Ferguson

Whose State of Emergency?

This post was original published at The Huffington Post.

On the evening of the announcement that a grand jury decided Darren Wilson, the Missouri police officer who killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown, would not face charges, two storms were capturing the attention of the American people. One was the strong winds that created havoc from the South to the North, and the second was the manifestation of pain through protest over the grand jury's decision.

Last week, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency in Ferguson. States of emergency are generally declared in response to natural disasters or civil upheaval. Last week the Ferguson activist group Hands Up United tweeted, in response to Gov. Nixon's announcement, "Our country is in a state of emergency. And not becuz of protestors."

As other advocates have pointed out, we were already in a state of emergency.

Since that fateful day in August when Brown was killed, we have heard analysis from commentators on television, radio, and social media, in barber and beauty shops, and on street corners, about what will happen in Ferguson after the immediate call for criminal justice. We saw a military-style police crackdown on peaceful demonstrators, another sterile review of our broken policing system, and new and veteran activists protesting, organizing, registering people to vote, and bearing witness to a grieving community's call yet again for change in cities across America where silence is not an option in the wake of the death of another unarmed African American male.

A "state of emergency," we are reminded, was declared when Katrina hit the vulnerable walls of New Orleans and flooded neighborhoods. But we were also in a "state of emergency" after the verdict was rendered in the shooting death of Jordan Davis. A "state of emergency" was evident in the November 4 midterm elections when I saw "democracy only for some" in the ten states where I traveled. Our broken immigration system created a "state of emergency" for families that have been separated, threatened with deportation, treated as collateral damage in political debates.

USA Today recently reported that on average there were 96 cases of a white police officer killing a black person each year between 2006 and 2012, based on justifiable homicides reported to the FBI by local police. Mother Jones notes that according to the Department of Justice's 2008 Police Public Contact Survey, "[o]f those who felt that police had used or threatened them with force that year, about 74 percent felt those actions were excessive. In another DOJ survey of police behavior during traffic and street stops in 2011, blacks and Hispanics were less likely than whites to believe that the reason for the stop was legitimate."

That is a state of emergency.

The 1,700 faith leaders in the alliance of progressive African American ministers I lead, frequently primary sources of support in tragedies like this, are too often ministering to mothers and fathers who find themselves suddenly without a child who was alive and well when the day began. These leaders have been fervently preaching, teaching, counseling, meeting with chiefs of police and other city officials, communities and families about the dual system of justice that is still prevalent in the 21st century. While some live in or near Ferguson and others traveled to Ferguson to show support, more just had to walk out their doors, down their streets, to their corners to see the results of delayed justice.

We were already in a state of emergency because of the gun violence in communities across the country. But today, when African American youth are so often shot and killed, such as the 12-year-old in Cleveland, Ohio this past weekend, by those who are charged to protect our communities, the climate that attempts to justify the daily reality of racial profiling and African Americans being nearly "four times as likely to experience the use of force" in police encounters, can no longer be tolerated. Yes, we stay in a state of emergency when African Americans receive longer sentences than Caucasians for the same crimes and when the troubling results of new polling show the racial divide on the shooting death of Michael Brown is as wide as the Mississippi River is long.

The decision announced on Monday evening is certainly not the final chapter, but sadly is another chapter in the experience of living non-white in America. Michael Brown Sr. says he wants his son's death to spark "incredible change, positive change," no matter the grand jury's decision. Continuing dialogue and movement on police violence and the relationship between law enforcement and the African American community must happen daily in living rooms, classrooms, places of worship, and work places around the country, for as feminist scholar bell hooks wrote, "[S]ilences in the face of racist assault are acts of complicity." She is right. Today all Americans are being called to speak out against the ongoing violation of the most fundamental right there is - the recognition of being a part of "We the People."

Dr. King said in 1963, "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." We are in a state of emergency, a time of challenge and controversy, but not because of the protestors. That state of emergency will continue until we stand, become uncomfortable, and demand a justice system that addresses the manifestation of pain in protest, the further chipping away of respect, and the real state of emergency our country faces.

PFAW Foundation

AFA Spox Says 'Entitled' Michael Brown Received Justice: 'God Says There Will Be Consequences'

American Family Association news director Fred Jackson spoke today about a St. Louis County grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of unarmed African American teenager Michael Brown, declaring that Brown had a “mentality of entitlement” and ultimately paid the price for his alleged role in the theft of cigars from a convenience store earlier that day. Apparently stealing cigars comes with the penalty of death!

Jackson made the comments while guest-hosting American Family Radio’s “Sandy Rios in the Morning”:

We have to get back to the reality, there are moral truths and when people break those moral truths and decide to violate them, there are consequences. On that day, August 9th in Ferguson, Missouri, when Michael Brown went into that convenient store and stole that box of cigars, he was making a moral decision. Now no one knows what was in Michael Brown’s head that day but one could speculate that he believed he was above being told he should not steal, he was above getting any consequences for his actions. He went on to assault police officer Darren Wilson. He believed, Michael Brown, apparently, that he was allowed to do that. It is that mentality of entitlement, that mentality that says ‘you have your truth, I have mine,’ that I believe is at the core of this.

Later in the program, Jackson said Brown disobeyed the absolute truths laid out by God and had to face the consequences for his actions because “God says there will be consequences.” He added that Brown’s death was also the result of “the breakdown of the family.”

What we’ve been talking about this morning: the existence of absolute truth, and that is what’s under attack today. Absolute truth is defined by scripture, the Bible, God’s word, that’s how it’s defined and when you violate that, there are consequences. Now you may get away with it for a while, for a period, but God says there will be consequences. Both our callers, I think, addressing the crux of the problem here this morning is the family, is the breakdown of the family. When you do not have a dad figure around there is not someone there in authority to demonstrate there are consequences to violating the rules. If you don’t have that presence in the family, you’re going to have problems.

