In Ferguson, vote to replace deceased councilman exposes racial divide

For those arguing that a racial divide persists here, a Ferguson City Council meeting on Tuesday provided more evidence.

A vote to replace a recently deceased councilman fell along racial lines — with three black council members supporting a black woman for the position and two white members backing a white man.

But it doesn’t appear that either nominee will be seated anytime soon.

At the meeting, Ferguson City Attorney Stephanie Karr told the audience that four council votes were necessary for a nomination to be successful, according to several people who attended.

That interpretation seems to open the door for Mayor James Knowles III to make the appointment himself, but it has also been called into question by several residents claiming that the black nominee is being blocked unfairly.

More than two weeks ago, Councilman Brian Fletcher, a former mayor known as the city’s greatest champion, died of a heart attack. He was white.

The city’s charter stipulates that the remaining council members — excluding the mayor — will appoint someone in the event of a vacancy on the six-member board.

If the council doesn’t appoint someone within 30 days, the decision then falls to the mayor, according to the charter.

On Tuesday evening, Councilman Mark Byrne, who is white, nominated Rob Chabot, a Ferguson-Florissant School Board member, arguing that Chabot best represented the values espoused by Fletcher, who was elected to the council in April.

“I don’t look at this as my vote,” said Byrne, according to a short video clip posted on YouTube. “I look at this as recognizing the vote of the people that voted in the last election.”

Councilman Keith Kallstrom backed the nomination, according to those who attended.

Chabot is unpopular with some in the black community because he was among School Board members who voted in 2013 to remove black Ferguson-Florissant Superintendent Art McCoy — a decision that still hasn’t been explained by the School Board. McCoy resigned in March 2014.

According to people who attended the meeting, Chabot’s nomination caught Councilwoman Ella Jones by surprise.

Jones, who is black, then nominated a black woman, Laverne Mitchom, a move that was supported by council members Dwayne James and Wesley Bell.

Mitchom joined in some of the protests in the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting.

“I want to be part of the healing and making this community one Ferguson,” Mitchom said. “That’s why I applied.”

Emily Davis, a member of the citizens group called the Ferguson Collaborative, said she approached Karr after the meeting about her statement that four votes were necessary for Mitchom to be seated.

The charter does not specify that four votes are needed, but says that the “remaining” council members make the appointment.

A Ferguson spokesperson said Wednesday that Karr based her decision on past case history.

Karr did not return a voice message from the Post-Dispatch. Neither did Knowles.

The meeting occurred the night before the city released a proposed consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice, following allegations that it had used its municipal court and police department to generate revenue with tactics that unfairly targeted African-Americans.

Resident Karl Tricamo, also a member of the Ferguson Collaborative, said Knowles told him on Tuesday that the seat vacated by Fletcher is still factored into what constitutes a majority of the council, and that’s why four votes were needed.

“It’s more of the same in Ferguson,” Tricamo said. “It was ridiculous.”

Knowles has served as main spokesman for the city since Brown’s death in August 2014, which sparked several protests and a national conversation about race and police brutality. He has been dogged by his statement that Ferguson was not racially divided — a remark uttered on national television when the crisis was most intense.

“It’s completely ludicrous to suggest you have to have a four-person majority when there are only currently five members of the council,” said Dave Roland, a Mexico, Mo.-based constitutional attorney who has successfully argued two election cases before the Missouri Supreme Court.

“I think that it is abundantly clear that this provision taken in context, and by its plain meaning, means that the nonvacant seats on the City Council vote and a majority of those voting get to fill the vacancy.”

Mitchom said after the vote she thought she would be appointed. She found Karr’s comments befuddling.

“I’m still in the process of checking all this for myself,” she said. “I don’t totally understand all of it.”

Mitchom said that despite the scrutiny and damage that the city’s image has suffered, many good people remain. She still wants to serve them, she said.

“I want this community to come back,” she said. “We made the global stage as an American tragedy.”

But the vote, split along racial lines and followed by a perplexing legal explanation, left a lot of people thinking “Hey, this is déjà vu,” she said.

“It doesn’t make us look too good in terms of race relations.”


