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Ferguson Shooting

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From Politico:

Eric Holder’s parting shot: It’s too hard to bring civil rights cases

In an exit interview, the attorney general says his critics may be partly driven by race.

By MIKE ALLEN 2/27/15 7:00 AM EST

Attorney General Eric Holder plans to push, during his final weeks in office, a new standard of proof for civil-rights offenses, saying in an exit interview with POLITICO that such a change would make the federal government “a better backstop” against discrimination in cases like Ferguson and Trayvon Martin.

Holder could look outside the mainstream of Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence to more informal community-based systems of legal reasoning, such as lynch law.

Holder told POLITICO that between now and his departure, probably in early March when the Senate is expected to confirm Loretta Lynch as his successor

They could call it Lynch law.

he will call for a lower standard of proof for civil rights crimes.

For example, consider the old rationalization for punishing an innocent man: For Reason of State. Isn’t it about time that the Obama Administration becomes entitled to arbitrarily imprison cisgender straight white males For Reason of Narrative?

Such a change would make it easier for the federal government to bring charges in the case of a future Ferguson or Trayvon Martin.

Guilty by reason of uppitiness!

“I think some serious consideration needs to be given to the standard of proof that has to be met before federal involvement is appropriate, and that’s something that I am going to be talking about before I leave office,” Holder, 64, said.

If security camera footage shows the convenience store was looted by at least twelve good men and true, that should constitute a legal indictment of any white cop under federal civil rights laws.

The attorney general’s comments appeared to be aimed partly at preparing the country for the possibility that no federal charges would be brought in the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., last summer.

Graffiti reading “Snitches get stitches” would be admissible as evidence that the shopkeeper had it coming.

Holder said the inquiry would be completed when he left office, expected around the second week of March.

The Justice Department announced Tuesday that the Martin investigation had been closed, with “insufficient evidence to pursue federal criminal civil rights charges” against George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch coordinator who shot the unarmed black teenager to death back in 2012.

Asked if the bar for federal involvement in the civil rights offenses is too high for federal prosecutors to make cases in shootings like those of Martin and Brown, Holder suggested it was.

Trial by Twitter would be one reform that deserves serious consideration.

“I think that if we adjust those standards, we can make the federal government a better backstop — make us more a part of the process in an appropriate way to reassure the American people that decisions are made by people who are really disinterested,” he said.

You can’t get much more disinterested than the Obama Administration over Trayvon in the run-up to the 2012 Election: “You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.”

“I think that if we make those adjustments, we will have that capacity.”

For example, if a random white person in the metropolitan area gets beaten to death with hammers within a few weeks of a white cop being let off by the judicial system, that show of community concern should legally override the white man’s outmoded Constitutional immunity from double jeopardy.

Lawyers in the Justice Department are looking into various possible reforms of civil rights law.

For example, the federal government could prosecute white people based on a sophisticated metric consisting of a case’s column inches of coverage in the New York Times multiplied by the number of miles from the New York Times Building on 8th Avenue.

Depending on their determination, it’s possible that Holder will simply argue about the need for a lower standard of proof rather than propose a specific legislative remedy.

For example, indicting people based on Facebook Likes and Dislikes would be a disruptive approach to the hidebound judicial system.

Possible changes include toughening hate-crimes laws, which were under consideration in the Martin case, and establishing a broader standard for what constitutes a “deprivation of rights under color of law,” the provision that could apply to the police shooting in Ferguson.

Another reform would be to remove pedantic pre-postmodern technicalities about the white malefactor needing to actually “exist,” thus allowing the Obama Administration the moral satisfaction of indicting Haven Monahan.

 
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From the New York Times Editorial Page Editor’s blog:

To Prevent Another Ferguson, Vote in Georgia

By DAVID FIRESTONE OCTOBER 22, 2014 2:33 PM

A Georgia Democratic Party flyer.

ATLANTA — Georgia Republicans are furious about a flyer just released by the state Democratic Party that invokes the shooting in Ferguson, Mo., as a new incentive for black voters to cast a ballot in the midterm election.

“If you want to prevent another Ferguson in their future — vote,” the flyer says, over a photo of black children holding “don’t shoot” signs. “It’s up to you to make change happen.”

This is described as a “racial grenade” and “scaremongering” by the right-wing blog Hot Air.

“What does Ferguson, Missouri have to do with electing Michele Nunn to the Senate and Jimmy Carter’s grandson to the governorship in Georgia?” the blog post asks, and then supplies its own answer: Georgia Democrats want black voters to think their children might be shot if they don’t vote for Ms. Nunn and Mr. Carter.

The flyer, though, makes a very different point, and a good one that applies in virtually all of the major races this year. The white domination of the mostly black city of Ferguson is the direct result of local residents not participating in the political system. If people don’t like the results they’re getting from their political leaders — whether it’s the makeup of the police department in a suburb or the refusal to raise the minimum wage in Congress — they need to step up and make their voices heard.

As the flyer says: “Ferguson, Missouri’s population is 67% African-American. But the city’s mayor, five of its six City Council members, and 94% of its police force are white. What are we going to do about it? If we want a better, safer future for our children, it’s up to us to vote for change. The choices may not always be perfect, but the cost of inaction is simply too great.” (It goes on to list the times and places for voting early in the election.)

This is hardly a grenade or racial pandering — in fact, it describes the essence of what political action is about. For too long, many of Georgia’s Democratic voters have stayed home during midterm and state legislative elections, and the cost of that inaction has been high.

Maybe that’s why the right wants to see this message suppressed.

It’s been obvious since the convenience store video was released on August 1 5, that the New York Times’ narrative about Ferguson was part of a Democratic get-out-the-vote-drive. In recent weeks, the evidence has become ever more overwhelming.

Will there ever be any accountability?

 
• Tags: Ferguson Shooting 
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Why are the New York and Washington media so obsessed over matters of local governance in tiny Ferguson, MO? For example, the latest evolution of national media thinking on the Lessons to Be Learned from the Michael Brown crime spree shooting of an unarmed teen is that the Big Issue is that other half-pint municipalities outside of the city of St. Louis give out a lot of tickets to poor blacks, who often don’t show up to pay them, and then get in serious trouble.

Some of this is no doubt classic speed trap behavior aimed at exploiting outsiders, while some of it is quality of life enforcement aimed at getting residents, especially newcomers, to behave better and not ruin property values.

Before the Interstate Highway System, speed traps were common in small towns on the way between big metropolises. The local cops would pay their salaries and more by pulling over city slickers going 1 mph over the idiosyncratic local speed limit.

Even with the Interstate Highway System, state troopers in states that don’t get a lot of tourists like Indiana and Connecticut are notorious sticklers for enforcing speed limits. For example, in 1986 I got a $128 ticket for going 73 mph at the bottom of a long downhill straightaway on an empty I-84 on a sunny day in May. The trooper was surprised that I hadn’t heard the news on the local stations that they were setting up speed traps for the Memorial Day weekend. I explained that I was from Chicago and had just flown into New York on business and was now going to Boston for a vacation, but that just sort of explained why I was the ideal kind of clueless nonresident to help balance Connecticut’s budget.

Mexican cops take this another level by having sergeants auction off the best spots to ambitious patrolmen, who are allowed to dismantle warning signs and then shakedown violators for bribes. For example, my father got a ticket in 1975 in Mexico City by attempting to drive the wrong way down a six lane one way street to get to the Palace of Fine Arts tourist attraction. The cop who whistled us over had apparently taken down the Do Not Enter sign. He told us that we’d have to spend all day in the rat-infested police station. Eventually my father got the point and gave the cop a five dollar bill and away we went.

The greater St. Louis area has a very large number of small municipalities, so speed traps make sense since cops are likely to catch a high proportion of outsiders rather than local voters.

But, St. Louis suburbs tend to give out a lot of citations to residents, too, for unneighborly behavior like parking a nonfunctional car on your front lawn. To the New York Times Editorial Board, this is just irrational racism because it has disparate impact on blacks newly moved into the suburb from the slums of St. Louis.

But, it’s helpful to look at an AP article by Corey Williams about a black majority suburb of Detroit called Southfield, in which the long-time resident middle class blacks strongly support the black police chief in issuing citations to the Detroit ghetto blacks who have been moving in. The veteran black residents want to get their fellow blacks to up their game and start conforming to suburban norms.

Three years ago, Lamar Grace left Detroit for the suburb of Southfield. He got a good deal — a 3,000-square-foot colonial that once was worth $220,000. In foreclosure, he paid $109,000.

The neighbors were not pleased.

“They don’t want to live next door to ghetto folks,” he says.

That his neighbors are black, like Grace, is immaterial. Many in the black middle class moved out of Detroit and settled in the northern suburbs years ago; now, due to foreclosures, it is easy to buy or rent houses on the cheap here.

The result has been a new, poorer wave of arrivals from the city, and growing tensions between established residents and the newcome …

People like John Clanton, a retired auto worker, say the new arrivals have brought behavior more common in the inner city — increased trash, adults and children on the streets at all times of the night, a disregard for others’ property.

“During the summer months, I sat in the garage and at 3 o’clock in the morning you see them walking up and the down the streets on their cell phones talking,” Clanton says. “They pull up (in cars) in the middle of the street, and they’ll hold a conversation. You can’t get in your driveway. You blow the horn and they look back at you and keep on talking. That’s all Detroit.”

