“This afternoon, Lesley and Michael Sr. will have to do something that is out of order,” Sharpton said. “They will have to lay their son to rest. Order says that children bury their parents. It is out of order … for children to be buried by their parents. We should not sit here today and act like we’re watching something that is in order.”…
“How do you think we look when the world can see you can’t come up with a police report but you can find a video?” Sharpton said. “How do you think we look when young people march nonviolently asking for the land of the free and the home of the brave to hear their cry, and you put snipers on the roof, and pointed guns at them? How do we look?”…
“In this city, whites live in one side of town, the south side, and blacks live on the other,” said Britt, a custodian. “No one wants to talk about it until Mike Brown gets killed and all the racial tension comes out.”
On Sunday, relatives of Mr. Brown had asked for quiet during the funeral. The fatal shooting had set off weeks of protests and a severe police reaction in Ferguson. Several speakers echoed pleas from Mr. Brown’s family for people to refrain from protesting on Monday.
“Please don’t exacerbate the almost unbearable pain of this family,” said Bishop Edwin Bass of the Church of God in Christ. “It is imperative that we resist the temptation to react by rioting.”…
But Mr. Sharpton was also unsparing in his call for mourners to act peacefully. Speaking of looting that broke out in Ferguson in the wake of Mr. Brown’s death, he noted that the family had to call for calm. “Can you imagine their heart broken, their son taken, disregarded and marginalized and they have to stop mourning to get you to control your anger, like you’re more angry than they are?” he said.
“Sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves won’t solve the problems,” he said. “We got to be straight up in our community, too. We have to be outraged at a 9-year-old girl killed in Chicago. We have to be outraged by our disrespect for each other.”
What you notice is that the loudest voices now belong to the most recent arrivals. White and black, they continue to arrive from around the country, looking to find the Ferguson revolution they saw on the livestreams.
Last night, one such group, with matching revolutionary-themed t-shirts, brought a bullhorn and a wordy chant: “Indict, convict, send those killer cops to jail. The whole damn system is guilty as hell.” The chant failed to spread; locals may be getting a little tired of chanting.
“There’s a lot of people from outside the community, here,” says Ferguson’s young white mayor, James Knowles. He gained his share of notoriety during the height of the protests, especially after he was quoted as saying there was no racial divide in his city. He’s learned to become more circumspect about what he says to reporters.
In a 100-friend scenario, the average white person has 91 white friends; one each of black, Latino, Asian, mixed race, and other races; and three friends of unknown race. The average black person, on the other hand, has 83 black friends, eight white friends, two Latino friends, zero Asian friends, three mixed race friends, one other race friend, and four friends of unknown race.
Going back to Chris Rock’s point, the average black person’s friend network is 8 percent white, but the average white person’s network is only 1 percent black. To put it another way: Blacks have ten times as many black friends as white friends. But white Americans have an astonishing 91 times as many white friends as black friends…
As PRRI’s Robert Jones writes in The Atlantic, Americans’ segregated social circles have influenced responses to the events in Ferguson, Missouri over the past few weeks. Polls show deep divides between blacks and whites on everything from the role of race in Ferguson to the appropriateness of responses by protestors and police.
The numbers above offer insight into why so many whites have expressed bafflement over protesters’ responses to the shooting of Michael Brown. The history between many black communities and the police forces that serve them is long, complicated, often violent, and characterized by an extreme imbalance of power. But as Robert Jones notes, most whites are not “socially positioned” to understand this history, simply because they know few people who’ve experienced it.
“We’ll all see this in the end that it was a good shooting. You know, it was a good kill.” — Tina Morrison
Morrison, who used to live in Ferguson, said Wilson was trying to protect himself because he believed his life was in danger. “And had I been terrified for my life I would have killed him too,” she explained, adding later that “I totally believe what he did was the right thing.”
Despite ongoing conflicting reports about what happened during the shooting, many at the rally shared Morrison’s view that Brown was in some way the aggressor, and that Wilson would ultimately be vindicated.
Advocates of police demilitarization are calling on Washington leaders to move as quickly as possible with efforts to restrict or end the practice of giving free military hardware to local police forces. That could mean presidential action, or legislation in Congress. Advocates don’t care. They just want it now.
“If there were votes on the floor of the House in next two weeks, the sentiment would be there to change things,” said Tim Lynch, director of the libertarian Cato Institute’s Project on Criminal Justice. “But I am concerned people’s concerns will move on to other matters in the next two weeks.”…
Earnest did not provide a timeline for the review. Lynch said whatever happens, it needs to happen now. Though conservative critics of militarization are seeing their stock rise after Ferguson, Lynch said it would be wrong to assume that the politics of arming police with military surplus has changed forever.
Yet no national Democratic politician, nobody of the sort who is likely to mount a presidential run anytime soon, has risen to give voice to the anger we’re seeing in Ferguson. Nobody seems eager to make police abuses or racial injustice a key issue in a national campaign, even though an awful lot of Democratic voters could be activated on those issues…
Democrats win elections by building coalitions of white and nonwhite voters, and for decades, Democrats have used “tough on crime” stances as a way to build support with whites. The Missouri governor, Jay Nixon, spent 16 years as his state’s attorney general as a strong proponent of capital punishment.
Democrats have bad memories of the Willie Horton ad and other Republican campaign messages that used “law and order” issues to consolidate white voters. So faced with a policy issue that places a crowd of angry black people on one side and the police on the other, it’s not surprising that Democratic politicians would be wary of siding with the crowd…
So there is a good general election logic for Democrats to give short shrift to the issues raised in Ferguson. But if the Tea Party has taught us anything, it’s that a base can force its party to take stances that won’t be popular in a general election.
What we can expect next for Ferguson is probably what we saw in the big cities in the wake of the crime wave. The white middle class—and some of the black middle class, too—speeds up its exodus, and businesses whose operations have been disrupted for weeks decide to pull out.
How much luck do you think the Ferguson Chamber of Commerce is going to have for the next ten years? Ferguson was already under-banked, with more check-cashing outfits and sketchy payday lenders than regular bank branches. How many people are going to be eager to open up new shops along West Florissant Avenue, the epicenter of the riots?
How soon are they going to rebuild the QuikTrip? The most poignant part of that story is the conscientious young man who decided to come to work that day, despite the air of menace in the town, because he “he loves his job”—and barely escaped with his life when the store was looted and burned. Will he have any job to return to? In the first go-around, in the 60s and 70s, the answer was frequently, “no.”
That’s the real crime of the rioters. In an attempt to force the authorities to meet their demands, they’re engaging in the self-immolation of their own community. Then again, there are always those who would rather rule in hell than be just another law-abiding sucker in heaven.
Via the Blaze.
Via the Free Beacon.