  • Members of the Ferguson Council listen to testimony from a resident during a council meeting on Tuesday, April 21, 2015.
  • Ferguson City Attorney Stephanie Karr.
  • Laverne Mitchom, from Ferguson, listens as speakers address the members of the Ferguson Commission during a comment portion of the meeting at the Carondelet YMCA in St. Louis on Monday, April 27, 2015.

Check out the new Down by Law video for Warriors United, a song from their forthcoming full length, Champions at Heart.

the “court of owls” batman arc has these little meditations on gotham city and these occasional small asides to how beautiful/rotten/hopeful/[adjective] gotham is, and it’s like, fine!! shovel it in. serve it to me piping hot. inject it straight into my body. don’t care. i’ll never get enough of glittering noir cities choked with smoke and rain. again i’ve been suckered into a passionate romance with a fictional place who is an entire character unto herself

repost this & tag 10 people you wanna get to know better.

tagged by @cactuartamer

Favourite anime: Yu Yu Hakusho! I also really loved No. 6, Space Dandy as well as classics like Ouran Highschool Host Club, Ruroni Kenshin, and Inuyasha lmao

Favourite manga: Not a huge manga fan tbh uh but i read Rosario Vampire and Chibi Vampire… yeah i was That Kid

Video Games: *cracks knuckles* Fallout 4 is the most recent love, but an abbreviated list of faves include Dragon Age, Bioshock, Fatal Frame, The Last of Us, the Elder Scrolls series, Enslaved, Alice, Kingdom of Alamar, Spyro and Persona

Last song I listened to: Mountains - Message to Bears

First Language: English

tagging @narcissisticpeacock, @eternallytrash, @fingerdrags, @grace-of-hearts, @graveflower, @the-champion-of-the-citadel, @connortemple, @pearlybuns

Listening To Freddie Mercury Sing Without Any Instruments Moved Me To Tears. What A Voice.

Listening To Freddie Mercury Sing Without Any Instruments Moved Me To Tears. What A Voice.

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Queen Freddie Mercury is for sure, one of the best singers in the world. You would not have your doubts if you would have heard him sing. When you listen to his voice, you will know why millions of fans always considered him to be the greatest singer of all times!

Although it has been 24 years now, this clip from Freddie’s performance in “We Are The Champions” will touch your heart. In this…

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Today was the first day of the new semester and I already punched a guy and ended up getting into a fight. (HA!) Honestly I’m more surprised Brendan let me… If this is how the rest of the semester is going to go, I can’t let you go to Japan. You still have to babysit me. XD

👏 I’m So Proud Of Dean Last Night!!! This Man Worked His Ass Off And Not Only That He Gave It All To Defend His IC Tittle But Also Participate At The Royal Rumble!!! Dean Is A True Champion Of Heart And All The Ambrose Army Loves Him And Supports Him!!! I’m Happy For My Baby!!! 👏
#ATrueDeanAmbroseFanNeverGivesHimTheColdShoulder #ICChamp #ProudOfYouDean #WeLoveYouAmbrose #ThankyouAmbrose #AmbroseArmy

Love Is All We Need Here

on AO3

If someone were to ever ask Dean to recall how or when it changed - not that anyone would, of course, because it’s all theirs and only theirs, just a secret belonging only to him and his brother - he really couldn’t say.

There was no magical moment, no sudden epiphany. It wasn’t like one minute Sam was his gawky kid brother and the next he was the uncontested champion of Dean’s heart and soul. Maybe he always had been - Dean figures that’s likely the case - but it all came together in the tiny day-to-day pieces of their lives, too little to notice but far too much to ever ignore.

This thing with Sam, everything they are - his whole life bound outside his body within his brother’s honey-warm skin - happened as naturally, as inevitably, as growing up. Little by little it closed in, drew closer; it was a wolf circling its prey or the spark on an ignition line glowing stronger as it snakes it way closer to detonation.  Looking back Dean can see the subtle, shivery thrill of it, the inescapable light of it where it touched every part of their history, even if at the time he was too in it to recognize what it was.

He always thinks that first time shouldn’t have been a surprise. And it wasn’t, not really. Surprise, Dean thinks, is entirely the wrong word.