The tensions have not gone unnoticed by local officials.

“I’ve got people of color who don’t want people of color to move into the city,” says Southfield Police Chief Joseph Thomas, who is himself black. “It’s not a black-white thing. This is a black-black thing. My six-figure blacks are very concerned about multiple-family, economically depressed people moving into rental homes and apartments, bringing in their bad behaviors.”

For example, “They still think it’s OK to play basketball at 3 o’clock in the morning; it’s OK to play football in the streets when there’s a car coming; it’s OK to walk down the streets three abreast. That’s unacceptable in this city.”

… With so many empty houses available, rents also dipped by hundreds of dollars. Renters increased from about 13,100 in 2006 to 15,400 in 2009.

Now, suburbs closest to big cities are “bedeviled” by the same problems that helped spur urban flight decades ago, Schragger adds. “And you’re seeing further flight out. Rising crime levels, some rising levels of disorder.”

These were the things that prompted Richard Twiggs to leave Detroit 23 years ago for the safety, quiet and peace of mind Southfield offered.

“The reason suburbs are the way they are is because a certain element can’t afford to live in your community,” adds Twiggs, a 54-year-old printer. “If you have $300,000, $400,000, $500,000 homes you’re relatively secure in the fact that (the homeowners) are people who can afford it.

“But when you have this crash, people who normally couldn’t afford to live in Southfield are moving in. When you have a house for $9,900 on the corner over there — that just destroys my property.”

The pride that comes with home ownership and a large financial investment in the property is missing, says Clanton, who lives across the street from Twiggs on Stahelin, about a half-mile north of Detroit. Back yards are deep and mostly tree-shaded. Sidewalks are few.

“I treasure what I bought,” Clanton says. “I want to keep it, but I don’t need somebody to come in and throw their garbage on mine. Why would they come and make our lives miserable because they don’t care?”

Though they acknowledge they would lose money by selling their current homes, Clanton and Twiggs are contemplating moving further north. …

Southfield officials say one solution to changing neighborhoods is blight enforcement, other ordinances and costly fines. The idea, said the police chief, Thomas, is not to chase people away, but to help them assimilate.

Soon after Grace, the telephone company analyst, moved into his house, he was cited for parking a small trailer on the property and storing interior doors outside. These are things that would have drawn little notice in Detroit amid the crime and failing schools, he said.

He paid $400 in fines, got rid of the doors and put the trailer in paid storage.

… He was fined $200 for noxious weeds because the grass was too high and dandelions covered much of the front lawn.

“It wouldn’t happen in Detroit,” he says. “Your property is pretty much your property. I think, here, they are going a little overboard.”

Now, why in the world are media elites in Washington and New York so worked up over this kind of petty enforcement in inner ring suburbs in the middle of flyover country aimed at assimilating slum blacks?

There are a lot of reasons, but one shouldn’t totally discount self-interest, no matter how much it’s buried under layers of sanctimonious rationalizations.

In recent decades, the two gentrifying media capitals have been successfully driving out American-born blacks. They’ve been prodding African-Americans to leave with things like stop and frisk in NYC.

White people in New York and Washington thus want to grease the skids under African-Americans to make it as easy as possible for them to leave valuable urban land and head for dumpy suburbs like Ferguson. These kind of ticky-tacky citations that suburbs use to keep from turning into slums might discourage some urban blacks from moving out of gentrifiable inner city, so they must be demonized in the national press.

As I’ve mentioned before, underclass blacks are a giant hot potato that practically every municipality wants to hand off to somebody else. I don’t think there is any single best solution: there is just always going to be a lot of arguing and politicking over this. My one moral suggestion is that these discussions be honest and open about what everybody is up to. I’m particularly disgusted when the people holding the Megaphone in rapidly gentrifying New York and Washington get to use their media monopoly to demonize random nowheresvilles like Ferguson, and distract from their own efforts to drive out poor blacks to those nowheresvilles.

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Ferguson Shooting 
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From the New York Times:

A Slimmed-Down Al Sharpton Savors an Expanded Profile
By NIKITA STEWART and JASON HOROWITZ AUG. 24, 2014

In little more than 24 hours this weekend, the Rev. Al Sharpton led a march on Staten Island to protest the death of a black man in police custody, went to Washington to appear on “Meet the Press” and flew to Ferguson, Mo., where on Monday he is to eulogize the 18-year-old black man whose fatal shooting by the police set off days of unrest.

In between, Mr. Sharpton talked by phone to Valerie Jarrett, a White House adviser and presidential confidante, who told him that representatives of the Obama administration would be at the funeral for the 18-year-old, Michael Brown. It was an hour before she announced the news on Twitter, and well before the release of an official White House announcement.

From an overweight Brooklyn firebrand clad in tracksuits and draped in medallions, Mr. Sharpton has transformed himself into the White House’s civil rights leader of choice, an incessantly televised pundit, and even a poster child for a strict diet of salad and juice. …

Like Oprah, Sharpton periodically loses a lot of weight and then gets coverage for being the New Al.

His organization’s general counsel calls him “the hardest-working man in social justice.”

This is a reference to Sharpton’s long quasi-filial relationship with singer James Brown. Sharpton was a friend of Brown’s son, who was killed in a car accident. After that, Brown sort of adopted Sharpton and treated him better than he treated any of his many real children.

Keep in mind that Sharpton really is a clever, interesting, hard-working man. Pushing Jesse Jackson aside is not an inconsiderable accomplishment. This isn’t like Being Julian Castro, this is the big leagues of the race rackets.

On Sunday on “Meet the Press,” he was asked about a much-discussed profile of him in Politico Magazine last week that charted how he became President Obama’s go-to civil rights advocate. “In every era going back to Lincoln with Frederick Douglass, presidents talk to those that were leading at that time,” Mr. Sharpton said. He went on to defend Mr. Obama against criticism that his remarks about Ferguson have been tepid, and praised the president for “addressing it twice while he was on vacation, not a statement but coming out live.”

Between his own MSNBC program and his appearances elsewhere on the media landscape, Mr. Sharpton can seem a constant presence on TV and radio, and never more so than in the midst of crises, like those that have unfolded in Ferguson and on Staten Island this summer. …

But Mr. Sharpton’s ascent from one of the most divisive figures in New York — the Brooklyn iconoclast who backed what would prove to be bogus rape accusations by Tawana Brawley —

“Iconoclast?” I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

Let’s not forget Freddie’s Fashion Mart … Could any white activist’s career survive two such disasters? Oh, wait, there aren’t any white activist’s careers.

to the country’s most prominent voice on race relations involves more than the selection of inspiring music that accompanies his morning commute.

Assuming that Bonfire of the Vanities remains the best guide to the backstory behind the media obsessions of 2014, I suspect that Sharpton’s latest rise is somehow or other helped along by a behind the scenes relationship with lawyer Benjamin Crump of Trayvon and Michael Brown fame. In Bonfire, Rev. Bacon has a deal with a William Kunstler-type radical civil rights lawyer, and maybe the real Rev. Bacon has something similar working with Crump.

He is above all a skilled political operator who has won the backing of a president and the gratitude of a New York mayor, and now knows full well how to seize on this perhaps fleeting moment (an ominous Clintonian cloud is on the horizon) and leverage that support into power and credibility. “I’m not in the kitchen cabinet, but I can get an audience in the living room from time to time,” he said understatedly. …

Mr. Sharpton had allies in the campaign — first and foremost Patrick Gaspard, the eventual White House political director

Gaspard is the son of a Haitian lawyer

— but he won an especially powerful convert in Ms. Jarrett

Born in Iran, where her African-American father was a doctor

, Mr. Obama’s

Son of a white anthropologist, educated at a Honolulu prep school

closest adviser, for his behind-the-scenes work to rally support, and tamp down opposition, before the Democratic National Convention in Denver. …

Mr. Sharpton is not only a special guest. He is also a special host to the president, who has appeared as the keynote speaker at the National Action Network’s convention. Five cabinet members, including Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.

Barbadian mulatto middle class

Okay, so the pattern is clear: the Obama Administration’s highest ranking blacks are by nurture out of touch with African-Americans, while Rev. Al spent years on the road with James Brown, so they see him as the authentic face of Black America. Unfortunately, their cynicism is probably justified.

 
• Tags: Ferguson Shooting 
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A reader writes:

Seems odd to me that nobody is bringing up “Django Unchained” and/or “12 Years a Slave.”

Seems very likely to me that the connection between those movies carries an underlying psychological forward motion for what’s been taking place this summer. Most people don’t know much about the antebellum south in general, or how slavery worked there in particular.

If a lot of dumb people internalize Tarantino’s and McQueen’s strange narratives as gospel, why shouldn’t people react in bizarre ways to any white man that strikes them as an appointed paternal figure?

In general, as I’ve been pointing out in movie reviews and the like, there has been a moral panic building over white violence in the increasingly distant past against blacks, thus justifying black violence in the present against whites (or pretty much anybody who happens to object to blacks taking what is rightfully theirs, such as Swisher cigars).

Without understanding the pop culture context of Django and the like, the self-humiliating response of the prestige media is slightly less explicable.

