The Real Tragedy in Ferguson — and Across the Nation
Unintended Consequences of “The Great Society”
“Whatever be their degree of talent, it is no measure of their rights. … [H]opeful advances are making towards their re-establishment on an equal footing with the other colors of the human family.” –Thomas Jefferson (1809)
Today marks the 50th anniversary of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society initiative and the so-called “War on Poverty.” More on that in a minute.
When the Democrat Party is free-falling into political disfavor, as it now certainly is under the Barack Obama regime, its protagonists predictably revert to their default politics of disparity positions in a diversionary effort to “gin up” discontent and regain the allegiance of its base constituencies.
There are three deceptions in the Demos’ disunity playbook that have proven politically profitable.
First, the Left is promoting their spurious “war on women” rhetoric, which successfully lured majorities of female voters to elect and re-elect Obama, as they did his predecessor, Bill Clinton.
Second, they are pushing several classist themes projecting a “war on the poor,” because everyone has less than someone, and Obama’s “redistributive justice” is an easy sell. Indeed, as avowed socialist George Bernard Shaw smugly declared, “A government which robs Peter to pay Paul, can always depend on the support of Paul.”
And third, in full bloom this week, Demos and their operatives are busy propagating the bygone notion of “racial inequality,” as if it pervades every facet of society and is a gauntlet between black folks and success. Now, that’s not an easy subterfuge when the twice-elected sitting president is, himself, half black, but this artifice has successfully co-opted the most loyal single constituency of any, black voters – some 93 percent of whom are baited into voting for Democrats.
Obama has a dependable stable of surrogate “race hustlers,” including Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and legions of lesser useful idiots, who are quick to promote hate crime hoaxes in order to foment discontent and rally black constituents.
The last national hate hoax coincided with the launch of Obama’s 2012 re-election bid and centered on accusations that a “white Hispanic” racist murdered a black youth, though a jury ultimately determined that the defendant, George Zimmerman, shot Trayvon Martin in self-defense.
Of course, Obama interjected himself into that case for all the political gain he could bleed from it. He nationalized the case by sowing this seed: “This is a tragedy, uh … uh and when I think about this boy, uh, I think about my own kids, uh … I think that all of us need to do some soul searching to figure out how something like this happened. … If I had a son he would look like Trayvon, and, uh, you know, I think [his parents] are right to expect that all of us as Americans, uh, are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves.”
Apparently by “seriousness” Obama meant “circus side show.”
Now, just ahead of the 2014 midterm elections, Democrats have seized on another “injustice,” the shooting of a black man, Michael Brown, by a white police officer, Darren Wilson, in Ferguson, Missouri, an urban borough of St. Louis.
It is not my intent to defend the actions of Wilson, or to condemn the actions of Brown, because we do not know, and may never know for certain, all of the circumstance of this incident. As my colleague Cal Thomas notes, “If jumping to conclusions were an Olympic sport, some of these loudmouths … would win gold medals.”
However, there is evidence that Brown was a “strong arm thug” who assaulted a convenience store clerk an hour before the altercation with Wilson. And St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Christine Byers says, “[M]ore than a dozen witnesses have corroborated [Wilson’s] version of events” – that Brown punched him through the window of his police vehicle, prior to Wilson exiting his vehicle, demanding that Brown stop, and firing on him when charged by Brown.
Perhaps one of the three Brown autopsies will tell more about that altercation, though the information released already establishes that Brown’s wounds were frontal – he was not shot in the back as his accomplice claimed.
But Officer Wilson has already been tried and convicted by the race hustlers – as made clear by the Black Panthers’ chant: “What do we want? – Darren Wilson! – How do we want him? – Dead!”
It appears that Missouri Democrat Gov. Jay Nixon, who is fishing for a 2016 veep slot under Hillary Clinton, has joined that chant.
In a prepared statement Tuesday, Nixon said, “A police officer shot and killed Michael Brown in broad daylight.” He called on “the people of Ferguson [to] try to maintain peace, while they call for justice for the family of Michael Brown. … People of all races and creeds are joining hands to pray for justice. … A vigorous prosecution must now be pursued. … We now have a responsibility to come together and do everything we can to achieve justice for this family. … Once we have achieved … justice for the family of Michael Brown, we must remain committed to rebuilding the trust that has been lost. … So I ask that we continue to stand together as we work to achieve justice for Michael Brown.”
Nixon, who previously served as MO’s attorney general, should know better than to release such a grossly accusatory assessment on the eve of convening a grand jury to review this case. Nixon has apparently absolved Brown of any wrongdoing and never mentioned “justice” for Wilson.
Most certainly, that is also the position of Obama’s AG, Eric Holder, who arrives in Missouri today. Like Nixon, Holder is pandering to BO’s Demo base across the country, and will be seeking “justice for the family of Michael Brown.” Recall that from Holder’s perspective, “[I]n things racial we have always been, and I believe continue to be, essentially a nation of cowards.”
Holder insists, “Any attorney general who is not an activist is not doing his or her job. … The responsibility of the attorney general is to change things…”
Well, no it’s not. The only responsibility of an attorney general at any level of government is to uphold Rule of Law. But for Obama, Holder, Nixon, et al., politics trumps principle.
Despite the Demo rush to convict Wilson on only the precursory details of this incident, allow me to share a few things I know for certain about the case.
1. Of all the columnists and 24-hour news cycle talking heads opining about this incident, few have raised their hand in the service of our country, either in a military or civilian capacity. However, I have raised my hand in oath to Support and Defend“ our Constitution – the first time upon graduating from a state police academy at age 19.
