Ferguson: Justice, Race, and Reason

Ferguson, Missouri, is currently Ground Zero in national discussions about America’s “racial divide,” the “militarization” of law enforcement, and federalism in criminal justice.

Ferguson has entered the collective national consciousness while a grieving family mourns the loss of a loved one, authorities conduct multiple investigations into what exactly happened, looters and instigators seize their moment of opportunity, and race hucksters foment strife for profit.

Opportunists like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson cannibalize entire communities. These One Percenters feed off of the fears, grief, and anger of those traumatized by tragedy. Outsiders – including looters – have invaded Ferguson to exploit the chaos and confusion.

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Townhall columnist John Hawkins writes: “Of course, some people aren’t ‘peacefully protesting.’ They’re looting and rioting. Molotov cocktails have been thrown. The police have also been shot at regularly since the protests began.”

1964 ≠ 2014

For many, Ferguson is a litmus test on race. Many on the Left and in the media view the events unfolding today in Missouri through pre-Civil Rights Era glasses. Sharpton, Jackson, and others promote their false narratives of black victimhood and white racism – and the mainstream media often legitimizes those false narratives, fueling the fires of presumed injustice and rage.

Pat Buchanan recently remarked on the conflicting visions of America which have been boldly highlighted during this crisis. Buchanan writes, “What we are witnessing in Ferguson today, and nationally, is not only a collision of reported facts, but also a clash of visions about America.”

According to Buchanan, “In Sharpton’s vision, America is a country where white racist cops harass, assault and gun down young black males, and Brown’s execution is the latest outrage. Many media echo his indictment and accent the facts that support this preconceived narrative.”

Buchanan continues:

“Then there is the rival vision of America rooted in a separate reality. It is that in America today, police, like Darren Wilson, are the first responders and last line of defense, willing to risk their lives battling the criminal elements that threaten us and our free society.”

“These conflicting visions are not exclusive to race. Many liberals share Sharpton’s vision, while many black folks move out of home communities to escape the scourge of crime.”

No Justice, No Peace

People understandably want justice. It is a human desire, a God-given right. Protesters with placards chant, “No Justice, No Peace.” But are they looking for “justice for the family of Michael Brown,” as Gov. Nixon seeks? That same governor demands, “a vigorous prosecution must now be pursued” even before multiple investigations have been completed! Is that justice?

Presuming Wilson’s guilt, Salon asked the question, “Why hasn’t Darren Wilson been arrested yet?A Rasmussen poll reports that “57 percent of blacks believe the police officer involved should be found guilty of murder. The majority of white and other minority Americans do not agree.”

Have these protestors pre-judged the case or do they seek real justice! Justice could mean trying and jailing the officer for murder, or it could mean finding the officer justified in this shooting.

What matters is not the media narrative but the truth. Will we listen to reason and be guided by facts, or will we succumb to our emotions and deny the truth?

Thomas Purcell offers sound advice, “We should examine this from a position of intellectual clarity and not emotion or bias.”

Making a Federal Case of It

In an unprecedented manner, the Justice Department is conducting a parallel investigation of the Ferguson shooting. WorldNetDaily reports: “Federal charges will be filed in the shooting death of Michael Brown, regardless of what local prosecutors do, according to a former Justice Department official who warns politicizing of the justice system is at an all-time high.”

It sounds like Attorney General Eric Holder has already convicted the officer in his mind and is using this tragedy to promote his own racial agenda, one he has had throughout Obama’s presidency.

But is that justice?

Blaming the Victim

Many activists condemn the police department for releasing the video of Brown robbing a convenience store. They say this is “blaming the victim.” But the video goes to Brown’s state of mind and what triggered the confrontation with the police. Brown had just robbed the store, was stopped by the police, and panicked. Brown assaulted the officer in his car, badly injuring him.

As for blaming the “victim,” was Brown a victim or a perpetrator? After all, he attacked both the store owner and the police officer. Is that the new description of “victim?”