 
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Once again, the political science Monkey Cage blog at the Washington Post uses numbers to point out another fallacy in the current hysteria

Non-white representation on America’s city councils

By Seth Masket August 21

In a recent post at Pacific Standard, I examined the relationship between the percent of African Americans in a city population and the percent on the city council. What the evidence suggested was that Ferguson, Mo., was a serious outlier. As of 2001, just over 50% of its population was African American while none of its city council was. Today, 67% of the population is African American, while 17% (1 member) of the city council is. This is one of the largest representational gaps for African Americans in any U.S. city.

A lot of white people like to obsess over non-problems of blacks, such as the big to-do in the media a few months back over whether blacks don’t win enough Grammy Awards or the black shortage on Saturday Night Live.

But what the chart also showed is that overall, there’s a fairly strong representational relationship for African Americans. When a city is majority African American, it tends to have a majority African American city council.

Meanwhile, white people don’t care about Mexican-Americans, just as practically nobody has noticed how few American-raised people of Mexican descent ever get Oscar nominations, even technical ones.

… This looks very different from African American representation. The vast majority of cities are below the line. Each additional percent of the population that is Latino only translates to about an additional half percent of the city council. Among Asian Americans, each additional percent in the population only translates to about 0.4 percent on the city council.

Of course, the article fails to notice the Latino citizenship gap …

 
• Tags: Ferguson Shooting 
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In the New York Times, Josh Barro complains:

Where Are the National Democrats on Ferguson?

Just maybe Hillary Clinton is less certain than the national media that it’s smart to trust the judgment of a mob that burns down the wrong convenience store because they are confused, stupid, and criminal?

At least we can hope …

P.S., has there been an incident showing the sheer power of The Megaphone to keep yelling the same thing over and over long after you were proven obtuse?

 
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The Monkey Cage, the political science blog in the WaPo, notes:

Monkey Cage
Is segregation the problem in Ferguson?
72 More

By Jonathan Rodden August 18

Over the last few days, punditry about Ferguson, Mo., has converged on a common, well-rehearsed narrative about segregation in St. Louis that goes back to the 19th century: whites will do whatever it takes to prevent blacks from moving into their neighborhoods, including redlining, restrictive covenants, large-lot zoning, intimidation and violence. When these ultimately fail, whites build new interstates and move en masse to the next ring of undeveloped farmland, leaving behind destitute neighborhoods with no investment or opportunity.

According to this narrative, the shocking lack of diversity in the Ferguson city leadership and the violence and rage of recent days are merely the most recent crops harvested from the old seeds of segregation. This narrative is depressing in large part because it suggests no real reform agenda. It implies that African Americans of North St. Louis County can take over the local government and police force only when the last remaining whites die or move to St. Charles County and the cycle of disinvestment is complete. The rest of us can only shake our heads in righteous indignation.

This narrative is wrong in several crucial respects. For starters, while St. Louis is indeed among the most segregated metropolitan regions in the United States, Ferguson and some of its North County neighbors are among the most racially integrated municipalities in Missouri and well beyond.

In the St. Louis metro area, a black was elected mayor of East St. Louis way back in 1971. Unfortunately, the population of East St. Louis has dropped from 70,000 in 1970 to 27,000 in 2010 as blacks flee a black run city.

That appears to be a general pattern, with Detroit as the most striking example: blacks follow white leadership around and, in the long run, flee black leadership.

In general, blacks follow around conservative white leadership (e.g., blacks have been net moving to the Republican-run Southern states), and flee liberal white leadership (e.g., San Francisco).

 
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So I’m out of touch for two days; then I look at the papers and find … nothing has changed. From the top story in the NYT early Wednesday morning:

Shooting Accounts Differ as Holder Schedules Visit to Ferguson
By FRANCES ROBLES and MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT AUG. 19, 2014

FERGUSON, Mo. — As a county grand jury prepared to hear evidence on Wednesday in the shooting death of a black teenager by a white police officer that touched off 10 days of unrest here, witnesses have given investigators sharply conflicting accounts of the killing.

Some of the accounts seem to agree on how the fatal altercation initially unfolded: with a struggle between the officer, Darren Wilson, and the teenager, Michael Brown. Officer Wilson was inside his patrol car at the time, while Mr. Brown, who was unarmed, was leaning in through an open window.

Many witnesses also agreed on what happened next: Officer Wilson’s firearm went off inside the car, Mr. Brown ran away, the officer got out of his car and began firing toward Mr. Brown, and then Mr. Brown stopped, turned around and faced the officer.

Even leaving aside Brown’s preceding crimes in the convenience store, how is this supposed to be one of the Defining Events of Our Time, a Searing Indictment of the National Crisis of the White Racist Power Structure Murdering Black Babies, rather than just another local police blotter item of crazy ass behavior in the ‘hood? I don’t care what race you are, if you are in a dispute with a cop and thrust your head into his police car and then his gun goes off hurting and no do doubt scaring him, it’s highly like additional bad things are going to happen.

This is not to defend everything the cop did, just to say that let’s step back and look at the big picture. Respectable Opinion had decided that this case is the one that they want to exploit for their profound ideological ends. And yet, as with so many of these Moral Lessons for Whites from Tawana Brawley on down, it turns out to be just another piece a crap case.

Partly this is inherent in the dominant High-Low coalition against the Middle. The Democrats need to hold their coalition together by ginning up hatred of Evil White Men. They can use their dominance of the media to put out the bassline message but they need Incidents, ideally involving white men murdering innocent black babies. But, that just doesn’t happen much, our entire system is obsessed with punishing it when it does happen, and the Obamas and Holders and the press are dependent upon potential examples being brought forward to their attention by mobs exacting pogroms upon convenience stores for snitching. And mobs are notable bad at careful evaluation of the evidence.

Hence, the media’s war on whites keeps turning into one fiasco after another.

It’s time to ask tough questions about the ideological power structure in the modern world. If the power players in charge of molding our worldviews keep humiliating themselves and only preserve their facades of competence by changing the subjects — e.g., Eric Holder now wants to investigate an incident involving the Ferguson PD five years ago — or claiming that more investigation is needed so they don’t have to admit their mistakes — hey, Eric, how’s your investigation into bringing double jeopardy charges against George Zimmerman coming after only 13 months — maybe we a different worldview and a different establishment.

 
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The police shooting of Michael Brown initially renewed calls for increased use of videocameras to record evidence of abuse, a reform I’ve long supported.

However, the Friday release of security footage of Michael Brown stealing and physically bullying an immigrant shop clerk minutes before his fatal police confrontation has led to demands from respected black leaders, the Democratic governor of Missouri, and President Obama’s Department of Justice for heightened protection of the Public’s Right Not to Know.

From CBS New York:

Sharpton In Ferguson, Mo.: Release Of Michael Brown ‘Robbery’ Video ‘Insulting

FERGUSON, Mo. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Addressing a congregation in Ferguson on Sunday, the Rev. Al Sharpton blasted the release by police of a video purportedly showing Michael Brown robbing a store shortly before the unarmed man was shot and killed by a police officer. …

Police released surveillance video they say showed Brown shoving a clerk before he left the store with a $50 box of cigars.

“I have never in all my years seen something as offensive and insulting as a police chief releasing a tape of a young man trying to smear him before we even have his funeral or his burial,” Sharpton said.

“First of all, if this is the young man, y’all quit trying to exaggerate,” the Harlem civil rights activist said. “That was shoplifting, not robbery. … Robbery, you break in, stick something up. Shoplifting, you take some cigars. It’s wrong if he did it, but call it what it is.”

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon [D-MO] said Sunday the video produced a negative reaction. He said his office did not know the video was going to be released.

“I think it had an incendiary effect,” Nixon said in an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “When you release pictures and you clearly are attempting to besmirch a victim of a shooting, shot down in his own street, a young man, and at the same time you’re releasing information … to tarnish him, then properly, there was a lot of folks that were concerned about that, and I do think it flamed it back up and has caused us to have to deal with some of that.”

It’s a simple concept: any found footage that undermines the Democratic-Media Narrative Complex storyline of the moment should never see the light of day. The public deserves to be protected from any Doubts.

You see, if it’s President Nixon demanding a cover-up, that’s the biggest crime of the age. If it’s Governor Nixon demanding a cover-up, well, that’s statesmanship.

And from Yahoo News:

Sharpton Strikes Defiant Tone In Speech To Huge Crowd About Michael Brown Shooting

… Sharpton was definitely the orator the huge crowd came to see, and he did not disappoint.

He began a short, powerful, applause-line-filled speech by declaring that the shooting of Brown represents a pivotal moment in what he views as a much larger fight for the rights of people around the world against the repressive forces of government.

“We…have…had…enough!” Sharpton pronounced, adding that people who agree with him could make a difference at the ballot box.

“Nobody can go to the White House until they stop by our house!”

The famous activist demanded to know why police had released a videotape of Brown shoplifting from a now-looted and burned-out convenience store. Sharpton said that he does not condone shoplifting, but he also doesn’t believe the tape has anything to do with the subsequent shooting of Brown by police officer Darren Wilson.

Sharpton was of course the main inspiration for the Rev. Bacon character in Tom Wolfe’s 1987 book The Bonfire of the Vanities, which remains the single most relevant explanation of racial politics in America in 2014.

Let me sum up.

It would be a very good thing if police officers could always nonlethally subdue belligerent 6’4″ 292 pounders accosted during their crime sprees. In fact, it may very well be that the cop screwed up in various ways in this case and should be disciplined.