Having worked as a uniformed officer in two states while completing my undergraduate degree, I take great offense at the constant description of Michael Brown as an "unarmed teenager.” No law enforcement officer should ever approach a suspect or assailant, whether in a vehicle or on a street, with the assumption he or she is “unarmed.” I would not be writing these words had I wavered from that precautionary training. The fact that Brown did not possess a weapon is hindsight 20/20, not something Wilson knew at the time of the altercation.
For the record, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, over the last decade there were an average of 58,261 assaults against law enforcement personnel each year, resulting in 15,658 injuries and more than 150 deaths per year.
2. In Ferguson, as in other cases of urban social unrest, the aforementioned media talking heads are a big part of the problem, not the solution. While the riots in St. Louis do not begin to rival those in Miami’s Liberty City in 1980, or South Central LA in 1991, you wouldn’t know that given the wall-to-wall MSM coverage.
Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, a black native of Ferguson, who is now in charge of containing the violence there, noted this week: “When a certain element, that criminal element, that got out here with masks on, that wanted to agitate and build up the crowd, would stop in front of the media, the media would swarm around them, give them a platform and glamorize their activity. Before we knew it, the crowd was 100. Now it’s 200. Now it’s 300. And now those criminals began to start throwing things out of the crowd that was standing within the media.”
Of course, constant coverage of conflicts like the one in Missouri are all about market share and ad revenues.
3. The primary mission of law enforcement agencies across the nation is “To Protect and Serve,” or certainly should be. Unfortunately, some police officers, calloused by constant exposure to oppressive criminal cultures in urban centers, lose sight of that mission. A quick search on YouTube will provide hundreds of videos accusing officers of brutality, though I would caution anyone viewing such videos to do so with the eye of a skeptic, given that most of these clips are taken completely out of context.
However, beyond the occasional abuse of power, there is a disturbing trend on display in Ferguson – the proliferation of military hardware being acquired by civilian law enforcement agencies in both urban and rural America, the misuse of which certainly projects abuse of power. There are legitimate concerns about the “militarization” of police departments over the last three decades, which began under the umbrella of “drug and gang enforcement.”
I do not have a problem with urban police departments having up-armored vehicles because the reality of today’s urban environs often requires that degree of protection for tactical officers. But does every local police department across the nation need an MRAP? No.
Using armored vehicles is nothing new, having been necessitated almost a century ago in battles with heavily armed organized crime syndicates. It is no small irony that was also related to “drug enforcement” – alcohol prohibition. But at least then there was a Constitutional Amendment (the 18th) providing authority for that enforcement and another (the 21st) to repeal it when it was understood that the unintended consequence of prohibition was a dramatic increase in illegal trafficking and violence.
So when a brigade of armored vehicles rolled into Ferguson, most from St. Louis County and other regional agencies, the net effect was what Gov. Nixon described as “overmilitarization, the MRAPs rolling in, the guns pointed at kids in the street. All of that, I think, instead of ratcheting down, brought emotion up.”
On this point, Nixon is correct – though he and his political party are the advocates of “BIG Government,” and indeed, the “thunderstruck” governor himself had signed off on statewide participation in the federal surplus program sending those vehicles to Missouri. And now the good governor has ordered in the Missouri National Guard. Last time an executive named Nixon called out the National Guard to quell civil unrest, the outcome was not good.
Predictably, that excessive show of force was a rallying call for members of Obama’s “Occupy Movement” and other radicals to join the protest in Ferguson. Fortunately, those confrontational tactics have been stood down and the protests have, likewise, abated.
However, Brown’s funeral is scheduled for Monday – and the number of protesters may outnumber media representatives.
4. When Barack Obama steps in to the fray, you know it has potential to be converted to political capital. “In too many communities around the country, the gulf of mistrust exists between local residents and law enforcement,” laments Obama, who has demonstrated serial disregard for the law.
He added, “In too many communities, too many young men of color are left behind and seen only as objects of fear.” That is an unfortunate but well-earned stereotype.
Of course, in the last month, there have been more than 40 murders on the streets of Obama’s hometown, Chicago – mostly black and mostly the result of black-on-black violence. But Obama has not offered a single word about those dead. Recall if you will that in the same weekend that Obama commented on the Martin/Zimmerman case, incorporating it into his 2012 re-election strategy, there were 10 murders and at least 40 assaults – most were young black men. Not a word on those murders then, either.
According to Hollywonk Spike Lee, there is a “war on the black male” being waged across the nation.
However, according to the latest national uniform crime reports regarding homicides and race, though blacks only represent approximately 13% of the population, almost half of all homicides were of black people, and more than 90% of their assailants were black.
But Obama, Holder and their Leftist cadres inspired by idiots like Spike Lee have held no protests or vigils on behalf of those black dead – most notably because somebody may link those deaths with my final observation…
5. Since LBJ signed the so-called “Economic Opportunity Act,” beginning the Demos War on Poverty, more than $15 TRILLION of individual and national treasure has been distributed, ostensibly, to “lift up the poor.” In 1964, the poverty rare was 19%. Today it is 15% (27% for black Americans). Was it worth it? Was it worth the malignant growth in ethical and moral poverty? It is apparent to any rational political and social observer that the real tragedy in Ferguson, as in urban centers nationwide, is the unintended consequence of the Democrat Party’s “Great Society” economic and social engineering policies, which have resulted in urban poverty plantations, effectively enslaving generations of blacks and, increasingly, Hispanics.
The Imperial Wizards of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan could never have scripted such an successful, oppressive socio-economic segregation plan.
Pro Deo et Constitutione – Libertas aut Mors
Semper Fortis Vigilate Paratus et Fidelis
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