Another Ferguson Effect: Bosnians Leaving St. Louis
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From the New York Times:

‘It’s Not the Same’: Why War Refugees Who Helped Revive St. Louis Are Leaving

A population of Bosnians, up to 70,000 at its peak, is moving out of the city in search of safer neighborhoods and better opportunities.

By Melina Delkic, Aug. 18, 2019

ST. LOUIS — It took Beriz Nukic about two years after landing on a new continent as a war refugee to open his own business.

Mr. Nukic learned English on the fly, and started with a simple concept — a Turkish coffee roastery for Bosnians, who drink Turkish coffee as though it is water. Soon he expanded the business into a deli, and then opened a restaurant, Berix, working 18-hour days and carrying a Bosnian-to-English dictionary in his pocket.

He did all that in Bevo Mill, a once-dilapidated neighborhood in the southern part of St. Louis that quickly became the stuff of American dreams. …

For St. Louis, a city that had bled population for decades — it had about 400,000 residents in 1990, down from more than 800,000 in the 1950s — the influx of what was estimated to be the largest population of Bosnians outside Bosnia seemed to work magic. For the first time in generations, the urban narrative of abandoned houses, stagnant business and vanishing people appeared to be changing.

But it didn’t last.

Today, St. Louis, like some other Midwestern cities, is battling a new round of contraction, with a stagnant economy, challenged schools and one of the highest murder rates in the country. And over the past few years, the people who fled brutal violence and concentration camps in their homeland and created Little Bosnia have been fleeing again, to the suburbs.

A deadly hammer attack in Bevo Mill — in which Zemir Begic, a young Bosnian man out with his fiancée, was killed by four teenagers — shook the community in 2014. Bosnians marched in the streets, arguing that the police had not done enough to keep the neighborhood safe.

Begic (pictured above, with his now-widow) was murdered in the wake of the second round of Ferguson riots by four hammer-wielding Youths of Color shouting “Kill the white people!

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