Commentary: Ferguson and the Racial Divide

Share:

One of the more interesting findings in the aftermath of Ferguson is not that blacks and whites have different views of what happened in Ferguson; after all, it is of little surprise that one poll showed that “62 percent of African-Americans believed Officer Wilson was at fault in the shooting of Mr. Brown, while only 22 percent of whites took that position.”

What is interesting – at least to me – is that most African-Americans believe that there has been a lot of progress on race, but they also believe that there is no way a young black man could find justice.

A New York Times article from last week notes a Pew Research Center poll from earlier this year that found “black mistrust of the police and courts is far more pervasive than it is toward other institutions.” In fact, “a Pew poll taken earlier this year suggests that African-Americans under age 40 — the demographic that made up most of the people who took to the streets in Ferguson in August — are much less likely than their elders to believe that racism is the main force blocking blacks’ advancement.”

As the Times notes, “That whites and blacks disagree so deeply on the justice system, even as some other racial gulfs show signs of closing, is perhaps not as odd as it seems.”

It has to do not only with experience, but also where people live. The two races now “work together, play sports together, attend school together,” but at the same time they go home to separate worlds.

The Times notes, “At the end of 2013, 3 percent of all black males of any age were imprisoned, compared with 0.5 percent of whites. In 2011, one in 15 African-American children had a parent in prison, compared with one in 111 white children.”

They quote Patricia Williams, a Columbia University professor, who argues that the war on drugs has disproportionately affected blacks. For example, “in California in 2011, a black man was 11 times more likely than a white to be jailed for a marijuana felony — and that three-strikes laws kept many in jail.”

Beyond such disparities, “it’s the little things, like stop-and-frisk, like racial profiling and million-dollar block demarcations” — law enforcement tactics that saturate a high-crime area with police officers — that reinforce blacks’ negative attitudes toward the justice system, she said.

As Jann Murray-Garcia writes in her latest column, on the other side of the stress, “This (racial) divide is defined by first a stinging difference in the frequency of racial experience as Americans of black race, and two, a lack of trust because of experiences in well-documented excessive use of (lethal) police force, disproportionate, unwarranted law enforcement contact with people of color, and prosecutorial overcharging.”

She calls this parallel play, borrowing from a concept in early-childhood development of “two very young children playing side by side, but not with one another. The two are deeply engaged in what they are doing, with the other child and his or her concerns being unnoticed, irrelevant, not understood.”

She writes, “In the same way, I am not sure we as adults get each other, in the very real, present importance of race to many African-Americans. How can we occupy the same space and have such decidedly different experiences with the police, with schools, walking in stores, etc.?

“Parallel play. We are still young with one another.”

She speaks of her 14-year-old son, whom she tells, “You’ll be watched more closely because you’re teenagers. You in particular will be first to be suspected because you’re black.”

She adds, “I’m sorry, son. If one of your friends picks up something or otherwise does something stupid, you will likely be more suspect than your friends. Don’t say anything. Call me. I’m staying in town, and I’ll be right there.”

The differential experiences that whites and blacks have with police and the justice system help us to understand why whites and blacks responded very differently to the news in Ferguson.

As I stated on Tuesday, the prevailing belief in the black community, especially for those under the age of 40, is that they do not trust the system to oversee the actions of the police and hold them accountable. While there is no agreement about whether Officer Wilson was justified in his shooting, the absolute lack of faith in the system renders that a moot point.

Barack Obama, putting your partisan hat aside for a moment, is an interesting figure. Last year, in the wake of Trayvon Martin, Barack Obama was able to articulate the frustrations of the African-American community.

The President said, “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.”

He would add, “There are very few African American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store.  That includes me.  There are very few African American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars.”

He continued: “There are very few African Americans who haven’t had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off.  That happens often.”

But what is interesting is that, in another way, the President really doesn’t relate to the African-American community. Well-educated, a lawyer, he believes in the rule of law.

Last week he said, “We are a nation built on the rule of law.”

However, for too many people in this nation we are a nation built on the rule of two different laws – one that governs privilege and one that governs people of color and last night we saw what happens when those two sets of law meet. Without trust, there can be no acceptance of the rule of law.

It is interesting that the President who can relate to blacks on one level – the experience of being racially profiled or viewed with suspicion, which is probably a common experience for all people of color, but cannot relate on the level of distrust of a system that he is now a part of.

A commenter made a lot of the fact that the President has utilized Al Sharpton on issues of race. It is easy to point out the flaws in public figures and the Reverend’s style and rhetoric definitely rub some the wrong way, but at the same time, he can relate to a large segment of the African-American population that even the President cannot reach.

Last year they did a poll of 1002 African-Americans, and the most influential person by far was Rev. Sharpton, at 24 percent. Next was Jesse Jackson at 11. So why would you ignore someone in the civil rights community with that kind of support?

But the bigger point is that the Rev. Sharpton understands that distrust of the police and legal system in a way that Barack Obama simply does not.

Maybe there are simple black and white answers in this world. It would be nice if we had a system where people could get an education and find good jobs and a way out of poverty. A system where fathers stayed with their families, people didn’t use illicit substances to self-medicate, and everyone was responsible for their actions.

Until we live in such a world, we have to work hard to break down the barriers of trust that divide us from each other and undermine the sanctity of our system.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

Share:

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts

98 thoughts on “Commentary: Ferguson and the Racial Divide”

  1. Anon

    Perhaps the African-American community would be far better off not listening to the likes of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, both immoral and divisive individuals.

    1. Barack Palin

      Anon, perhaps it would be better if our President didn’t listen to Al Sharpton who has visited the White House 82 times since Obama has been in office.

        1. Davis Progressive

          i asked my wife – an african american – who that was, she didn’t know.  we had to look him up.  how is someone that the black community by and large doesn’t know going to become the voice of the community?  and how is that message going to resonate?

          1. Don Shor

            Dr. Carson is popular among conservatives (and only among conservatives). He is a retired neurosurgeon, a Fox News commentator, and author. It is likely that he will be running for president in 2016.

        2. Frankly

          This just demonstrates that you have your head into left leaning news sources because Dr. Ben Carson has been around for a while.

          But few black leaders that discuss black personal responsibility are popular in the black community.  I think the black community likes to refer to them as Oreos.

        3. Davis Progressive

          in order for someone to be a leader, they have to resonate with an audience, you’re forgetting your audience now when you’re talking the black community.

        4. Don Shor

          It would be more useful if the President was getting advice from urban mayors, preferably African-American, who actually deal with these issues on a day to day basis. Dr. Carson has nothing to recommend him with regard to actual urban racial and policing issues. Neither, frankly, does Al Sharpton, but Sharpton has a remarkable knack for showing up anywhere that there is a camera.

        5. TrueBlueDevil

          Dr. Ben Carson is a pre-eminent neonatal surgeon who has pioneered breathtakingly new neonatal surgeries of the most difficult nature. There are documentary videos on his advances, on his life, and Kouba Gooding Jr. played Dr. Carson in a full-length movie. It is inspiring!

          Dr. Carson and his wife also founded a scholarship fund. He is devoutly religious, and was raised by an illiterate single-mother who escaped an abusive husband.

          He rose to higher prominence when he gave a wonderful speech at a White House Prayer Breakfast, 10 feet from President Obama, espousing beliefs that were 180 degrees different than our President, all delivered with tact and a sense of humor.

          White House speech

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFb6NU1giRA

          If Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton’s medicine has failed for 40 years, why not try a new approach?

           

           

      1. Frankly

        I think you have hit on a great point DP.   Look at the Mideast and parts of Africa and other areas where the most miserable of life circumstances exist and note the type of leaders the “resonate”.   Those Palestinians sure like Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

        I think you probably understand the corrupting influence of a victim mindset coupled with a codependent enabler.

        The best thing that could happen to the black community is that a leader like Dr. Ben Carson starts to resonate.

        1. Davis Progressive

          and so i give you the same answer here as i would in the middle east – you want certain leaders resonate, then make the changes on the ground.  as long as conditions remain as they are, no one in the black community is going to care what ben carson has to say.

        2. Don Shor

          If Dr. Ben Carson wants to “resonate” with the black community, he should run for mayor and show that he can deal effectively with different interest groups, work through challenging issues in a non-partisan and effective manner, and gain the actual support of local voters somewhere. Just being a prominent social critic, giving speeches only to sympathetic audiences, isn’t a sound basis for electoral office, nor does it even remotely qualify someone to speak “for a community.”

          1. Don Shor

            Dr. Carson is welcome to run for state senator if he prefers the legislative venue. I have no respect for Sharpton or Farrakhan. Martin Luther King was in a class by himself.

        3. Frankly

          and so i give you the same answer here as i would in the middle east – you want certain leaders resonate, then make the changes on the ground.  as long as conditions remain as they are, no one in the black community is going to care what ben carson has to say.

          And here we see the conundrum with this mindset.

          Have you even heard the saying “you cannot change others, you can only change yourself?”

          The point here is that blacks and every other racial or Demographic group has the same access to opportunity except for the crappy decisions of individuals that cause them to lose to the competition.

          What the hell happened that a kid like Michael Brown would even consider stealing cigars from a convenience store and then physically assault the store owner when confronted?  What 18 year old kid does that?  What would happen to your son if he did something like that?   My sons would never, ever think that is acceptable behavior… and even if their moral compass broke… they would deem it not worth the risks of consequences.

          We can see this pattern all over the world… false leaders gaining and holding power by exploiting a group victim mindset and social justice crusader enablers to lock a people into misery.  And in their victim mindset they become hopeless and angry and dissociate with the society around them.  They start believing that they cannot win so then why not cause trouble.   Hopelessness is bred within the mind from a consistent message that others are holding you back… when 95% of what is holding everyone back is their own behavior and choices in life.

          Why do some groups rise above racial bias and end up with greater positive outcomes?  Even black immigrants from different parts of the globe tend to end up with greater average success than do black Americans.

          A definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting a different outcome.  Liberal policies have proven failed for the black community.  It is time to take a new approach with true leaders like Dr. Ben Carson.  Your dismissal of him is indicative you might not really want things to improve.

        4. Davis Progressive

          i don’t buy into that mindset.  simple and pertinent example.  segregation laws were changed in the south, bitter resistance, certainly didn’t change things overnight, but you can’t tell me that the south has not changed a lot since then.  you would be hardpressed to find people who believe we shoudl keep the races separate or that blacks are inferior.  the mindset changed.  now of course there are white supremacists, but they are now ostracized.

          but that’s not what i’m suggesting.  the living conditions in the middle east and in urban american are what foster radicalism.  you want to kill radicalism, then changing the conditions on the ground.

        5. theotherside

          “as long as conditions remain as they are, no one in the black community is going to care what ben carson has to say.”

          Why would anyone listen to a man that rose from poverty to be the top of his profession?  Why would anyone listen to a man that touts personal responsibility for one’s actions?  Why would anyone listen to a man that speaks out against black on black crime, those crimes that amount to more black men being killed than by any other means?

          Black leadership now does none of this which is why things will be extremely slow to change.  And that is how they want it.  They’d prefer to blame it on race relations and not look inward.  It keeps them in power, on camera, and in business.

          Oh and Sharpton owes the IRS over $4M in back taxes but is free to waltz in and out of the White House whenever he wants.  Any one of us would be in federal prison over the same.

        6. Davis Progressive

          “Why would anyone listen to a man that rose from poverty to be the top of his profession?  Why would anyone listen to a man that touts personal responsibility for one’s actions?  Why would anyone listen to a man that speaks out against black on black crime, those crimes that amount to more black men being killed than by any other means?”

          are they?  you’re trying to impose your values on others and that doesn’t work.

