1. The Washington Post article about the Ferguson rioting contains this interesting passive voice statement:
“Unfortunately, this spun out of control,” added [St. Louis County Police Chief Jon] Belmar, even as protests in sympathy with Brown broke out around the country.
Either Belmar is being circumspect or he’s a fool. What’s happening in Ferguson and at locations across America didn’t just “spin out of control” in an accidental, unanticipated way. Instead, race hustlers and the media, with a huge dollop of the usual suspects whenever there’s anarchy in the air (self-labeled communists, mostly), fanned these flames as vigorously as they could.
2. Speaking of those race hustlers and media types, the Washington Post has published an opinion piece that merits notice. First, the author:
Carol Anderson is an associate professor of African American studies and history at Emory University and a public voices fellow with the Op-Ed Project. She is the author of “Bourgeois Radicals: The NAACP and the Struggle for Colonial Liberation, 1941-1960.”
Second, the author’s premise, which I discovered because several of my Progressive friends on Facebook have been very excited about it:
When we look back on what happened in Ferguson, Mo., during the summer of 2014, it will be easy to think of it as yet one more episode of black rage ignited by yet another police killing of an unarmed African American male. But that has it precisely backward. What we’ve actually seen is the latest outbreak of white rage. Sure, it is cloaked in the niceties of law and order, but it is rage nonetheless.
Protests and looting naturally capture attention. But the real rage smolders in meetings where officials redraw precincts to dilute African American voting strength or seek to slash the government payrolls that have long served as sources of black employment. It goes virtually unnoticed, however, because white rage doesn’t have to take to the streets and face rubber bullets to be heard. Instead, white rage carries an aura of respectability and has access to the courts, police, legislatures and governors, who cast its efforts as noble, though they are actually driven by the most ignoble motivations.
Put another way, “white people hit us back first.”
You’ll notice that Anderson doesn’t care even the slightest bit about the actual facts of the Ferguson shooting. The case is just a straw man, a convenient hook on which to hang the perpetual grievance mongering that is the ordinary way of thinking for academics in America. The fact that the physical and other objective evidence — i.e., the kind that isn’t swayed by emotions and politics — supports Officer Wilson’s claims is entirely irrelevant to her. The riots are the white man’s chickens coming home to roost. All the little Eichmans in America deserve to have these riots explode, never mind that, as was the case in LA, the explosions destroy the rioters’ communities, not the far-flung “evil” white communities.
The witnesses were all over the place. What wasn’t was the objective and physical evidence showing that (1) Brown was flooded with marijuana, so he wasn’t feeling much pain; (2) moments before Wilson stopped him, Brown had just robbed a convenience store; (3) Brown was a huge man, much bigger than Wilson; (4) Brown physically assaulted Wilson; and (5) none of Brown’s injuries were consistent with his kneeling on the ground begging for his life but were, instead, consistent with him repeatedly charging the officer.
Other things to consider: (1) Once an officer starts firing, he must shoot to kill. That is, once he’s made the decision that his life is at risk, he can no longer calibrate the response because, until the other person is down on the ground and not moving, it is impossible for the officer to determine whether the risk is over. (2) Only someone too dumb to live or intent upon committing suicide by cop (or perhaps anesthetized by pot and the adrenalin thrill of a strong arm robbery) attacks an armed police officer, especially one aiming a gun at him. (3) An enraged huge person is a lethal weapon and, in America, a more deadly one than rifle fire.
3. These are not the first riots in America and they certainly won’t be the last. What’s extraordinary about these particular riots, though, is that the President of the United States is deliberately fanning the flames:
In acknowledging U.S. shortcomings during his United Nations speech Wednesday, President Obama mentioned the summer incident that drew global criticism: The police shooting in Ferguson, Mo.
The reference came after Obama called on nations and religions to reject violent extremism among their populations.
“I realize that America’s critics will be quick to point out that at times we too have failed to live up to our ideals,” Obama told the UN General Assembly, “that America has plenty of problems within our own borders.”
He added: “This is true. In a summer marked by instability in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, I know the world also took notice of the small American city of Ferguson, Missouri — where a young man was killed, and a community was divided.”
Obama opened by stating that America was a “nation built on the rule of law.” When millions of Americans stopped guffawing at the irony of President Executive Amnesty glowing over the value of process, Obama continued:
[W]e need to accept that this decision was the grand jury’s to make. There are Americans who agree with it, and there are Americans who are deeply disappointed, even angry. It’s an understandable reaction.
No, actually, it isn’t. As it turns out, justifiable anger should be based on evidence of injustice, not a vague sense of it purveyed by the media and opportunistic politicians. And there is not a shred of evidence suggesting that Officer Darren Wilson was a racist, profiled Michael Brown, or gunned him down summarily.
Why, then, is such anger justified according to the president? Because while Wilson may not be guilty, America is guilty:
[W]e need to recognize that the situation in Ferguson speaks to broader challenges that we still face as a nation. The fact is in too many parts of this country a deep distrust exists between law enforcement and communities of color. Some of this is the result of the legacy of racial discrimination in this country.
It is the year 2014. This is not Selma, as the president has acknowledged. The legacy of racial discrimination had nothing to do with Michael Brown, an 18-year-old who strong-arm-robbed a convenience store before allegedly twice attacking a police officer. Absent fathers, a culture of casual crime, disdain for education – all of these are “broader challenges” in our nation. But “deep distrust” is not. Neither are “issues in which the law too often feels as if it is being applied in a discriminatory fashion.” Feelings cannot be cured, unless a licensed psychotherapist is on hand. And Obama is not America’s psychotherapist.