“Unarmed” Black Man

The mantra of the press – and the race hucksters – is that Michael Brown was an “unarmed black man.” True. But there is much more to the story. Brown proved that he did not need to be armed to be dangerous.

Michael Brown is 6’4” and nearly 300 lbs.” Brown strong-armed a store owner and stole merchandise. According to Wilson and other witnesses, Brown was rushing full-speed at Wilson. Perhaps like an NFL linebacker trying to steamroller an opponent? Would you feel threatened, fear bodily injury?

The Gateway Pundit reported that “two local St. Louis sources [report] that police Officer Darren Wilson suffered facial fractures during his confrontation with deceased 18 year-old Michael Brown. Officer Wilson clearly feared for his life during the incident that led to the shooting death of Brown. This was after Michael Brown and his accomplice Dorian Johnson robbed a local Ferguson convenience store.”

Self-Defense

“A woman claiming to be a friend of Darren Wilson, the shooting officer, called in to a talk show and reported that Wilson said the suspect Brown had attacked him in his police car, tried to take his gun, momentarily fled but then turned around and charged him, leading Wilson to shoot.”

The Daily Caller reports “According to a preliminary report from a St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter, police say that more than a dozen witnesses back Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson’s version of the events that led to the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.”

Alan Caruba put it simply: “Michael Brown got shot because a seasoned police officer was in fear of being attacked … again. It’s called self-defense. It’s the reason cops wear bullet-proof vests and riot gear.”

Caruba explains, “Now, for a moment, let’s look at some other murders that have occurred thus far this year in which some 120 police officers have been killed in the line of duty; half of whom died by gunfire. Some were killed because they were cops, a form of bigotry that gets scant notice in the media.”

Black Criminality

Who do blacks fear more: the police or criminals? Who do Americans fear more? Author Jason Riley made many salient observations on what has been taking place in Ferguson, among them:

“[President Obama] suggested that [black criminality] stems from poverty or a racist criminal justice system, which is nonsense. The black crime rate in 1960 was lower than it is today. Was there less racism or less poverty in 1960? This is about black behavior. It needs to be addressed head-on. It’s about attitudes toward the criminal justice system in these neighborhoods, where young black men have no sense what it means to be a male, what it means to be black.”

Riley added:

“There’s also this false narrative being pushed out there … that black men live in fear of being shot by cops. That too is nonsense. … The real difficulty is not getting shot by other black people if you are a young black man in these neighborhoods. … Cops are not the problem. Cops are not producing these black bodies in the morgue every weekend in Chicago, New York, and Detroit, and so forth. That’s not cops. Those are other black people shooting black people.”

(FYI, Jason Riley is black.)

Another commentator echoed Riley’s concerns, writing:

“It is disturbing to watch still another incident of a white person shooting a black person play out in blindingly hot outrage while young blacks kill hundreds of other blacks in crime ridden cities around this country (most notably in Chicago, the President’s home town), with barely a mention or concern. As tragic is Michael Brown’s death was, the point seems to be that because of political opportunities, his death is far more important than the slew of black people being slaughtered elsewhere. It is to our nation’s shame that this is not being addressed.”

Caruba concurs: “They have occurred before and they will occur again because a segment of the black community is convinced that their problems are all caused by white bias. It’s not. It’s caused by bad attitudes and bad behavior.”

Buchanan emphasizes that portion of the black culture which is dysfunctional, writing, “Moreover, violent crime in America – assault, murder, robbery, rape – emanates disproportionately from the black community, and especially the young male members of that community.”

Buchanan continues: “Crime rates, conviction rates, incarceration rates all testify to this truth. If cops are more on guard when encountering black males, is it not because, given the crime statistics, they have more to fear from them?”

What If Brown Had Been White?

According to a recent Rasmussen poll, “Most Americans say that things would be different in Ferguson, Mo., if the racial roles had been reversed.”

A case from last year proves respondents correct: “In fact, we doubt that you’ve heard of this incident, which also took place in Ferguson. The case is one of a white man, who was assaulted with a hammer by four black men. In August of last year, a hot dog vendor was attacked with a hammer that was stolen from the Ferguson Home Depot. When the men left the store, they stole the white man’s cell phone, and when he attempted to chase after them, he was brutally attacked. He suffered serious injuries.”