        7. Barack Palin

          Why would anyone listen to a man that rose from poverty to be the top of his profession?  Why would anyone listen to a man that touts personal responsibility for one’s actions?  Why would anyone listen to a man that speaks out against black on black crime, those crimes that amount to more black men being killed than by any other means?

          Democrats don’t like it when a black man lifts himself out of poverty, is successful and talks positively of blacks being responsible for themselves instead of playing the victim.  Democrats like to keep blacks down because it assures them votes.

        8. Davis Progressive

          “Democrats don’t like it when a black man lifts himself out of poverty, is successful and talks positively of blacks being responsible for themselves instead of playing the victim.  Democrats like to keep blacks down because it assures them votes.”

          we’re talking about the black community, not democrats.

        9. Frankly

          Why do people keep pointing back to our history of pre-civil rights advancement to make their case about current situations and events?

          I think this demonstrates a broken mindset.

        10. theotherside

          “are they?  you’re trying to impose your values on others and that doesn’t work.”

          See there’s the problem.  I am not imposing “my” values.  I am sighting the values of someone of color that made something of himself and should be seen as an example.  Taking responsibility for one’s self and not victimizing their own race are not “my values” to impose.  Change starts within DP.

          Holding up a man who went on a crime spree and set in motion a set of circumstances that resulted in his own death is not the neo-civil rights hero you they should be looking at.

    2. Davis Progressive

      are you african-american?  because if you’re not, it seems pretty presumptuous of you to pronounce who should be the leaders of their community.  can i suggest who should be the leaders of the republican party or the christian right?

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        Liberals are always trying to sell Conservatives on RHINOS, even though it was Ronald Reagan who won in a landslide in his second nationwide election.

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          Nope. I’m reminding people that Ronald Reagan got a huge percentage of votes from Reagan Democrats, Independents, and Conservatives.

          In contrast, Richard Nixon signed a lot of liberal legislation, and the liberals and liberal media still hated him.

      1. David Greenwald Post author

        This is the kind of discussion that shuts down other discussion. If you want to raise your disagreements to the facts or opinions, have at it. But the blankets like this are not conducive to dialogue.

        1. Barack Palin

          Why was my post erased?   I think you should address what I stated.  Why am I shutting down discussion when I point out left wing sites but when others point out right wing sites not a word is heard?

        2. Frankly

          Well if the poster just posts a link, I think a comment like BP posted is fair game.   I think the VG rules should prevent just the posting of a link without any commentary.

          The Dailykos is a far left website.   I too discount most that comes from it.

          But go back and ready what happened when BP and I posted a study on the cost of illegal immigration from the Heritage Foundation and how even your moderator attacked it as right-wing bias.   If you are going to make this point at least be consistent… otherwise it absolutely does shut down discussion.

        3. Alan Miller

          “This is the kind of discussion that shuts down other discussion.”

          Uksaywhatreally?

          Reminds me of when someone accused me of “stating my opinions as facts”.  I believe a child could tell you this was an opinion.  Does it require an “in my opinion” qualifier to be in comments?  Given we are not children here, and therefore don’t need “protection” from “bad” people with different political opinions, how does “the discussion” shut down discussion?  As opposed to say, declaring that something shuts down discussion, which actually does shut down the discussion.

        4. Barack Palin

          Thank you Alan, I think whoever deleted my post did more to shut down the discussion than anything else.  Like I’ve stated on here many times, I just want the same rules for everyone.  If right wing websites can be called out then it’s only fair that left wing ones can be too without being accused of shutting down the discussion.

  2. Frankly

    What the black community lacks is introspection and the ability to accept needed constructive criticism and to move forward toward the kind of individual, family and community behavior that breeds success instead of inviting failure.  Those stuck in this cycle of low morality, crime and poverty are the giant sucking engine that pulls and tugs on those striving to advance.

    We are talking about the black underclass.  It is a demographic perpetuated by those social justice crusaders stuck in a matriarchal mindset of unconditional love, when the need is tough love.

    Places like Ferguson are powder kegs because of the concentration of underclass.

    The job of law enforcement has basically become an unfortunate replacement for the lack of strong moral adult male role models.  But it is not a good replacement because it cannot effectively deliver the love component.  I wish it could because as this picture indicates, it is needed http://buzzpo.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/White-Portland-Cop-Asks-Young-Black-Boy-For-Hug-at-Protests-%E2%80%93-photo-credit-%E2%80%93-You-Tube-1200×628.png

    This is the fruitless pursuit of the racial social justice crusade.  Continually looking for external blame for the negative over and under-representation of blacks in society.  The job of law enforcement is the job of law enforcement.  It is infinitely better than it has been historically.  But it cannot be something it cannot be.

    Here is what needs to happen.  All those truly interested to reduce the size of the black underclass and move the black community to greater parity with other races, needs to stop blaming external forces and start working to bring in strong moral male role models to assist with childhood development through the type of tough love that fathers typically provide.

    Frankly, (because I am), this continued pointing and blaming law enforcement is a waste of time and indicative of a level of laziness and/or an indication that perpetual racial divisions are the actual objective.

    And one last point… the other thing perpetuates the large demographic of the black underclass is the failed liberal policies that destroy jobs and economic prospects, prop up crappy schools from the Democrat-union political connection and fund a welfare system that allows so many people to get by with nothing but time on their hands to get into trouble.

    Why wasn’t Michael Brown working a 40 hour week?

    1. Davis Progressive

      “Why wasn’t Michael Brown working a 40 hour week?”

      aren’t you being presumptuous.  wasn’t michael brown going to start college the next week?  technical college, but college nonetheless.

      “Monday was supposed to be Michael Brown’s first day at technical college. Instead, his parents were planning his funeral.   …Friends and family said the teenager was ecstatic about starting classes at Vatterott College.”

      http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/11/justice/michael-brown-missouri-teen-shot/

      1. Frankly

        Come on DP, you get the point.  The black unemployment rate in St. Louis County is about 18%.  Six+ years into this liberal and environmental-wacko-driven jobless but social welfare giving “recovery”… we have our answer.

