Yet, a large segment of American society seems inured to the events. Robert P. Jones opins that this is in large part due to the self-segregated communities we live in, unable to appreciate, let alone understand, what it is like to live in black communities like Ferguson. Decades of desegregation attempts have failed to achieve the desired result. We still live in a largely segregated society, mostly of our own choosing, and to a large degree shut everything out that doesn't directly concern us.
Many Americans conveniently accept the stereotypes of each other. Some even take pride in their own stereotypes, especially when portrayed in the ubiquitous reality shows. Politicians take advantage of the racial divides in their voting districts, especially in the way these districts have been gerrymandered to favor one political party or another, all too often along racial lines.
St. Louis County is little different than any other metropolitan area in the country in the way it is split demographically, with these racially divided communities having little contact with each other at a social level. Like many Midwest cities, St. Louis attracted Blacks seeking better opportunities in the wake of Jim Crow laws in the South, only to find themselves segregated from the mainstream of society in much the same way. They settled into racially-defined communities with little representation in local government.
Over the years, the percentage of Blacks living in St. Louis County has increased to nearly 25 per cent, but they still find themselves largely marginalized in local politics. Even the Ferguson police force, overseen by the county, is mostly White in a community that is predominantly Black, which sadly echoes the plantation system. Protest becomes the only form of political recourse, evoking the Civil Rights movement.