But the important issue is what has been revealed once again about how the dominant worldview spread by the national media and the White House is based not on a careful regard for facts but upon equal parts stupidity, lies, hate, and opportunism.

We are told over and over about how white racists are waging war on black babies and other improbable assertions. And repeatedly, the incidents upon which the American Establishment chose to wage metaphorical media war upon average Americans turn out to be travesties. But any resistance from skeptics is only demonized as more proof of white racism.

Personally, I refuse to be browbeaten.

By the way, I’m going to dial back the frequency of blogging for awhile as I have some sizable amounts of domestic business to attend to. As I recall, I made the same promise 13 months ago, but then the George Zimmerman verdict came down … But this time I’m really going to go easy for some number of days. I will be checking in and putting up new posts and moderating comments and the like, but not on the usual 65 hours per week schedule.

Please let me thank everybody who has chipped during the first four days of 2014′s second quarterly iSteve fundraiser. I greatly appreciate your help in making my writing career feasible.

I now have seven ways for you to send me money, including Paypal, Bitcoin, and fee-free bank transfers.

First: You can use PayPal (non-tax deductible) by going to the page on my old blog here. PayPal accepts most credit cards. Contributions can be either one-time only, monthly, or annual. Monthly subscription rates start as low as $2.

 

Second: You can mail a non-tax deductible donation to:

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Steve Sailer
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Fourth: You can use Bitcoin:

I’m using Coinbase as a sort of PayPal for Bitcoins.

The IRS has issued instructions regarding Bitcoins. I’m having Coinbase immediately turn all Bitcoins I receive into U.S. dollars and deposit them in my bank account. At the end of the year, Coinbase will presumably send me a 1099 form for filing my taxes.

Payments are not tax deductible.

Below are links to two Coinbase pages of mine. This first is if you want to enter a U.S. dollar-denominated amount to pay me.

Pay With Bitcoin (denominated in U.S. Dollars)

This second is if you want to enter a Bitcoin-denominated amount. (Remember one Bitcoin is currently worth many U.S. dollars.)

Pay With Bitcoin (denominated in Bitcoins)

 

Fifth: if you have a Chase bank account (or even other bank accounts), you can transfer money to me (with no fees) via Chase QuickPay (FAQ). Just tell Chase QuickPay to send the money to my ancient AOL email address (steveslrATaol.com — replace the AT with the usual @). If Chase asks for the name on my account, it’s StevenSailer with an n at the end of Steven. (Non-tax deductible.) There is no 2.9% fee like with PayPal or Google Wallet, so this is good for large contributions.

 

Sixth: if you have a Wells Fargo bank account, you can transfer money to me (with no fees) via Wells Fargo SurePay. Just tell WF SurePay to send the money to my ancient AOL email address steveslrAT aol.com — replace the AT with the usual @). (Non-tax deductible.) There is no 2.9% fee like with PayPal or Google Wallet, so this is good for large contributions.

 

Seventh: Google Wallet, which I’ll put below the fold:

Seventh: send money via the Paypal-like Google Wallet to my Gmail address (that’s isteveslrATgmail .com — replace the AT with a @). (Non-tax deductible.)

Here’s the Google Wallet FAQ. From it: “You will need to have (or sign up for) Google Wallet to send or receive money. If you have ever purchased anything on Google Play, then you most likely already have a Google Wallet. If you do not yet have a Google Wallet, don’t worry, the process is simple: go to wallet.google.com and follow the steps.” You probably already have a Google ID and password, which Google Wallet uses, so signing up Wallet is pretty painless.

You can put money into your Google Wallet Balance from your bank account and send it with no service fee.

Or you can send money via credit card (Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, Discover) with the industry-standard 2.9% fee. (You don’t need to put money into your Google Wallet Balance to do this.)

Google Wallet works from both a website and a smartphone
app (Android and iPhone — the Google Wallet app is currently available only in the U.S., but the Google Wallet website can be used in 160 countries).

Or, once you sign up with Google Wallet, you can simply send money via credit card, bank transfer, or Wallet Balance as an attachment from Google’s free Gmail email service.Here’s how to do it.

(Non-tax deductible.)

Thanks!

 
• Tags: Ferguson Shooting 
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A week ago a delegation of social justice activists in Ferguson burned down the local QuikTrip store because they thought that was the store Michael Brown had knocked over. “Snitches Get Stitches” was spraypainted on the wall. An 18-year-old employee told KTVI:

An employee who was working the Quik Trip that was looted and burned told a terrifying story of survival. The 18 year old man didn’t want to be identified but he did say, “Terrifying very, very, terrifying.” Madden says: “tell me what was going through your mind. Worker: I thought I was going to die tonight, I really thought I was going to die tonight. His mother added, “I’m very thankful that he’s alright.” The worker said he was at the register when the looters rushed the store. He and his two fellow workers locked themselves in a back room. One signaled the company’s alarm system. They got a phone call telling them to stay put, that the police were on the way. But after ten or twenty minutes they decided it was best to escape, fortunately before the fire started. The workers said, “One of the employees said we can get a way out of here and so we grabbed jackets to cover our uniform and we ran out of there, out the back door.” He said when he got outside he could see the looters keeping police at bay. He was glad he did not stay put and he was told to do, “If we would have stayed put we would have died.”

But now we know from the security camera footage that the racial equality campaigners had gotten confused and torched the wrong store. Not surprisingly, the store run by the little South Asian or Arab man who was roughed up by Michael Brown is terrified that the Pogrom of Justice is coming for him next. From KSDK.com

FERGUSON, Mo. – The Ferguson Market where Brown allegedly stole from Saturday says it remains committed to the community and it hopes the community will remain committed to it. The market’s attorney says it has been in the Ferguson community for many years and is the type of place where customers and employees all know one another. Friday, the market’s attorney said the owners intend to keep it that way. Former Ferguson resident Shaneis Hubbard used to work just a couple of doors down from the market and would visit it almost every day. She stopped by Friday to see for herself what the market would say about the surveillance video that allegedly caught Michael Brown stealing from the store, not long before he was killed. “Regardless of the petty crime he was allegedly involved in, nobody deserves to be gunned down like that, nobody; white, black, other, nobody,” she said. The store’s owners, through their attorney, sent the message that they want to stay as far away from the situation as possible. In fact, he said, even after the initial alleged theft, it was a customer who called police.

So go lynch the customer, that dirty snitch, not the shopkeeper. Please!

“It’s not about them. They didn’t call the police, they didn’t ask the police to come and take the video,” said attorney Jay Kanzler. The attorney for a convenience store where a Missouri teenager allegedly stole cigars before he was shot by police says a customer, not store workers, called police. Now, the Ferguson Market owners are hoping the video won’t make them a target.

 
• Tags: Ferguson Shooting 
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Top story in the New York Times:

Justice Dept. to Conduct 2nd Autopsy in Ferguson Case
By JULIE BOSMAN and ALAN BLINDER 12:37 PM ET
The federal autopsy of Michael Brown, 18, who was shot by a police officer, will supplement the state autopsy.

But, according to the Los Angeles Times, Eric Holder’s new autopsy will be not the second but the third:

For the record, 10:49 a.m.: An earlier version of this story referred to the federal autopsy as a “second autopsy.” Counting the family and state autopsies, it would be a third autopsy.

The state autopsy was performed a week ago, so the Department of Justice probably had the (presumably) discouraging word all week (if it wasn’t bad for the Democrats why would they order a third autopsy?), but covered it up, just as they insisted on covering up the security cam video. Full blown toxicology reports supposedly take up to four weeks to come back, but I suspect the blood-alcohol level can be tested quickly.

Please note how much “projection” is going on: We all know that conspiracy theories are espoused only by fringe wackos in dingy RVs. Yet, here is the Obama Administration running with the working hypothesis of some kind of a conspiracy to cover-up the results found by both the state’s coroner and by a private pathologist hired by the grieving family. Indeed, this conspiracy to cover-up the truth is so multi-tentacled that leaders of the federal Department of Justice must wage a twilight war against this vast rightwing conspiracy by conspiring amongst themselves to cover up all the material evidence it can get its hands on such as the store security footage of Brown getting violent with a clerk and the results of the previous autopsies. It’s a dirty job but somebody has to do it.

And how can it be abuse of power when the Good Guys have the power? When it’s the Nixon Administration doing the cover up, then it’s abuse of power. When it’s the Obama Administration doing the cover up, then its use of power.

An alternative interpretation is the Obama Administration is just trying to keep the whole fiasco going a few days longer to produce the impression that where there is smoke there must be fire.

Meanwhile, the Conservative Tree House has the results of attempts to crowdsource the transcription of witness descriptions of events inadvertently captured on cell phone video/audio. (Warning: I haven’t looked into these.)

 
• Tags: Ferguson Shooting 
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The New York Times provides more details on the Obama Administration’s conspiracy to cover up the security camera footage demonstrating 6′-4″ 292 pound Michael Brown’s belligerently violent state of mind minutes before his fatal confrontation with the Ferguson police:

Earlier Saturday, in a new sign of discord among the authorities over the handling of the investigation into Mr. Brown’s death, the Justice Department said that it had opposed the release of a video that the Ferguson Police Department said showed the teenager apparently involved in a robbery at a convenience store.

