James W. Knowles III has been re-elected as mayor of Ferguson, MO. This happened despite a well-recorded history of mishandling the uprising in the city following the killing of Mike Brown and the political discourse that followers.
The worst part? He went up against a Black woman who would’ve been the city’s first ever Black mayor and only won by 6 percent.
This is the same mayor who denied that there was a racial divide in the city despite mountains of evidence that said otherwise.
According to the U.S. Census, Ferguson’s population includes more than 21,000 people and is 70 percent black. So how did Knowles win a third three-year term? Only 3,356 people voted, giving Knowles 56 percent of the vote to Ella Jones’ 44 percent, according to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“When you look at it, when the people had an opportunity to change what they said has been an oppressed system, they decided not to get out and change the system,” Jones said a day after the election, according to The New York Times. “You cannot complain about a system that you are unwilling to do the work to change.”
Ferguson was looked at as a ground zero for the Black Lives Matter movement and the city’s inability to unseat a white Republican mayor in exchange for a black woman will be disconcerting to many. Especially given that it was essentially the result of abysmally low voter turnout and not much else.