd that is seeking justice for unarmed teenager Michael Brown’s death.
[Photo via screengrab]
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