        Why wasn’t MB working a summer job?

        1. Davis Progressive

          no i don’t get the point.  you have a kid planning on going to school, it doesn’t seem like he’s the target of your vendetta.  even in affluent davis, only this year has the economy really started to recover.  i wonder if people really realize how bad the economy got and how close things came to collapse.  it just seems like all i read from you is partisan-driven nonsense rather than a workable approach.  i don’t give a crap if you hate the president, your hatred isn’t going to cause things to change.

        2. Frankly

          Ok, I am changing my mind on your level of knowledge.  By this post it is clear that you are very ignorant of the point about underclass and crime and how the lack of employment contributes to it.

          First I don’t hate the President.   I think he may be the worst performing President ever in the history of the US, but I don’t hate him as a person.

          But your comment is laughable because you and others are stuck on a template of complaint without solution.  I think you are blind to this point as is David.

          If I am wrong, then please list your preferred solutions to the problems as you see them and then we can have a dialog about them.

          Here is mine:

          – Have political leaders preach and demand personal responsibility and strong morality, and stop blaming external forces for negative over and under-representation in the black community.

          – Stronger government assistance for foster parents with strong male role models, and other private-sector non-profits that assist with helping to make up the huge gap in fatherlessness in the black community.

          – Government policy which focuses on economic growth and job development… with extra help for low economic, low-service areas.

          – Completely reformed, semi-privatized, education system which focuses on producing economically-self sufficient graduates.  Include ability for students to work at school to make money.

          – Means-tested college vouchers instead of tax money flowing to the state schools that is otherwise used to inflate teacher and administrator pay and benefits and build ego shrines and inflate tuition.

  3. Davis Progressive

    don shor: al sharpton is an easy mark because he does tend to go off half-cocked, but perhaps sometimes that’s what is needed.

    i found this interesting… in 2000, the national review ran a hit piece against sharpton.  they wrote, ” In the spring of 1989, the Central Park “wilding” occurred. That was the monstrous rape and beating of a young white woman, known to most of the world as “the jogger.” The hatred heaped on her by Sharpton and his claque is almost impossible to fathom, and wrenching to review. Sharpton insisted-against all evidence-that the attackers were innocent. They were, he said, modern Scottsboro Boys, trapped in “a fit of racial hysteria.”

    as we now know, sharpton was right, the boys had been framed for the rape of the young women and they served a combined 40 years in jail based on that coerced confession and part of that was based on racial hysteria and aptly captured in  ken burn’s documentary.

    did ben carson advocate for those kids?  did he believe those kids were innocent?

    1. Frankly

      Interesting that you include this case and not Twana Brawley and the Duke Lacrosse team.

      Ben Carson was a practicing surgeon during the time of the rape by a black man of the white female jogger.  He was working a real job unlike Sharpton and Obama.

      1. Davis Progressive

        “Interesting that you include this case and not Twana Brawley and the Duke Lacrosse team.”

        actually it wasn’t interesting so much as intentional.  twana brawley is the other side of the same coin, did sharpton push the issue too long?  absolutely.  but you ignore the history here.  there was a long period of time when police treated black victims of crime very differently from whites.  so it gets back to the trust issue that david raised – sharpton and other blacks distrusted the evidence that white people were able to more easily accept.  and if you want, i can probably pull up historic accounts of many black women whose crimes were not appropriately addressed by the police.

        there are real issues here: police ignoring a murder because the assailant was white and the victim black, racial disparity in sentencing when the victim is black rather than white to this day remains stark – does dr. carson address that?  the racial discrepancy in the sentencing of black men versus white men who have comparable histories and commit comparable crimes.   these are not made up issues.  and these are the issues that underlie sharpton’s reaction – the fact is that he is a guy who will advocate probably beyond the point where most would go but sometimes, even then, he was proven right.

  4. Biddlin

    As I’ve previously observed, no meaningful dialogue about racism in America can occur when one group insists on rewriting the narrative of another’s members, to suit the first group’s view of reality. It is as though, when I tell you a certain action hurts me, instead of offering sympathy or aid, you say, “Oh, you’re not really hurt.” I sense your lack of empathy and realise that you don’t have the capacity to care about my feelings. and view me as unworthy of your caring. To protect myself, I develop a very calloused affect, so I don’t have to deal with your  contemptuous attitude.

    ;>)/

    1. Frankly

      Please read up on victim mentality.   Empathy only works to a point… and then it becomes enabling destructive if there is nothing constructively actionable that comes from it.

      Say, “I understand how you feel”  Or “I understand that you are sad, frustrated, angry, etc… now what are you going to do about it?”

       

    2. South of Davis

      Biddlin wrote:

      > As I’ve previously observed, no meaningful dialogue about racism in

      > America can occur when one group insists on rewriting the narrative

      > of another’s members, to suit the first group’s view of reality.

      The problem I see is that while Sharpton might “speak” for the mobs in Ferguson we don’t have anyone that “speaks” for the majority of black people in America who have regular jobs live in regular neighborhoods and don’t riot and loot every time the media tells them they should be mad about something.

      P.S. Brian Copeland might be a good example of someone who “speaks” for the regular black guy but he is not well known outside of SF (and has been called NOT a genuine black man)…

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Copeland

      1. Davis Progressive

        “The problem I see is that while Sharpton might “speak” for the mobs in Ferguson we don’t have anyone that “speaks” for the majority of black people in America who have regular jobs live in regular neighborhoods and don’t riot and loot every time the media tells them they should be mad about something.”

        the poll david cited placed sharpton at 25 percent and jesse jackson at 11 percent and maxine waters right behind.  perhaps the answer is that there are just a lot of different people who speak for the black community these days.

        it’s funny you guys bring up these obscure guys when even the president doesn’t really speak for a good percentage of the black community.

