Monday, November 17, 2014
With the grand jury in the Michael Brown case expected to announce a decision this week, Ron
Christie of The Daily Beast asks, "Is Ferguson on the Brink of
War?" Christie's skepticism of "civil rights" "activists" -- which I
share -- is hardly assuaged by the actions (or lack thereof) of a few
prominent members of officialdom:
While our first African American Attorney General was quick to condemn America for being a "nation of cowards" on matters of race, I find it cowardly that he has not consistently spoken out to respect the work of the grand jury and the rule of law. He was too busy, apparently, seeking to bring federal civil rights charges against the charged officer whose fate has not yet been determined by the grand jury. So much for his impartiality.Apparently, many of us had moved past racial bigotry, but a few of us hadn't.
And where is the President--one so quick to interject himself where race is involved (the Cambridge, Massachusetts police officer acted "stupidly") but absent when a violent confrontation appears likely if a grand jury does not indict a white officer for the death of a black teenager. He should be speaking out forcefully and frequently about the need for calm as the jurors conclude their work. His silence is both deafening and disheartening.
I find it a sad commentary that the beginning of the Obama era encouraged millions of Americans to think that we had entered a post-racial phase in our evolution as a country from the dark stain that slavery has placed upon our collective history and heritage. As we enter the waning years of the Obama Administration, America remains as divided as ever on matters of race.
In the meantime, the cultural and political rot at least isn't complete: Local officials have been preparing for the worst and passing out notices in the lead-in, in some cases advising residents to treat the possibility of civil unrest like a storm -- to stock up on food and medicine in case leaving home for a few days is not feasible.
Perhaps this is what President Obama meant when he told "protest" leaders recently to stay "on course". Whatever the case, don't expect any help from the Republicans. They're too busy hiding behind Joe Biden, whom they jokingly call "impeachment insurance". The new Congress has yet to take office, and it seems that they're already preparing to file a "spinelessness insurance" claim! No wonder violent bigots feel like they can act with impunity.