The Justice Department asked the Ferguson Police Department not to release the video because of concerns that “it would roil the community further,” a United States law enforcement official said on Saturday. The Ferguson department released the video on Friday and the Justice official said it “occurred over the objection of federal authorities.” The official said a copy of the video had been in possession of federal investigators, as well, “and there were never any plans by the federal investigators to release that copy.”

The dispute showed further divisions among the authorities in the handling of the case. The surveillance video appeared to show Mr. Brown stealing a box of cigarillos. Shortly after the release of the video, Captain Johnson expressed his displeasure, saying he had not been told that the police planned to release it.

Mr. Brown’s family and many protesters accused the police of trying to harm the teenager’s reputation and to divert attention from the officer who killed him.

Obviously, at the moment the conventional wisdom is: “Well, of course, what could be more public-spirited than for the Administration to keep the public in the dark about what really happened?”

Eventually, though it will start to dawn on a few individuals that the footage that the Obama Administration kept under wraps was material evidence of high relevance. So the natural question is: Do the Obama Administration’s attempts to cover it up rise to the level of an indictable offense?

The Democrats have made clear in recent months that their strategy for the November elections is to encourage black turnout by ginning up racial rage against whites. To you and me who are familiar with the homicide statistics, the Administration’s and media’s campaign to convince volatile black potential voters that their boys are being hunted down and slaughtered en masse by white racists may sound like lunacy of the most dangerous sort.

But there are some very sharp people among the Democrats, and Michael Brown’s death was a gift to them. Unfortunately for them, the video of Brown engaging in hotheaded criminality moments before his death is deflationary toward their pyramid of paranoia.

At minimum, the American citizenry needs to find out: How high up did the cover-up conspiracy go? As was often asked 40 years ago, “What did the President know and when did he know it?

 
• Tags: Ferguson Shooting 
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Watching the convenience store security camera video of Michael Brown shoving aside the Indian or Arab store owner who tries to stop him from stealing cigars, and then learning that in vengeance the mob had looted and burned the wrong convenience store (painting “Snitches Get Stitches” on the wall of the burnt out hulk of QuikTrip Mart), I was reminded of poor Lenny Bernstein’s come-uppance in Radical Chic.

Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers was only the second half of Tom Wolfe’s 1970 book. (Here’s a version annotated with Wolfe’s comments in 2014.) The more famous first half was Radical Chic about the fundraising party that conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein had thrown for the Black Panthers.

In 1969 more of media would have identified with shopkeeper than today

Standing at the summit of American cultural life in the 1960s, Bernstein subsequently suffered from a backlash from many of his fellow Jews who recognized that in hosting the Panthers, who “taxed” (i.e., shook down and strong-armed) Jewish merchants in the slums, Bernstein had lost touch with his roots among petty bourgeois Jewish merchants. They were finding the rising tide of black assertiveness and violence less than an unmixed blessing if you owned a liquor store in the ghetto.

QT Market looted by mob who mistook it for store robbed by Michael Brown

Indeed, much of the rise of neoconservatism in the late 1960s can be traced to Jewish intellectuals who felt loyalty toward their store-owner relatives who were increasingly victimized by black thugs. Jews traditionally have a fear of street mobs bent on pogroms against local shopkeepers, such as the black mob that mistakenly looted down the QT Mart under the belief that it was the one Michael Brown had robbed and therefore must be punished for snitching.

Today, however, few Jews actively manage small shops in black neighborhoods — Michael Brown’s victim was probably Muslim or Hindu — so the level of realism that Bernstein ran into in the media in 1969 is dissipating. Back 45 years ago, some people in the media still had close enough blood ties to shopkeepers to look disapprovingly upon mob pogroms against a storekeeper.

In New York magazine, Wolfe wrote of the reaction to the party after social editrix Charlotte Curtis had written it up (hilariously) for the society section of the New York Times:

But if the Bernsteins thought their main problem at this point was a bad press, they were wrong. A controversy they were apparently oblivious of suddenly erupted around them. Namely, the bitterness between Jews and blacks over an issue that had been building for three years, ever since Black Power became important. The first inkling the Bernsteins had was when they started getting hate mail, some of it apparently from Jews of the Queens-Brooklyn Jewish Defense League variety. Then the League’s national chairman, Rabbi Meir Kahane, blasted Lenny publicly for joining a “trend in liberal and intellectual circles to lionize the Black Panthers . . . We defend the right of blacks to form defense groups, but they’ve gone beyond this to a group which hates other people. That’s not nationalism, that’s Naziism. And if Bernstein and other such intellectuals do not know this, they know nothing.”

The Jewish Defense League had been formed in 1968 for the specific purpose of defending Jews in low-rent neighborhoods, many of which are black. But even many wealthier and more cultivated Jews, who look at the Defense League as somewhat extremist, Low Rent and gauche, agreed essentially with the point Kahane was making. One of the ironies of the history of the Jews in America was that their long championship of black civil liberties had begun to backfire so badly in the late 1960s. As Seymour Lipset has put it, “The integrationist movement was largely an alliance between Negroes and Jews (who, to a considerable extent, actually dominated it). Many of the interracial civil-rights organizations have been led and financed by whites, and the majority of their white members have been Jews. Insofar as a Negro effort emerged to break loose from involvement with whites, from domination of the civil-rights struggle by white liberals, it meant concretely a break with Jews, for they were the whites who were active in these movements. The Black Nationalist leadership had to push whites (Jews) ‘out of the way,’ and to stop white (Jewish) ‘interference’ in order to get whites (Jews) ‘off their backs.’”

Back in 1969, a larger fraction of the media would have been related to shopkeepers, so they would have identified more with the clerk being bullied by Michael Brown

Meanwhile, Black Power groups such as SNCC and the Black Panthers were voicing support for the Arabs against Israel. … But many Jewish leaders regarded the anti-Zionist stances of groups like the Panthers as a veiled American-brand anti-Semitism, tied up with such less theoretical matters as extortion, robbery and mayhem by blacks against Jews in ghetto areas. …

… In any case, given all this, people like Lenny and Felicia could hardly have been expected to comprehend a complex matter like the latter-day friction between blacks and Jews.

To other people involved in Radical Chic, however, the picture was now becoming clear as day. This was no time for Custer’s last stand. This was time . . . to panic.

On Saturday evening, the 24th, the Duchins, the Stantons, Sidney and Gail Lumet, and Lenny and Felicia met at the Bernsteins’ to try to think out the whole situation. Sidney Lumet was convinced that a new era of “McCarthyism” had begun. It was a little hard to picture the editorial and women’s page staffs of the Times as the new Joe McCarthy—but damn it . . . The Times was pushing its own pet organizations, the NAACP, the Urban League, the Urban Coalition, and so on. Why did it look like the Times always tried to punish prominent Jews who refused to lie down and play good solid burghers? Who was it who said the Times was a Catholic newspaper run by Jews to fool the Protestants? Some professor at Columbia . . .

Probably Rudolf Flesch, author of The Art of Readable Writing, which I read before I read any Tom Wolfe, which might help explain why we are on similar wavelengths.

In any case, they were now all “too exposed” to do the Panthers any good by giving parties for the Panthers in their homes. They would do better to work through organizations like the NAACP legal defense fund.

Lenny couldn’t get over the whole affair. … Unbelievable hostility was still bubbling around him. In Miami, Jewish pickets forced a moviehouse to withdraw a film of Lenny conducting the Israel Philharmonic on Mount Scopus in celebration of Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War. …

Fools, boors, philistines, Birchers, B’nai B’rithees, Defense Leaguers, Hadassah theatre party pirhanas, UJAviators, concert hall Irishmen, WASP ignorati, toads, newspaper readers—they were booing him, Leonard Bernstein, the egregio maestro . . . Boooooo. No two ways about it. They weren’t clearing their throats. They were squeezed into their $14.50 bequested seats, bringing up from out of the false bottoms of their bellies the old Low Rent raspberry boos of days gone by. Boooooo. Newspaper readers! That harebrained story in the Times had told how he and Felicia had given a party for the Black Panthers and how he had pledged a conducting fee to their defense fund, and now, stretching out before him in New York, was a great starched white-throated audience of secret candystore bigots, greengrocer Moshe Dayans with patches over both eyes . . .

But times have changed. These days, very few people of power and influence in the media still have an uncle who works behind a counter in a place like Ferguson. So, the prestige press on average is increasingly heading toward being as out of touch as Lenny Bernstein was in 1969.

 
• Tags: Ferguson Shooting 
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An officer stepped in after young white men attacked a young black man at Fairground Park in St. Louis in 1949. The death of Michael Brown, 18, has revived racial tensions in the area.

I’m always struck by how seldom prestige journalism about race takes notice of developments since, roughly, Bull Connor. For example, to the right is a photo that the New York Times thinks is informative in understanding what’s going on in Ferguson, MO.

In contrast, developments from the liberal-run last 50 years, such as Section 8 rental vouchers, go unmentioned even though what has been changing in Ferguson is do to 21st Century liberal policies like Section 8 moving poor blacks from St. Louis to the “apartment farms” put up in one corner of Ferguson.

For example, if I google “‘Section 8′ Ferguson” I get:

I.e., nobody else is terribly interested in the Section 8 story about Ferguson.

In the New York Times, we see a good example of how blind elite media are to policies on the last half century and how much they prefer to focus upon sins of white racism in the increasingly distant past:

Around St. Louis, a Circle of Rage
By TANZINA VEGA and JOHN ELIGON AUG. 16, 2014

FERGUSON, Mo. —

… The origins of the area’s complex social and racial history date to the 19th century when the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County went their separate ways, leading to the formation of dozens of smaller communities outside St. Louis. Missouri itself has always been a state with roots in both the Midwest and the South, and racial issues intensified in the 20th century as St. Louis became a stopping point for the northern migration of Southern blacks seeking factory jobs in Detroit and Chicago.

As African-Americans moved into the city and whites moved out, real estate agents and city leaders, in a pattern familiar elsewhere in the country, conspired to keep blacks out of the suburbs through the use of zoning ordinances and restrictive covenants. But by the 1970s, some of those barriers had started to fall, and whites moved even farther away from the city. These days, Ferguson is like many of the suburbs around St. Louis, inner-ring towns that accommodated white flight decades ago but that are now largely black. And yet they retain a white power structure.

Although about two-thirds of Ferguson residents are black, its mayor and five of its six City Council members are white. Only three of the town’s 53 police officers are black.

Turnout for local elections in Ferguson has been poor. The mayor, James W. Knowles III, noted his disappointment with the turnout — about 12 percent — in the most recent mayoral election during a City Council meeting in April. Patricia Bynes, a black woman who is the Democratic committeewoman for the Ferguson area, said the lack of black involvement in local government was partly the result of the black population’s being more transient in small municipalities and less attached to them. …

This year, community members voiced anger after the all-white, seven-member school board for the Ferguson-Florissant district pushed aside its black superintendent for unrevealed reasons.

If a politician resigns for undisclosed reasons, it’s probably because he didn’t want them revealed.

That spurred several blacks to run for three board positions up for election, but only one won a seat. …

Although experience and statistics suggest that Ferguson’s police force disproportionately targets blacks, it is not as imbalanced as in some neighboring departments in St. Louis County. While blacks are 37 percent more likely to be pulled over compared with their proportion of the population in Ferguson, that is less than the statewide average of 59 percent, according to Richard Rosenfeld, a professor of criminology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

In fact, Mr. Rosenfeld said, Ferguson did not fit the profile of a community that would be a spark for civil unrest. The town has “pockets of disadvantage” and middle and upper-middle income families. He said Ferguson had benefited in the last five to 10 years from economic growth in the northern part of the county, such as the expansion of Express Scripts, the Fortune 500 health care giant.

The NYT has missed the story of the “apartment farms” in one corner of Ferguson that have become a slum of Section 8 renters.

“Ferguson does not stand out as the type of community where you would expect tensions with the police to boil over into violence and looting,” Mr. Rosenfeld said.

But the memory of the region’s racial history lingers.

In 1949, a mob of whites showed up to attack blacks who lined up to get into the pool at Fairground Park in north St. Louis after it had been desegregated.

65 years ago

In the 1970s, a court battle over public school inequality led to a settlement that created a desegregation busing program that exists to this day.

About 40 years ago

A Ferguson city councilman caused a stir in 1970 when he used racially charged language to criticize teenagers from the neighboring town of Kinloch for throwing rocks and bottles at homes in Ferguson. The councilman, Carl Kersting, said, “We should call a black a black, and not be afraid to face up to these people,” according to an article in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat.

44 years ago

Eventually blacks broke down the barriers in the inner ring of suburbs, and whites fled farther out. But whites fought hard to protect their turf.

In other words, whites are evil to leave and whites are evil to stay.

In the mid-1970s, Alyce Herndon, a black woman, moved with her family to what was then the mostly white town of Jennings in St. Louis County. She said some of their white neighbors stuck an Afro pick in their front lawn and set it on fire. Ms. Herndon also recalled tensions flaring between black and white students at her school after the television mini-series “Roots” first aired in 1977.

37 years ago

For all its segregation and discrimination, St. Louis did not have the major riots and unrest during the 1960s that was seen across the country.

45 to 50 years ago

… “St. Louis never has had its true race moment, where they had to confront this,” said Ms. Bynes, the Democratic committeewoman. Without that moment, she added, blacks have been complacent when it comes to local politics. “I’m hoping that this is what it takes to get the pendulum to swing the other way.” …

Tanzina Vega reported from Ferguson, and John Eligon from Kansas City, Mo. Serge F. Kovaleski contributed reporting from New York, and John Schwartz from Ferguson. Alain Delaquérière contributed research.

That’s a lot of reporters who all missed what’s going on now because they were so focused upon the receding past.

 
• Tags: Ferguson Shooting 
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In the optimistic days after WWII, big cities built giant urban housing projects to accommodate the poor. For example, Pruitt-Igoe in St. Louis was designed by Yamasaki, architect of the World Trade Center, on the most advanced principles of modernism. Obviously, taking poor blacks out of their lead paint-encrusted tenements and raising them in advanced Bauhaus designs would prove the bigots wrong.

Pruitt-Igoe went on to be home to the future Heavyweight Champs Leon and Michael Spinks, before it was blown up in 1972.

Pruitt-Igoe, 1972

These days, big cities don’t want to accommodate the black poor anymore; they want them to leave. The powers that be prefer for poor blacks to leave town with Section 8 rent subsidy vouchers that go further in declining suburbs like Ferguson. For example, Hanna Rosin’s 2008 Atlantic cover story American Murder Mystery documented how homicide rates were declining in central Memphis and rising in inner suburbs due to demolition of old housing projects and subsidized relocation of their tenants out of the city.

Poor blacks are the biggest Hot Potato in modern America. Liberal white urbanites realize today that their ancestors made a terrible mistake in the Postwar era by ceding much of the most valuable urban land in America to poor blacks. So they are offloading poor blacks on the less powerful, such as residents of second rate suburbs and of undistinguished small towns. But for this process, in which trillions of dollars of real estate values are at stake, to proceed smoothly without complaints from the less well connected about what is coming their way, it’s important to Control Discourse, to periodically demonize various minor league white people for engaging in pattern recognition.

If you think intelligently, while everybody else had had crimestop pounded into their heads so all thought shuts down when the topic of race comes up, you can make a lot of money in real estate.

The same dynamic is at work in Ferguson in relation to St. Louis. From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via Countenance):

Why did the Michael Brown shooting happen here?

8 hours ago • By Jesse Bogan • jbogan@post-dispatch.com Denise Hollinshed • dhollinshed@post-dispatch.com and Stephen Deere • sdeere@post-dispatch.com

FERGUSON • Long before the nation rested its collective conscience on the protests along West Florissant Avenue, there was a different mobilization going on.

Hundreds of people were moving out of their urban neighborhoods to this north St. Louis County suburb seeking a safe and affordable place to live.

They found it in an isolated corner of Ferguson that was flush with sprawling apartment complexes. Far from Ferguson’s leafy residential streets and quaint downtown, many people didn’t even know the apartments were part of the city until young Michael Brown was shot and killed there Aug. 9.

But not the police. They knew.

After decades of relative calm and stability, the apartments have become a tinderbox for crime. Canfield Green Apartments and the nearby Oakmont and Northwinds complexes are a study of the slow encroachment of poverty and social distress into what had been suburban escapes.

Angela Shaver has witnessed that sea change since she moved into Canfield Green Apartments 20 years ago. The state employee said she raised a prom queen there and sent her off to college.

There used to be a swimming pool. Now, there’s a bullet hole in the door below her.

That shooting, and many others, happened long before all the vigil candles melted in the middle of the street for Brown.

Even as Shaver explained the frequency of gunfire, she was cut off by a sudden blast coming from Northwinds Apartments, a hulking spread with more than 400 low-income units.

Boom!

Shaver paused to listen. No screams. No more shots. She picked up the interview where she’d left off.

“I hate to say I got used to them,” she said of the gunshots.

Ferguson’s crime and poverty rate is lower than some of the other North County municipalities. But the small southeast corner of the city where the apartments are glows bright red on crime maps.

That area along West Florissant Avenue and just east of it accounted for 18 percent of all serious crimes reported between 2010 and August 2012, according to a Post-Dispatch analysis of crime data provided by St. Louis County.

The area accounted for 28 percent of all burglaries, 28 percent of all aggravated assaults, 30 percent of all motor vehicle thefts and 40 percent of all robberies reported in the city of 21,000 people. …

It’s a cluster of densely populated complexes that stand apart from the predominantly single-family streets of Ferguson.

On a map, the area sticks out like an appendage, one that was added to Ferguson by annexation. Many of the children who live there aren’t even part of the Ferguson-Florissant school system.

Adding to that isolation, police have blocked off nearly all access roads to the apartments with concrete barriers, fences and gates.

The nearly all-white police force has struggled to maintain control and respect from many African-Americans who live there as officers try to clamp down on crime.

There is a common perception that police stop people without reason.

“If you stay here, they basically think you are a thug,” said Gerard Fuller, 19, who is headed to Arkansas Baptist College in a few days on a basketball scholarship.

The Brown shooting dug into that nerve. The response seems to have as much to do with socioeconomic factors as it does opinions about race relations and police brutality in communities across the country that have struggled to integrate.

In St. Louis County alone, African-American poor are six times as likely as white poor to live in areas of concentrated poverty.

The apartment complexes located on the fringe of Ferguson — the self-proclaimed “Community of Choice” — give a glimpse of what that looks like.

The eruption of looting and violent protests and the national attention it drew give a glimpse of the implications.