“This hate crime never made headlines.”

Are Police Supporters Racist?

According to many on the Left, those who subscribe to Sharpton’s vision of America, supporters of the police officer must be racist. Some left-wing websites have likened a rally supporting Wilson to the KKK. But that characterization is wrong, as reported by USA Today:

“Wilson’s supporters gathered Sunday in a St. Louis sports bar – Ferguson is a northwestern suburb of St. Louis – to raise money for the family. ‘This isn’t just about Darren Wilson,’ one of the organizers, Lawrence LaMontagne, told the International Business Times. ‘It’s about all the first responders and how they’ve been villainized.’ LaMontagne, who works in law enforcement, added, ‘Of course we feel bad for both parties, our hearts go out to the families. But these people have families, too.’”

Scapegoating America

While the race-baiters blame a white cop for the tragedy in Ferguson – and, by extension, white America for all the woes of African-Americans – Esquire chose to blame all Americans everywhere, writing, “We are all complicit in the warzone that has become Ferguson, Missouri.” Jim Geraghty forthrightly addressed that nonsense in National Review.

Geraghty writes,

“But it’s the height of arrogance to assert that the readership of Esquire – or any magazine or website – is complicit or somehow responsible for the events going on there. Roughly 99.5 percent of that article’s readers are not members of the Ferguson police force, nor public officeholders with authority over that police force, nor rioters, nor residents. Only a fraction of Americans have ever set foot in the state of Missouri, much less in Ferguson.”

Geraghty continues:

“If, as author James Joiner asserts, ‘acts of despotism are being carried out, by a mostly white militarized police force upon a mostly black, mostly lower class populace,’ then the responsibility lies with that police force and those who have authority over it. Casting blame on all of American society disperses accountability instead of focusing it.”

Geraghty continues:

“Eventually, Joiner focuses upon his true complaint: ‘Small town police departments will slowly militarize as we shrug or radicalize into smaller, polarizing segments, sending us tumbling backwards through the follies of history, writing off hate crimes committed by law enforcement simply because law enforcement committed those crimes, and because it was too politically inconvenient to ever question them.’”

Geraghty concludes:

“’I blame society’ is the ultimate cop-out. The American people have their flaws, but to assign a national collective blame for the actions of particular police officers and particular agitators is to perhaps unwittingly excuse the inexcusable. Crimes, whether committed by citizens or officers of the law, are solved by investigation, indictment, successful prosecution, and incarceration. Cries for abstract ‘outrage’ just don’t get it done.”

Fellow Americans

Hawkins suggests we look beyond our differences, embrace the bigger picture, and focus on what we have in common as fellow Americans. He writes:

“At the end of the day, if we’re all Americans, we support peaceful protesters, we oppose rioters and looters and we think the officer who was involved should go to jail if he shot Mike Brown after he surrendered, then we agree on 95 percent of what matters. Sure, we can always find SOMETHING to disagree about, but there’s a man dead, there are parents grieving and there are good people in Ferguson who’ve had their lives turned upside down – so maybe we should emphasize where we’re on the same page instead of looking for any excuse to divide each other.”

Recommended:

Guilty of Being White” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-17.

Identity Politics Is the Problem” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-1l.

I’m Black: Truth Does Not Matter” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-5t.

Ferguson in Flames” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-5I.

Propaganda Kills” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-6n.

Update:

Every single investigation into the Ferguson shooting – including the exhaustive federal Justice Department investigation – exonerated Officer Wilson and determined that the Hands Up, Don’t Shoot narrative was a lie.

Even though this false racial narrative – this myth – has been proven false, many media, political, and cultural elites continue to promote this false narrative and attack those who expose it as a fraud.

That false racial narrative plays into the fears of those who are race-obsessed or who have been indoctrinated into believing racial stereotypes, which is ironic given they accuse others of racism.

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