      2. tribeUSA

        Yes, I enjoy listening to Copelands radio program occassionally on weekends, while doing household tasks. He seems pretty well balanced in his racial views, and delivers his comments in a mostly calm manner; and has a spirit of inquiry. Does he have pretty good support among the black community? (?not a genuine black man? how so?)

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          Copeland is less caustic than some, but his knowledge base isn’t very deep, and he will play the race card pretty willingly. He is better than Christine Craft, but he still prefers to play the victim card time after time.

  5. Biddlin

    It is maddeningly amusing to read disparaging remarks about Al  Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, from predictable posters who won’t or can’t listen to their own neighbours, honoured members of the community, such as Dr Jann Murray-Garcia and Cruz Reyonoso, without claiming exaggeration or worse.

    ;>)/

     

  6. TrueBlueDevil

    This incident has been drummed up by the usual suspects and so-called race hustlers (Al Sharpton, Eric Holder): but where are the cries and coverage of the hate crime and murder of a Bosnian immigrant by four youths of color in South St. Louis this Sunday?

    It doesn’t fit the narrative of white boogey man irrationally shooting black youth.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/protest-st-louis-man-killed-hammer-attack-article-1.2028669

     

    In the “Ferguson” case, there were at least two sides to the story. I don’t see two sides to this story. A young immigrant Bosnian couple is attacked by a pack of youths at 1 AM, eventually being killed by the attack with a hammer.

    But the liberal press and liberal media won’t even call it a hate crime!

    No, it doesn’t surprise me that the number one liberal paper in America, a local liberal paper, and a liberal law professor see all of these racial innuendos and motivations when a recent robbery felon (Brown), who is 300 pounds, tries to take the gun of a police officer while attacking him in his police car.

    If I submitted this story as a fiction story, it would be rejected for it’s lack of believe-ability!

    Has the New York Times even covered this story?

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      Clarifications. The husband was murdered, he protected his wife in the brutal attack. One of the youths who has been pictured actually appears bi- or multi-racial.

    2. Davis Progressive

      “where are the cries and coverage of the hate crime and murder of a Bosnian immigrant by four youths of color in South St. Louis this Sunday?”

      where are all the cries in 99 percent of all murder cases, even those involving police and black youth rarely get this kind of coverage.  that’s just a non-point.  some stories go viral as they say, most don’t.

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        The liberal media does a very good job of shutting down stories that don’t fit their narrative.

        We have countless stories about racism, on and on and on, decade after decade, but rarely do they cover the breakdown of the black family, black fathers not raising their children, black gangs, black-on-black crime, Latino-on-black crime, Latino gangs threatening black families in south central LA,

  7. Dave Hart

    I cannot understand why every black person in this country is not so enraged that they are ready to commit homicidal acts on any white person who walks down the street when I read some of the stuff on this blog from people who act as if they know anything about what it is like to BE black in this country.  Al Sharpton sounds pretty moderate to me in the context of history and why Ferguson exists the way it does in 2014.  The name-calling of blacks in Ferguson by people on this blog (“mobs”, “false-victims”, “underclass”, “low morals”, “lack of individual responsibility”) is aimed at sweeping the crimes of our own written and explicit public policy for more than a century after the civil war and its aftermath under the carpet.  Out of sight out of mind.  I’m going to post an article here that explains why Ferguson (and many, many other communities like it) exists and why black people don’t and shouldn’t trust the white dominated power structure as it currently exists.  I’m not going to get into a tit-for-tat with people who are quite “frankly” ignorant unless you want to discuss the article written by someone who is far more knowledgeable than anyone about this issue on this blog.  http://www.epi.org/publication/making-ferguson/

    Nobody can speak for the entire black community (if such a thing exists) but people like Al Sharpton speak for the more down-trodden and oppressed more often than anyone else who has national name recognition and gets news coverage.  That in itself is something even if some of you out there don’t like it.

    1. Davis Progressive

      good points.  whats really funny is everything they are saying about sharpton, people use to say about mlk, and yet today we revere mlk, but these conservatives back in the day would have been calling him a commie, race-baiter.

      1. Frankly

        Again, you seem to be stuck in a fog of the past.  Today is today.  Civil rights progress during MLK’s time was in its infancy.  Did you notice that we have a black President?  You claim to be a progressive, yet apparently you cannot calculate any progress that conflicts with your beloved worldview.  I see that as a common malady.

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          You seem to be ignorant of history.

          1. The GOP was the party of emancipation.

          2. The GOP authored the first Civil Rights Act, which the Democrats blocked.

          3. MLK was a Republican.

          4. Senator Robert Byrd (D) was a prominent KKK member who recruited over 150 new members into a new chapter of the KKK.

          5. George Bush picked General Colin Powell and Condi Rice to serve in his administration, which paved the way for President Obama.

          1. Don Shor

            5. George Bush picked General Colin Powell and Condi Rice to serve in his administration, which paved the way for President Obama.

            See? It’s all Bush’s fault.

        2. Davis Progressive

          “1. The GOP was the party of emancipation.”

          True

          “2. The GOP authored the first Civil Rights Act, which the Democrats blocked.”

          True

          “3. MLK was a Republican.”

          False

          “4. Senator Robert Byrd (D) was a prominent KKK member who recruited over 150 new members into a new chapter of the KKK.”

          True

          “5. George Bush picked General Colin Powell and Condi Rice to serve in his administration, which paved the way for President Obama.”

          He picked Powell and Rice, that’s true.

