August 20, 2014
And if only three of the 53 cops on the Ferguson force are black, is that due to race discrimination? The chief says he has sought to recruit blacks and asked the Justice Department for help. Is this untrue?
We are told that of six members of the Ferguson city council only one is black, while two-thirds of Ferguson’s population is black. Yet, last week, we learned that the black voter turnout in local elections in Ferguson in 2013 was 6 percent.
When St. Louis County, to stop the violence and looting last week, sent cops into Ferguson with armored personnel carriers and assault rifles, they were denounced for militarizing law enforcement.
“Tell them to remove the damn tanks,” ordered Eric Holder. The county complied and a kinder, gentler law enforcement ensued.
And the looters and rioters went on a three-night tear over the weekend forcing Gov. Jay Nixon to call out the National Guard.
Nevertheless, the violence in Ferguson is child’s play compared to Watts in ‘65, Newark and Detroit in ‘67, and 100 U.S. cities including Washington, D.C., after Dr. King’s assassination in ‘68. In those riots, great cities were gutted, dozens were killed, and thousands arrested.
Detroit never recovered. And that is the future that beckons us all if our first demand today is not for peace and order, and then for justice for Brown’s family and Darren Wilson, according to the rule of law.