Some call Ferguson an affordable Kirkwood. …

In the 1960s, Ferguson annexed the land where Brown would be shot by police. He was walking back home to his grandmother’s apartment in the Northwinds complex.

Ashley Nowden, 29, had lived in Northwinds for six years before she hastily moved out in January after being burglarized three separate times. She connects the rise of crimes to an increase in low-income renters.

“It is a younger crowd now,” she said.

Maine-based Eagle Point Companies bought Northwinds in 2005 and poured $12.5 million into refurbishing the complex, thanks in part to low-income housing credits. Part of the deal was that to be eligible to live there, residents can earn no more than 60 percent of the median income in the area.

Northwinds is one of 31 affordable housing properties like it that Eagle Point owns across the U.S.

Laura Burns, president of the company, said she thought crime was under control at Northwinds, but she acknowledged residents tend to be nomadic.

“We have a lot of turnover,” she said. “Some of our residents unfortunately are not in a position to pay the rent for whatever reason.”

Louis Smith, 68, sees the sprawling apartments as yesterday’s high-rise public housing complexes, such as Pruitt-Igoe.

“After they tore these projects down, a lot of people started coming everywhere, everywhere, man,” said Smith, a retired McDonnell Douglas machinist who moved out of Canfield Green in the 1980s to buy a nearby home.

He said his wife, who is involved with the neighborhood watch, has complained to city leaders about unchaperoned and unruly children who come over from the apartments and destroy property.

“The women work,” he said of apartment residents. “The guys stay home, smoke dope and walk around harassing people.

“You can’t say nothing to them,” he added. “They’ll cuss you out.”

Ferguson real estate broker Georgia Rossel also took aim at the apartments.

“Apartments don’t promote community,” said Rossel, who also serves on the planning and zoning board in nearby Jennings. “People are just in and out. They don’t stay.” …

Canfield Green was mostly white when Kevin Edwards and his family moved in 12 years ago. It has since been filled mostly with African-Americans.

Edwards, 50, who is black, gives credit to the complex’s owners for maintaining the property.

“They keep it nice,” he said of neatly trimmed lawns and shrubs.

He says Canfield residents are no different from anyone else. “People here get up in the morning and go to work, try to pay their bills and raise families,” he said.

But the complex attracts a rough element. People with open warrants cruise the sidewalks. And that draws in police. …

Tim Bryant, Steve Giegerich, Walker Moskop and Tim O’Neil, all of the Post-Dispatch, contributed to this report.

 
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From The New Republic

White St. Louis Has Some Awful Things to Say About Ferguson
By Julia Ioffe @juliaioffe

About a 15-minute drive from the Ferguson protest that, by now, feels more like a block party, in the more upscale St. Louis suburb of Olivette, there’s a new strip mall with a barbecue joint and a Starbucks and an e-cigarette store. On a mild Thursday evening in August, people sat around tables, sipping coffee, sipping beer, dabbing barbecue sauce off their fingers.

All of these people were white.

It was a stark contrast to Ferguson, which is two-thirds black. Olivette is almost the exact opposite, at over 60 percent white. St. Louis, and the little hamlets that ring it, is one of the most segregated cities in America, and it shows.

Ioffe then writes a typical essay of point-n-sputter outrage on what white people in Olivette told her about the riots in Ferguson, and, worse, what she thinks they really would say:

As for the protests, well, they weren’t about justice; they were just an excuse. “People are just taking the opportunity to satisfy their desire for junk,” said one woman, knowingly. As if black people, the lust for theft encoded in their DNA, are just barely kept in line by authority.

A lot of high end journalism on race consists of white journalists saying what’s occurred to them in the privacy of their own minds and then attributing it to some lesser white person who should be scorned, or maybe necklaced.

But I want to come back to this assumption of Segregation. Ioffe cites Olivette as the lily-white “exact opposite” of Ferguson, and yet they both seem like pretty good examples of Diversity. Olivette’s Wikipedia article says the 2010 Census found:

The racial makeup of the city was 60.9% White, 23.9% African American, 0.2% Native American, 10.7% Asian, 1.7% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.3% of the population.

Ferguson’s Wikipedia article says:

The racial makeup of the city was 29.3% White, 67.4% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.2% of the population.

Olivette is clearly a more desirable town as can be seen from its much larger percentage of Asians, who never let political cant cloud their real estate decisions, but it’s also 24% black, just as Ferguson is 29% white. Both basically strike me as more or less integrated.

Now from 1990 to 2010, Ferguson dropped from 75% white to 29% white. This is the kind of thing we see a lot of in inner ring suburbs during the Section 8 Era, in the on-going game of Hot Potato. On the other hand, it’s a much slower rate of white flight than in the past than in, say Austin on the west side of Chicago from 1967 to 1980.

In general, that slower rate of transition seems like a good thing. It means change is less precipitous, crime is less of an immediate impetus, people have more time to plan for their moves, those who really likely where they live find things tolerable enough to stay, and so forth. And by all accounts, Ferguson was a semi-okay place … until the mobs looted it this week, egged on by the press denouncing white racism.

Instead, Ferguson’s lack of precipitous White Flight is currently being universally denounced as a Bad Thing because enough white people have stuck around in Ferguson to maintain some political and institutional continuity rather than immediately depart and surrender all offices to the most recent Section 8 arrivals.

In fact, for liberal conventional wisdom, whites in Ferguson are to be blamed both for leaving and for staying. It’s racist that some whites have left and it’s racist that enough whites have stayed to maintain some political power in Ferguson.

Basically, you white people who can’t afford to live in liberal whitopias like Marin County and Portland, you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

 
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From Tom Wolfe’s 1970 book Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak-Catchers:

Brothers like Chaser were the ones who perfected mau-mauing, but before long everybody in the so-called Third World was into it. Everybody was out mau-mauing up a storm, to see if they could win the victories the blacks had won. San Francisco, being the main port of entry for immigrants from all over the Pacific, had as many colored minorities as New York City. Maybe more. Blacks, Chicanos, Latinos, Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos, American Indians, Samoans–everybody was circling around the poverty program. By the end of 1968 there were eighty-seven different groups getting into the militant thing, getting into mau-mauing.

Nobody kept records on the confrontations, which is too bad. There must have been hundreds of them in San Francisco alone. … Bad dudes were out mau-mauing at all the poverty agencies, at boards of education, at city halls, hospitals, conventions, foundations, schools, charities, civic organizations, all sorts of places. It got to be an American custom, like talk shows, Face the Nation, marriage counseling, marathon encounters, or zoning hearings.

That was certainly the way the message came down to the youth of the Third World in areas like the Mission, Chinatown, and Japan Town. Mau-mauing was the ticket. The confrontation route was the only road. So the Chinese, the Japanese, the Chicanos, the Indians picked up on mau-mauing from the bloods. Not only that, they would try to do it exactly like the bloods, try to wear naturals like the bloods, even if their hair was too straight to do it. There were Spanish and Oriental dudes who washed their hair every day with Borax to make it fluff up and sit out.

When anybody other than black people went in for mau-mauing, however, they ran into problems, because the white man had a different set of fear reflexes for each race he was dealing with.

Whites didn’t have too much fear of the Mexican-American, the Chicano. The notion was that he was small, placid, slow, no particular physical threat–until he grew his hair Afro-style, talked like a blood or otherwise managed to seem “black” enough to raise hell. Then it was a different story.

The whites’ physical fear of the Chinese was nearly zero. The white man pictured the Chinese as small, quiet, restrained little fellows. He had a certain deep-down voodoo fear of their powers of Evil in the Dark … the Hatchet Men … the Fangs of the Tong … but it wasn’t a live fear. For that matter, the young Chinese themselves weren’t ready for the age of mau-mauing. It wasn’t that they feared the white man, the way black people had. It was more that they didn’t fear or resent white people enough. They looked down on whites as childish and uncultivated. They also found it somewhat shameful to present themselves as poor and oppressed, on the same level with Negroes and Mexican-Americans. It wasn’t until 1969 that militants really got into confrontations in Chinatown.

Every now and then, after the poverty scene got going, and the confrontations became a regular thing, whites would run into an ethnic group they drew a total blank on, like the Indians or the Samoans. Well, with the Samoans they didn’t draw a blank for long, not once they actually came up against them. The Samoans on the poverty scene favored the direct approach. They did not fool around. They were like the original unknown terrors. In fact, they were unknown terrors and a half.

Why so few people in San Francisco know about the Samoans is a mystery. All you have to do is see a couple of those Polynesian studs walking through the Mission, minding their own business, and you won’t forget it soon. Have you ever by any chance seen professional football players in person, like on the street? The thing you notice is not just that they’re big but that they are so big, it’s weird. Everything about them is gigantic, even their heads. They’ll have a skull the size of a watermelon, with a couple of little squinty eyes and a little mouth and a couple of nose holes stuck in, and no neck at all. From the ears down, the big yoyos are just one solid welded hulk, the size of an oil burner. You get the feeling that football players come from a whole other species of human, they’re so big. Well, that will give you some idea of the Samoans, because they’re bigger. The average Samoan makes Bubba Smith of the Colts look like a shrimp. They start out at about 300 pounds and from there they just get wider. They are big huge giants. Everything about them is wide and smooth. They have big wide faces and smooth features. They’re a dark brown, with a smooth cast.