           

        3. South of Davis

           
          TBD wrote: MLK was a Republican.”
          Then DP (who must know more about Dr. King than his own niece) wrote:
          > False
          I’m not saying MLK would be a Republican “today” but it does not seem like a stretch to think his niece is not lying and that a black guy in the south 60 years ago would not register to vote as a Democrat (the party of the KKK).
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zz6MMIZErp0

        4. Davis Progressive

          sod: “A commonly circulated item about Martin Luther King which is not included in this list is the claim that King was a Republican. Such claims are based purely on speculation; King himself never expressed an affiliation with, nor endorsed candidates for, any political party, and his son, Martin Luther King III, said: “It is disingenuous to imply that my father was a Republican. He never endorsed any presidential candidate, and there is certainly no evidence that he ever even voted for a Republican.””

          Read more at http://www.snopes.com/history/american/mlking.asp#ckxv463wGU5CuShr.99

    2. Frankly

      from people who act as if they know anything about what it is like to BE black in this country.

      Dave Hart, correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t think you are black.  Assuming I am correct, where do you claim your superior knowing credentials come from?

    3. TrueBlueDevil

      Empathy allows human beings to empathize with other individuals, a poor person, a pregnant mother, a new immigrant, an individual with a disability. Further, after we have spent trillions upon trillions of dollars on social programs, and liberals want to confiscate more monies for more social experiments, yes, I think we are allowed to evaluate the situation (and lies, half truths, distortions, etc.).

      A term like “underclass” is used because we have millions upon millions of upper income African Americans, and tens of millions of middle class African Americans. Dr. Carson isn’t shooting his neighbor, nor are his three educated, married children. Colin Powell isn’t inciting riots. African American billionaires – yes, billionaires – aren’t involved in silliness.

      No, Dave, what is swept under the rug are all of the failed social programs, and how liberal policies have wiped out our urban cities, and destroyed the traditional black family. Think about that. The black family survived the horrors of slavery, but not runaway liberalism.

    4. theotherside

      So does slavery, pre and post civil rights era racism, and the so called white dominated power structure excuse the following:

      Robbery of a (minority) shop keeper?

      Assault on a police officer?

      Attempted removal of a police officer’s gun?

      A second attempt to assault a police officer?

      Am I interpreting this correctly, are you saying Mike Brown was entitled to do all these things (proven by evidence and witness statements) because of previous wrongs to his race?

      And why is “individual responsibility” insulting? That mentality is most of the problem.

      You cannot understand why a black person would not be homicidal to me because I expect every person to be accountable for them self? And you wag your finger at us for be extremist????

      1. Dave Hart

        It doesn’t excuse it.  It does explain it.

        By your logic, slave rebellions throughout the 17th through the 19th century were criminal acts.  I only wish every rebellion had been successful.  Slitting the throats of slaveowners and their families and the policing powers that protected them would have been justified, don’t you think?  Just sayin’.

        Terms like ‘personal responsibility’ and ‘underclass’ to take just two when applied to blacks in the U.S. is insulting because it neglects the big picture of what has been done to make it nearly impossible to be responsible for oneself or to rise out of one’s circumstances.  Of course, not being black, you don’t know about that.  Why would you?  You don’t even have to be black or a member of any kind of ‘underclass’ to see that the charge of ‘personal responsibility’ doesn’t apply if you are wealthy or connected enough:  Banking crisis of 2007?  How many guilt, lying criminals still walk free to do it all again?  Yes, I wag my finger at people who don’t know and don’t want to know enough history to put it all together in a panorama instead of a keyhole view.

        1. South of Davis

          Dave wrote:

          > By your logic, slave rebellions throughout the 17th through the 19th

          > century were criminal acts.  I only wish every rebellion had been successful. 

          The slaves in the 17th through 19th century were smart enough to burn the homes of the slave “owners”.  In Ferguson they were burning and looting the business owned by other black people…

          http://www.dcclothesline.com/2014/11/25/hypocrites-ferguson-rioters-loot-destroy-black-owned-businesses/

          P.S. In the feel good story of the week one burned black owned business has been getting help from people all over the country:

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/01/ferguson-bakery-donations_n_6247708.html

        2. theotherside

          Dave Hart “It doesn’t excuse it.  It does explain it.”

          I just need to understand, you are saying a history of slavery in this Country explains committing robbery, and assaulting the police officer that responded, and trying to kill him with his own gun?  Insane!

          Dave Hart “By your logic, slave rebellions throughout the 17th through the 19th century were criminal acts.  I only wish every rebellion had been successful.  Slitting the throats of slaveowners and their families and the policing powers that protected them would have been justified, don’t you think?  Just sayin’.”

          No that is not my logic at all, not sure how you inferred this, as I could never justify the owning of another human being.  But this is very telling of your, Dave Hart, nature.  The slitting of the throat of a slaveowner’s family, wife, children, etc, would never be justified under any circumstances.  Are you saying, in Dave Hart’s opinion, that slaves were animalistic killers?  Because I would disagree with that whole heartedly as well.

          Dave Hart “Terms like ‘personal responsibility’ and ‘underclass’ to take just two when applied to blacks in the U.S. is insulting because it neglects the big picture of what has been done to make it nearly impossible to be responsible for oneself or to rise out of one’s circumstances.”

          What an awful thing to think of any minority.  You should be ashamed of yourself for thinking that someone because of their race and what occurred to their ancestors would be a reason they cannot be successful.  And for you to think that someone, based on their race, cannot take personal responsibility for their actions.  I am shocked someone would think this way.

          By your logic, Dave Hart, I will infer that you blame black on black crime on the fact that Africans were sold to white slave traders by other Africans.  So it is explainable that 9 of every 10 black men that are murdered are killed by another black person.  Or should we look at another, more recent, cause?

          Truth is I am well aware MY history.  My first ancestor came to this Country in the early 18th century from Ireland as an indentured servant.  Not exactly slavery, but a form of it.  He worked a lot of his adulthood earning his freedom and upon being freed began distilling whiskey in the colony.  His grandchild fought in the Revolutionary War then the family moved east into the frontier.  They never owned slaves and never blamed their circumstances on outside sources.  So please, don’t have anyone slit my, or my families, throat for prior wrongs by other white people….

  8. Barack Palin

    You just have to shake your head when you see how this story is being played down.  Four teens, three have been caught which are minorities, bludgeon a man to death in St. Louis and here’s how it’s being played down.

    ‘There is no indication that the gentleman last night was targeted because he was Bosnian,’ Police Chief Sam Dotson told the crowd.

    Not because he was Bosnian, but maybe because he was white?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2855535/St-Louis-teens-beat-motorist-32-death-hammers-sparking-protests-Bosnian-community.html

     

     

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      It shows the media, Sharpton, Obama and Holder to be hypocrites. But I am hopeful David will write a piece where he will challenge his own perceptions.

      1. Don Shor

        It shows the media, Sharpton, Obama and Holder to be hypocrites.

        Not really, at least not on this point. There are plenty of horrific crime stories anybody could post at any time. The point of Ferguson is what the police officer did. Also the point of what happened in Cleveland, and why it is a controversy.

      2. Barack Palin

        TBD, and the Bosnian white guy hadn’t just robbed a store, assaulted a clerk, probably wasn’t high, or had just attacked a cop.  And they killed him in front of his wife.  This does pertain to Ferguson because it happened close by in St. Louis and is most likely a revenge killing.

  9. Anon

    No one should be holding out Al Sharpton as an example to follow:

    Al Sharpton: A Lucrative Career Built on Hate and Racial Conflagration
    Written by  William F. Jasper
     

    font size   
    Print 
    Email

    Twenty-five years ago the Tawana Brawley case enflamed race relations in America and catapulted Al Sharpton into the national limelight. But Sharpton’s race demagoguery had begun years before that, and his notoriety as a racial arsonist continues up to the present, as testified by his leadership role in turning the Trayvon Martin shooting into a national racial confrontation.
    The Tawana Brawley case is the subject of a short, excellent new documentary by Retro Report that expertly combines historic photos, documents, and news footage with recent interviews (including with Al Sharpton himself) along with important perspective on the tactics and sordid record of one of America’s most (in)famous agitators and race hucksters. Surprisingly, the New York Times and Newsweek/Daily Beast, two of the MSM flagships that helped boost Sharpton to prominence and shield him from the consequences of his violent advocacy, have promoted the recent Retro Report exposé of Sharpton. The Daily Beast article went further, not only highlighting Sharpton’s role in the Brawley affair but also touching upon the “Rev. Al’s” incendiary role as both the gasoline and the spark in the Crown Heights riots and the Freddy’s Fashion Mart murder/arson tragedy.
    Tawana Brawley: Rev Al’s Launchpad
    In November 1987, Tawana Brawley, a 15-year-old black girl from Wappingers Falls, New York, knew she was in trouble. Although she had been grounded, she had gone out with her older boyfriend anyway and had been gone for four days. She knew from past experience that when she went home she could expect a beating from her mother’s live-in boyfriend, a violent ex-con and alcoholic who had served time for murder. To avoid those consequences she concocted a lurid story that ended up being transformed — once Sharpton got ahold of it — into a racially polarizing incident at the national (and then global) level.
    Tawana claimed that she had been abducted, raped, and abused by a group of white men, who smeared her with feces and wrote “B****,” “KKK,” and “N*****” on her clothes and body. If true, this would have been a horrendous crime. But Sharpton turned this hoax of a troubled teen into a malicious cause célèbre to advance his own career. Sharpton and his fellow activists, attorneys C. Vernon Mason and Alton Maddox, turned the case into a three-ring media circus that ran for months in 1988, capturing the top headlines of many of the MSM daily news cycles.
    Under Sharpton’s tutelage, two of Miss Brawley’s four anonymous white men developed names: local police officer Harry Crist, Jr. and local prosecutor Steven Pagones. Not only that, but Sharpton accused Gov. Mario Cuomo and other state officials of covering up the crime. Officer Crist, who, according to testimony of family and friends, was already dealing with despondency over personal issues, committed suicide, very likely pushed over the edge by the onslaught of defamatory accusations and hateful publicity orchestrated by Rev. Al. But Sharpton, ever the audacious opportunist, even exploited the Crist suicide, accusing Pagones of murdering Crist to keep secret their rape of Miss Brawley. As with all of his other outrageous charges, he offered no evidence.

    1. Davis Progressive

      i already addressed the brawley situation.  twana brawley is the other side of the same coin, did sharpton push the issue too long?  absolutely.  but you ignore the history here.  there was a long period of time when police treated black victims of crime very differently from whites.  so it gets back to the trust issue – sharpton and other blacks distrusted the evidence that white people were able to more easily accept. 

        1. Davis Progressive

          therein lies the problem.  distrust isn’t right or wrong, it’s a state of mind, a skeptical one that is based on a real history.  ignore that, you never have a chance to be on the same page.

          nor has sharpton been universally wrong, you’re cherry-picking.

  10. tribeUSA

    Acknowledging that distrust of law enforcement by a large proportion of the black community is real, we can examine how it came about and what factors are perpetuating it.

    Could it be that the mainstream media and black activists are actively contributing to the perception of law enforcement as unfair to blacks? In other words, to what extent does the media and black activists reflect reality; and to what extent do they shape perceptions? In my view, the media in particular has been very irresponsible in their reporting of events, and has actively contributed toward skewing them as primarily racial in nature; time-after-time (e.g. Trayvon Martin, Brown, etc.) the stories that the media blows up as indications of blatant racism turn out, after the facts come out, to be contradicted by the evidence or only very weakly supported; but the media often continues on with their false narrative. It seems to me that this can induce a kind of cognitive dissonance in the observer or reader of the news, where his emotional side clashes with his reason; and I believe this kind of reporting also tends to wedge apart black and white communities.

