*** St. Louis CofCC Blog Exclusive ***
Lewis Reed, current 6th Ward St. Louis City Alderman, is abandoning his seat to run for the Presidency of the St. Louis City Board of Aldermen. He is challenging incumbent Jim Shrewsbury, in the Democrat Primary on March 6, and is the case in many big cities, the Democrat Primary is the de facto election.
Mr. Reed is African-American, and Mr. Shrewsbury is white, so without knowing much else, one could easily conclude that race will be an unspoken issue during this campaign.
We have reason to believe that Mr. Reed is trying to reverse the issue in a deceitful manner.
Mr. Reed has degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science, and no doubt his math education has taught him that if he expects to win this election, he is going to have to get enough white votes from south city. While south city is becoming more and more non-white (especially black), still the vast majority of voters in south city are white.
However, Mr. Reed has some competition for that white vote, and that being the white incumbent he is challenging.
What to do?
This blogmeister, a south city resident, received a piece of Reed campaign literature in the mail today which will show his campaign’s strategy (and deceit) in that regard.
Here’s the front of the card:
The angle here is obvious. The ad is blaming Shrewsbury for St. Louis being the most dangerous big city for crime. This is based on the Morgan Quinto study, the results of which city officials have varied from panning to embracing in various stages since its release last fall. However, what’s not obvious from this ad, and unless one knows the situation, is that crime is top-tier concern of city white voters.
Therefore, this ad is aimed at city white voters, blaming the white incumbent Aldermanic President for (black) crime, and trying to gin up hostilites against him.
Now here’s the left half of the back of the card (the right half was blank space for addressing):
Click here for the full resolution version — which is relevant for this image
The black text on yellow background is easily readable, and makes issue of Shrewsbury’s insouciance on the crime issue. I have a lot of problems with this missive, but that’s not relevant here.
After seeing all that, a white voter in south city might be tempted to want to get rid of Shrewsbury now, and vote for that other guy.
What other guy?
There isn’t anything in this ad about the “other guy.”
Except if you look way at the bottom of the yellow, underneath the red stripe. If you can’t see it, then go to the full resolution version and scroll to the bottom.
In tiny white letters, very unreadable on the yellow background, and very easy to miss, are these words:
“Paid for by Committe [sic] to Elect Lewis Reed Thomas Shepard, Treasurer”
Okay. Is Lewis Reed Thomas Shepard running for City Treasurer? If you didn’t know that Mr. Reed was the opposition on March 6, you would think so. But if you know, you also know that, by accident or design, no punctuation mark exists between “Reed” and “Thomas” to indicate that Lewis Reed was running for Aldermanic President, and that Thomas Shepard was his campaign treasurer.
Okay, brass tacks time.
Lewis Reed needs white south city votes. But he can’t get those in the numbers he needs if the average white person knows he is black. So his strategy here is to whoop up hostility toward Shrewsbury among whites on a white concern, (black) crime, and get people not to vote for Shrewsbury or to vote for his opponent, and not indicate who is opponent is, and certainly not show a picture of his opponent. In other words, trick the dummies.
And I can deduce that this ad was aimed at south city, and not north city, because north city is surely getting mailed literature with his name and photo prominently displayed, for racial reasons.
If you got this ad in the mail, south city resident, and if you want to know what Mr. Reed looks like, here you go: