A Washington Post story headlined “Not Their Grandfather’s Protest” sought to depict the Ferguson riots, triggered by the fatal shooting of a black youth by a white police officer, as a new generation of the Civil Rights movement. Not so.
As much as we mourn the tragic death of Michael Brown, we can’t help noticing that the mob in Ferguson was destructive, hateful, and only too eager to liquidate small businesses that provided a livelihood for people whose only sin was doing business in Ferguson, Mo.
Watching the Ferguson riots on TV, I spotted a sign that said, “Begin the Class War Now.” This was a sentiment not from the Civil Rights movement, which sought to spread the promise of America, but from Occupy Wall Street, which exists to sow the seeds of envy and hatred. Lionized in the media, Ferguson–like Occupy–is a movement of fact-challenged bullies. This is not to say that we have an opinion or even would dare to theorize about guilt or innocence in the matter of the sad death of Michael Brown. The facts of that night are not yet known. The vicious aftermath can be known by anyone who has a TV.
Not surprisingly, Occupy retreads reportedly flocked to Ferguson, while Occupy websites have heaped fulsome praise on their less upscale compatriots. Oakland Occupy—last seen terrorizing shoppers, shutting down the port of Oakland, burning American flags, and trashing ATMs—even hosted a protest in solidarity with Ferguson. “Protesters broke windows and damaged property in both cities,” the San Francisco Gate reported. Now, that’s solidarity.
The Ferguson mob, like its spiritual forebear Occupy, has no respect for normal, decent, ordinary people who go to work every day to support their families. The looting and vandalism in Ferguson put more than a hundred small businesses on the brink of financial ruin. The surveillance video allegedly of Michael Brown shortly before his death committing a strong-arm robbery of a cigar store, pushing and shoving a much smaller clerk, was but a prelude to the two week’s rioting.
The Washington Post reporter who compared the Ferguson mob to the honorable and heroic Civil Rights movement diligently tried not to see what was before her very eyes, but she couldn’t avoid exposing the hollowness of what’s there: “They are fueled by rage, mobilized by social media and sometimes, or so it seems to the old guard, capable of a bit of disrespect.”
You’ve got to love that "capable of a bit of disrespect.”
Like Occupy, which was praised by Nancy Pelosi and sympathized with by President Obama, the Ferguson mob has friends in high places. The Rev. Al Sharpton, the well-known racial opportunist, who is advising the White House on Ferguson, was Ferguson’s Mark Antony, the orator of this mob, who stoked passions while ostensibly innocently praising the dead. Likewise, our Attorney General Eric Holder, who was dispatched to Ferguson by the President, appeared on the scene.
Holder’s mere presence seems to have had a calming effect—which is certainly a very good thing—but probably only temporarily, if the legal case doesn’t go entirely against the police. Like Sharpton, Holder stoked hatred, suggesting that the shooting of Michael Brown was rooted in our troubled racial history.
Certainly that history is an important backdrop to the story today in Ferguson—the suspicion which seeps into too many interactions between those of different races, and particularly when they involve law enforcement. But that history doesn’t play at all into determining what happened between Officer Darren Wilson and Michal Brown before Brown’s final breath.
Couldn’t Holder, our nation’s top legal executive and defender of our legal system, have talked about impartial justice and prepared the crowd for a just verdict, whatever that is? But waiting for facts is not a mob’s way.
But the rest of America should face the facts, whatever they may be, and should not close our eyes to what is happening today. This isn’t the next step in the civil rights movement, but a sad testimony to a crumbling culture and rage that pervades too much of America society.