Sunday, August 24, 2014

Civil Unrest, Voting, and Ferguson UPDATED

This essay should be read in its entirety.  The author, who knows the St. Louis area very well, makes a point which has national, not just local, implications:

...I find the attitude that “there is no more racism” is prevalent in the white community and especially among conservative whites.  I believe the evidence is overwhelming that this is not the case, that those in the black community who are expressing concerns are doing so because there is indeed something to be concerned about. As Crump states, this IS systemic, and it must be addressed. The killing of Michael Brown is not a standalone, isolated incident in Ferguson.  It is a catalyst that set off a reaction to perceived racial inequity, police harassment, and (relevant to the Brown killing) a belief that Mr. Brown was wrongfully killed by the Ferguson police officer – and as a result of all of these, the protests occurred.  The residents are responding not just to the killing, but to a long-festering situation....

Umnmmnhhhh, yes.  And if we take his observation to the 30,000-foot level, all he's described is the elements necessary for any revolt.  1776, and all that.

He makes another point which is just as important, at least here in the US:

...There was an uproar on the Right in response to the appearance of voter registration tents near the protest site.  My colleague Dan McLaughlin mentioned it in his diary on Ferguson.  As I see it, the voter registration tent was not a bad thing.  The anger of the protesters should be redirected to voting instead of rioting.  If the residents want change, that is how to do it.  Some, including Rush Limbaugh, have claimed the NAACP and others are using this as a way to sway the midterms.  Was it?  Perhaps. But that doesn’t make it necessarily wrong.

We need to shake off the non-stop cynicism we have about situations like this.  There is nothing wrong with encouraging people who believe they are misrepresented to vote more....

Someone with a sense of humor could be selling Tea Party flags in Ferguson; who knows?  It might be a very successful enterprise.

Read the WHOLE thing, by the way.

UPDATE:  The OathKeepers sent a letter to Gov Nixon of Mo.  Here's a graf which underlines the first point above: that you are making a grave mistake by continuing the pattern of militarization and abuse of rights that we saw during Occupy Wall Street (with curfews imposed on peaceful protesters, who were wrongly ordered to disperse and then pepper-sprayed at point-blank range); with the egregious death of Marine combat veteran Jose Guerena at the hands of a Tucson SWAT team while serving a mere search warrant; during the response to the Boston Bombing (with families being ordered out of their homes at gun-point, with many veterans telling us that the people of Iraq were treated with more respect and consideration than they saw in Watertown, Massachusetts); and with the recent horrendous use of "First Amendment Areas," military trained snipers, and militarized, heavy-handed Federal law enforcement at Bundy Ranch in Bunkerville, Nevada that galvanized veterans from all across America to travel there to prevent that ranching family from being "Waco'd" (with the Washington Times later disclosing that the Obama Administration did, in fact, consider using military force against the Bundy family and their supporters, but thankfully decided not to).  Those examples only scratch the surface of a systemic problem that has been ratcheting up over the years in nearly every community in America, as Washington Post journalist Radley Balko has exhaustively documented....



Aged parent said...

Worth reading, Dad.

Dad29 said...

Yah, I read that piece a couple days ago.

Another provocative is at Legal Insurrection on the use of deadly force.

Tough calls, all of 'em.