This kind of snide dismissiveness is indicative of a white political machine on the defensive. Classic way of speaking coming out of mayor's office. Conjure up the image of the [white] "people of St. Louis" and oppose them to anybody who questions the system (we hear the same thing in the education arena):
Maggie Crane, spokeswoman for Mayor Francis Slay, said the workhouse passes city standards. She said a grievance policy allows inmates to file complaints.
She said the workhouse won’t be shut down soon.
“I don’t think the people of St. Louis would be happy with us if we did, except for the dozen people outside today,” she said