    By the way; it seems to me there is clear evidence that police are deploying excessive use of force more and more in modern times; often endangering the public whom they are charged to protect; and there is more and more an “us” vs “them” mentality with regard to the police relationship to the public. And this affects all races, not just blacks. So why doesn’t the mainstream press get behind and promote stories of geniune, well-documented and unambiguous cases of excessive use of force, for which there is plenty of evidence? (such incidents do indeed occur). This need not be a divisive racial issue, and there need not be a cognitive dissonance created by promoting a story on an emotional level that is not supported on an evidential, rational level.

    So to the mainstream press and to black advocates; do your jobs! Get out to the press the actual incidents where there is unambiguous, well-documented excessive use of force and injustice!

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      “Could it be that the mainstream media and black activists are actively contributing to the perception of law enforcement as unfair to blacks? ”

      I think you have it reversed. I think these beliefs have been present long before there was a such thing as black activists and long before the mainstream media covered such events. We are talking very deep seated roots going back to the old south where blacks were summarily accused of crimes, black victims were ignored, and the police routinely beat blacks or looked the other way as citizen groups did. What you see now is the legacy of that deep seated mistrust of authority.

      1. Anon

        As long as you beat this drum, of essentially “slavery” and the need for reparation for all the past wrongs done to African-Americans, they are going to feel entitled to victimhood.  One of the problems with this thinking is that when real racism rears its ugly head, many turn a deaf ear when there is actual racism involved because the race card has been played too often.  tribeUSA makes some very valid points about mainstream media, which tends to cast every incident involving interactions between police and African-Americans as racist, which further fans the flames, and feelings of distrust.  Why perpetuate the idea of racism if racism is not a factor?  Al Sharpton is a master at this sort of thing, for his own personal gain, and deserves to be castigated for it.  He is a con artist of the first order, and certainly not someone African-Americans should listen to.

        tribeUSA makes another very valid point – police are using excessive force – and not just against African-Americans.  There was just an incident the other day (cannot remember the city or state – sorry) in which a chokehold was used that killed someone, and chokeholds are against police policy.  It doesn’t make any difference what the race of the police or victim was – it was the use of excessive force, from what I saw of the video.

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          “tribeUSA makes another very valid point – police are using excessive force – and not just against African-Americans. There was just an incident the other day (cannot remember the city or state – sorry) in which a chokehold was used that killed someone, and chokeholds are against police policy. It doesn’t make any difference what the race of the police or victim was – it was the use of excessive force, from what I saw of the video.”

          I agree. Increasingly I have seen a reaction against it not just by people of color – though I think people of color do take the brunt if it, not necessarily because of overt racism, but also because people of color tend to be on the receiving end of such things. It’s also why the issue of militarization resonated in Davis so strongly.

  11. TrueBlueDevil

    There has been a travesty committed, but it wasn’t in Ferguson. Michael Brown made three aggressive moves, two towards a police officer, one trying to grab his gun. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Trayvon Martin attacked a creepy community patrol member, who had a gun, and when Trayvon slammed his head into the pavement (1 aggressive move), he met his maker. Stupid move.

    There has just been a grand jury that has decided to not to indict the police officer(s) in the death of a Staten Island man, and Eric Garner has been killed. Garner was a gentle giant who was selling small amounts of illegal cigarettes on a Staten Island sidewalk. Yes, he was African American, and the officers are white.

    This is troubling for numerous reasons, and yes, this is where a higher authority should step in.

    1. He wasn’t violent.

    2. It was daylight, there were 5 or 6 officers there.

    3. He was put into a choke hold, which is illegal in New York. It is on video tape.

    4. He is forced to the ground, and he is gasping for air. He is telling them he can’t breathe!

    5. I’ve read that he was dead for 4 or 5 minutes, EMTs were there, and there was no CPR performed!

    What makes this particularly ugly is that President Obama and Eric Holder have been fanning the race flames, and they will tie this to Ferguson. To me, these two have no connection whatsoever.

    Up to this point I have chosen to not watch the video as the still photo’s and audio tape were vivid enough. So he was committing a petty crime, he was poor, he had 6 children, none of these rise to the level of grave concern.

    New York City will be a tinderbox the next few days, and we’ll see how their uber liberal mayor handles it. This is an extremely sad day for humanity. Just as the beating and death of the Bosnian man was so, so tragic.

  12. Tia Will

    What makes this particularly ugly is that President Obama and Eric Holder have been fanning the race flames, and they will tie this to Ferguson. To me, these two have no connection whatsoever.”

    I understand that to you there is no connection. I do not share that perspective. I see two distinct but interrelated issue here.

    1. Use of excessive force both on the part of the police and in the Trayvon Martin case, “stand your ground”.

    2. Inter racial relations and the differential impacts of policing.

    The three cases cited Gardner in New York, Ferguson, and the Trayvon Martin case do share some factual elements. All of the dead are black. All of those doing the killing ( whether justified or not ) are not. In the Michael Brown case, there was clear of evidence of his illegal use of violence. In the Martin case, I think your comment is very telling. You state that he showed aggression to a “creepy” security guard who was following him. The question here for me is, how threatened did Trayvon Martin feel ?  Where was his right to “stand your ground” ?  It would appear that he had no right to stand his ground, but the survivor was justified in standing his. We don’t know since only one of them was alive to share his accounting of events and his interpretation of the evidence.

    The Gardner case for me is a more pure case of excessive force and is unconscionable. A man is selling cigarettes and without committing any violent act ends up dead. So is there a racial case to be made here ? I don’t know. To me, that it irrelevant. The fact is that a non violent man, hawking cigarettes is dead. To me, this is a clear cut case of excessive force and for the police officer to not be charged with anything is ridiculous. I rarely favor lawsuits as means of settling disputes. This may be the exception. For this the officer, the New York City Police and New York City owe Mr. Gardner and his surviving family hugely. The unquestioned support of this family should be a top city priority along with a rapid change in the culture of policing that allowed this travesty to occur. It should not take a law suit to make this happen, but it will, because in part our society clings to justification of police and prosecutorial actions regardless of how egregious they may be rather than simply admitting error and moving to rectify.

     

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for