All of their lives have been a devotion - are - a devotion; in one way or another close, intimate, knowing, protecting, needing, adoring.

It was sharing a bed with his kid brother until their father said they were too old, spending every night apart missing the comfort of their closeness, the safety of it, the surety of it. It was stealing into each other’s beds after Dad slept, reveling in the freedom on the nights he was altogether gone. Sam had those big doe eyes, big, trusting, loving eyes that told Dean everything he needed to know, an echo of everything he already knew. He’d say shhh, just this once and Sam would laugh his little kid laugh and Dean would feel the bubbles of it lifting up, damn near soaring because Sam looked at him like he might as well have hung the moon.

It was telling himself it was always for Sam, scared of the monsters under his bed, even though without the monsters Dean knew he liked his nights better wrapped up in his brother. It was cherishing those moments, those nights, realizing that all the ones without it didn’t feel right, left him aching for the brushes of smooth baby-soft skin, the tickle of Sam’s hair when he’d move, bumps from knobby knees and rogue elbows, the warmth of sleep-sour breath against his chest, the body beside him growing stubbornly more and more until what once fit in the cradle of his arms now required him to tilt his chin up.

It was hearing take care of Sammy echo in his ears, feeling it sing in his veins, floating in his blood with the power of a current, directing him, defining him, leading him the way that would ever matter.

It was that look, the one Sam had given him since always, the one he was somehow still giving him decades later: those big, bright eyes still trusting, sweet and innocent - impossibly innocent even now when his too-long hair falls in his face so Dean still sees that little boy, his little brother, even when his lips are puffy and bruised, spit-slick or wet with come, sweat beading at his temples, pooling in the hollow of his throat, his cheeks flushed and a little glistening and the colour of Dean’s heart.

They’re practically settled now, all things considered, and Dean can hardly believe it. Which is saying something, really. He never thought he live to see this close to forty, never dreamed he’d spend his life worshipping - devotedly - at the altar of his brother’s body, his soulmate, but hey- that’s how it’s turned out so far and Dean is not complaining.

The bunker feels eerily like it’s theirs, like it belongs to them, like they are its keepers.

And it keeps them, too.

The shit storm is ever looming on the horizon but they don’t know it any other way. Dean isn’t saying he wants it- hell, he’d give Sam the normalish, almost-apple pie life he knows his brother used to dream about if he thought it was something they were both capable of but the demons and the Darkness say they’ve got other plans.

Dean does know one thing to be sure, knows it to be true like the beat of his own heart: Sam is his. And he belongs to Sam. Always has, always will.

The nerdy, insatiable, beautiful bastard has had Dean wrapped around his pinky since long before Dean knew enough to notice and he still does, as surely as he did that first time he leaned in and slipped his petal tongue between Dean’s lips and Dean just let him. He let his hands find his brother then, too, all the familiar-but-new places Sam had to have him. Dean always gave Sam everything he asked for because it was everything Dean wanted, too.

He still remembers his brother’s voice in his ear, so much softer, higher than it is now, a little broken but unwaveringly sure through the teeth grazing along his skin saying <please, Dean and love you, Dean and fuck me, Dean.

It had been enough to undo him just like that, his baby brother’s mouth and all manner of perfect sin that fell from it - still falls from it - a fast-acting drug, potent and undeniable and completely addictive. Sam is the best high of Dean’s life.

Sam still feels the same to him as that first time after all these years. Dean knows that he’s changed, that they both have, but just as they fell into each other like it was always a foregone conclusion, written in Sam’s dimples or the small moles on his neck or the velvet skin that’s just for Dean, the space Sam’s body yields to him, that Dean’s carved into and made his own, their life together - all that it is - is home.

Sam is Dean’s home, always has been, and Sam’s eyes are still trusting, adoring, innocent in a way only Sam could be after everything the world has thrown at them. Dean knows his eyes are just as full, as telling, as thankful. When Sam’s body tenses around him, bares down and pulls him in, while he shudders and sighs Dean’s name, Dean knows that for all the monsters in creation and the hell they’ve endured, the blood they’ve lost or spilled, he’d live this life a thousand times as long as they’re together.