Anyway, the word got around among the groups in the Mission that the poverty program was going to be on the short end. So a bunch of the groups in the Mission got together and decided to go downtown to the poverty office and do some mau-mauing in behalf of the Mission before the bureaucrats made up their minds. There were blacks, Chicanos, Filipinos, and about ten Samoans.

… This man comes out , and he has that sloppy Irish look like Ed McMahon on TV, only with a longer nose. In case you’d like the local viewpoint, whites really have the noses … enormous, you might say … a whole bag full … long and pointed like carrots, goobered up like green peppers, hooked like a squash, hanging off the face like cucumbers … This man has a nose that is just on the verge of hooing over, but it doesn’t quite make it.

“Have a seat, gentlemen,” he says, and he motions toward the wooden chairs.

But he doesn’t have to open his mouth. All you have to do is look at him and you get the picture. The man’s a lifer. He’s stone civil service. He has it all down from the wheatcolor Hush Puppies to the wash’n’dry semi-tab-collar shortsleeves white shirt. Those wheatcolor Hush Puppies must be like some kind of fraternal garb among the civil-service employees, because they all wear them. They cost about $4.99, and the second time you move your toes, the seams split and the tops come away from the soles. But they all wear them. …

And then it dawns on you, and you wonder why it took so long for you to realize it. This man is the flak catcher. His job is to catch the flak for the No. 1 man. …

So one of the bloods says, “Man, why do you sit there shining us with this bureaucratic rhetoric, when you said yourself that ain’t nothing you say that means a goddam thing?”

Ba-ram-ba-ram-ba-ram-ba-ram–a bunch of the aces start banging on the floor in unison. It sounds like they have sledge hammers.

“Ha-unnnnh,” says the Flak Catcher. …

“Well,” says the Flak Catcher, I can’t promise you jobs if the jobs aren’t available yet”–and then he looks up as if for the first time he is really focusing on the thirty-five ghetto hot dogs he is now facing, by way of sizing up the threat, now that the shit has started.

The blacks and the Chicanos he has no doubt seen before, or people just like them, but then he takes in the Filipinos. There are about eight of them, and they are all wearing the Day-Glo yellow and hot-green sweaters and lemon-colored pants and Italian-style socks. But it’s the headgear that does the trick. They’ve all got on Rap Brown shades and Russian Cossack hats made of frosted-gray Dynel. They look bad.

Then the man takes in the Samoans, and they look worse. There’s about ten of them, but they fill up half the room. They’ve got on Island shirts with designs in streaks and blooms of red, only it’s a really raw shade of red, like that red they paint the floor with in the tool and dye works. They’re glaring at him our of those big dark wide brown faces. The monsters have tight curly hair, but it grows in long strands, and they comb it back flat, in long curly strands, with a Duke pomade job. They’ve got huge feet, and they’re wearing sandals. The straps on the sandals look like there were made from the reins on the Budweiser draft horses. But what really gets the Flak Catcher, besides the sheer size of the brutes, is their Tiki canes. These are like Polynesian scepters. They’re the size of sawed-off pool cues, only they’re carved all over in Polynesian Tiki Village designs.

When they wrap their fists around these sticks, every knuckle on their hands pops out the size of a walnut. Anything they hear that they like, like the part about the “bureaucratic rhetoric,” they bang on the floor in unison with the ends of the Tiki sticks–ba-ram-ba-ram-ba-ram-ba-ram–although some of them press one end of the stick onto the sole of their sandal between their first two toes and raise their foot up and down with the stick to cushion the blow on the floor. They don’t want to scuff up the Tiki cane.

 
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A social activist demands racial justice and free junk food

From the New York Times:

Lack of Leadership and a Generational Split Hinder Protests in Ferguson
By JULIE BOSMAN AUG. 16, 2014

FERGUSON, Mo. — The unrest in Ferguson began one week ago, on the quiet side street of Canfield Drive, when residents were startled by a series of gunshots and poured out of their homes. They watched and wept as the police stood guard for hours over the body of 18-year-old Michael Brown, splayed face down in the street.

But over time, the demonstrations have changed to become an amalgam of peaceful protesters — some furious about what they call endemic abuse of African-Americans by the police — and separate groups that have carried out acts of violence and looting.

Early Saturday morning, the divisions became even more evident during a four-hour standoff with the police. One group, some of its members wearing bandannas, broke into a liquor store and left clutching bottles of alcohol. But at other retail outlets, like a beauty supply store, demonstrators blocked the looters’ way.

… Both the protesters and the looters appear to lack direction or a unified leadership.

Many of those on the street say they have shrugged off guidance from elders in the African-American establishment, and even from the Brown family, which has repeatedly pleaded for calm.

One protester, DeVone Cruesoe, of the St. Louis area, standing on Canfield Drive last week said, “Do we have a leader? No.” Pointing to the spot where Mr. Brown was killed, he said, “You want to know who our leader is? Mike Brown.”

The Rev. Jesse L. Jackson arrived at the protest on Friday night. “People were so warm,” he said. “It was that kind of celebration.”

But he said on Saturday morning that the violent tone of the protest reflected anger over police tactics. Ferguson, he said, is “a metaphor for urban America,” where many minorities and poor whites lack access to jobs, transportation and health care.

Many African-American civic leaders in St. Louis said they were frustrated by their inability to guide the protesters.

At an emotional meeting at a church on Thursday, clergy members despaired over the seemingly uncontrollable nature of the protest movement and the flare-ups of violence that older people in the group abhorred.

“We had the so-called power brokers here on Tuesday,” said the Rev. Robert C. Scott, pastor of Central Baptist Church in St. Louis, referring to a meeting earlier in the week. “Nothing has changed. It has exacerbated. We should not be on the news looking like Iraq or Beirut.”

Derrick Robbins, another pastor in attendance, said there had been no negotiations between the police and protesters.

“Everybody’s trying to be a leader, but it’s not working,” he said. “I wish we could come together and have a unified front. That is not happening.”

Some people have suggested that there is a generational divide. George Richardson, who works for the building department in East St. Louis, said the younger protesters were acting independently, ignoring advice from their parents.

“There is a gulf between the leadership and the boots on the ground,” Mr. Richardson said. “These kids do not understand why the nonviolence movement is the best way to get done what we need to get done. They don’t really know what to do.

From Tom Wolfe’s 1970 book Mau-Mauing the Flak-Catchers:

Whites were still in the dark about the ghettos. They had been studying the “urban Negro” in every way they could think of for fifteen years, but they found out they didn’t know any more about the ghettos than when they started. Every time there was a riot, whites would call on “Negro leaders” to try to cool it, only to find out that the Negro leaders didn’t have any followers. They sent Martin Luther King into Chicago and the people ignored him. They sent Dick Gregory into Watts and the people hooted at him and threw beer cans. During the riot in Hunters Point, the mayor of San Francisco, John Shelley, went into Hunters Point with the only black member of the Board of Supervisors, and the brothers threw rocks at both of them. They sent in the middle-class black members of the Human Rights Commission, and the brothers laughed at them and called them Toms. Then they figured the leadership of the riot was “the gangs,” so they sent in the “ex-gang leaders” from groups like Youth for Service to make a “liaison with the key gang leaders.” What they didn’t know was that Hunters Point and a lot of ghettos were so disorganized, there weren’t even any “key gangs,” much less “key gang leaders,” in there. That riot finally just burnt itself out after five days, that was all.

By the way, Hillary might wish to pause and reflect upon just how many followers Julian Castro has.

 
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPUx0Au8qSQ

In the prestige press, Saturday has seen much clucking with distaste over Ferguson police releasing more information to the public than was optimal for the national media’s Narrative Maintenance purposes.

From the New York Times:

Earlier Saturday, in a new sign of discord among the authorities over the handling of the investigation into Mr. Brown’s death, the Justice Department said that it had opposed the release of a video that the Ferguson Police Department said showed the teenager apparently involved in a robbery at a convenience store.

The Justice Department asked the Ferguson Police Department not to release the video because of concerns that “it would roil the community further,” a United States law enforcement official said on Saturday. The Ferguson Police Department released the video on Friday and the Justice Department official said it “occurred over the objection of federal authorities.” The official said that a copy of the video had been in possession of federal investigators, as well, “and there were never any plans by the federal investigators to release that copy.”

In other words, Eric Holder’s department had this key evidence and was covering it up. Moreover, the Department of Justice declared itself to be in a de facto alliance with the looters in the street to keep non-federal agencies from releasing their copies. The Attorney General’s people wanted to keep this Narrative-undermining video hidden from the public and used the threat of mob violence to try to uphold its political advantage.

That’s really, really immoral.

The dispute showed further divisions among the authorities in the handling of the case. The surveillance video appeared to show Mr. Brown, 18, stealing a box of cigarillos. Shortly after the release of the video, Captain Johnson expressed his displeasure, saying he had not been told that the police planned to release it.

Mr. Brown’s family and many protesters accused the police of trying to harm the teenager’s reputation and to divert attention from the officer who killed him.

How can the New York Times and the Obama Administration do their job of telling you what to think about this Defining Event of our Times when the local cops are free to release a security camera video on the Internet for the whole world to view? It’s just not fair: the Obama / Media Industrial Complex has all these highly expensive methods and minions for the engineering of human souls; yet a few wreckers at the local police force can undermine all that power and prestige just by posting evidence on Youtube.

 
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About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, VDARE.com columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.


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