Schlafly On Immigrants: 'The Class Of People Coming In Now' Just Don't Understand America

In an interview with WorldNetDaily published on Friday, Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly said that while previous generations of immigrants “became 200 percent Americans,” the “class of people coming in now…don’t really have any comprehension of our system of government and look to big government to be their guide of whatever they want to do.”

Schlafly has previously said that Latino immigrants “don’t understand” the Bill of Rights.

“Obama’s moving ahead with his attempt to do all kinds of illegal things in order to bring in illegal aliens and give the Democrats more votes,” she said. “That’s what it’s for.”

The veteran activist said she has talked to many immigrants who came to the U.S. as teenagers two or three generations ago. Their parents taught them to leave their native ways behind and fully immerse themselves in America.

“Those people came in and became 200 percent Americans,” Schlafly said. “But that’s not the class of people coming in now, who don’t really have any comprehension of our system of government and look to big government to be their guide of whatever they want to do.”

Schlafly also told WND that President Obama is to blame if riots break out after the grand jury verdict in Ferguson, Missouri because he “fomented [unrest] in order to hopefully win the election”:

But conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly believes Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder also used the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, for political purposes.

“I think that Obama and his attorney general really fomented [unrest] in order to hopefully win the election on November 4,” Schlafly said. “They wanted to inflame people in order to get their voters out to vote. I think it was deliberately done, and they weren’t content to just let the process take its course.

“I think it has backfired, and the Republicans won a tremendous victory despite everything,” she added.

A grand jury is deciding the fate of Officer Darren Wilson. An announcement on whether there will be charges could come any day.

Schlafly, whose recently published book “Who Killed the American Family?” came out just days before she turned 90, said Obama and Holder will be culpable if riots break out in Ferguson.

“But whether the public will see it that way, I don’t know,” she said.

Louie Gohmert Claims Obama And 'Liberal Attack People' Want Violence And Mayhem

In an interview yesterday with Dan Cofall, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, accused President Obama of using immigration and the Ferguson case to provoke violence.

When Cofall asked Gohmert about Sen. Tom Coburn’s claim that Obama’s executive action deferring the deportation of some immigrants could result in violence, Gohmert replied that Obama’s critics would never resort to violence since only liberals do that.

“Civil disobedience comes from the left,” he said. “They’re the ones that loot and shoot up and shoot up stores and do all kinds of things like that. If you look at the conservative gatherings, we even pick up our own trash. But it could be that this president is doing all he can to get conservatives who remember the country when presidents didn’t exceed their bounds and wish we would go back to those days, it may be enough to make them that angry. But I hope not, I hope there’s no violence.”

Gohmert also weighed in on the Ferguson case, accusing Obama of inciting violence: “Obviously the president and the attorney general have done all they could to help stir up animosity and fuel the fire and getting people angry at police where they shouldn’t have, but I hope and pray that doesn’t happen. It may happen in Ferguson because obviously they brought in the liberal attack people that just create all the havoc and mayhem they can but I hope and pray that doesn’t spread anywhere else. I’m sure they want it to, I’m sure that people would love to have the federal government intercede, but I would beg conservatives not to get sucked into that trap.”

Suggesting that Obama is pushing conservatives to turn to violence, the congressman said that “this administration will be totally exposed for who and what they’ve been doing.” 

David Horowitz: 'There Is No Community More Racist In America Than The Black Community'

Discussing the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, on Phyllis Schlafly’s “Eagle Forum Live” radio program this week, conservative commentator David Horowitz argued that liberals are overly eager to brand conservatives as racist and, in doing so, have wrongfully maligned the police officer accused of shooting unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.

“[Protesters] destroyed a city to get a cop who was defending himself. Look at the picture of him in the hospital with his eye socket practically blown out,” he said of Officer Darren Wilson, in reference to a bogus photograph that is confirmed to be of a completely unrelated person. 

Insisting that Brown was “just a thug” who suffered the consequences of his actions, Horowitz complained that white people have been vilified in matters of law enforcement and criminal justice. “They’re not interested in waiting for a trial and its result. If you’re white, you’re guilty; that’s the attitude,” he said of the Ferguson protesters. “They’re racist, for crying out tears. There’s no community that’s more racist in America than the black community. And everybody knows it, but nobody will say it.”   

Pat Buchanan: Obama Inciting Violence Against Police Officers

In his syndicated column today, Pat Buchanan decries President Obama for supposedly “stoking the fires of racial resentment” with his remarks on the ongoing controversy surrounding the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Citing dubious reports that Brown “smashed” officer Darren Wilson’s eye socket, Buchanan criticized the notion that Brown’s death had anything to do with race, warning that if “a St. Louis officer is wounded or killed in revenge for Brown, President Obama will deserve a full share of the moral responsibility.”

What, other than its racial aspect, can explain why Obama is so hung up on Ferguson? At the Congressional Black Caucus dinner Saturday, he was back stoking the embers.

“Too many young men of color feel targeted by law enforcement, guilty of walking while black or driving while black – judged by stereotypes that fuel fear and resentment and hopelessness.”

Obama is here implying that Michael Brown was profiled, judged “guilty of walking while black,” when shot and killed.

But that is false, and Barack Obama knows it is false.

Brown had just knocked over a convenience store after collaring the clerk and was walking in the middle of the main street in Ferguson, blocking traffic, when Officer Darren Wilson confronted him.

Did Wilson shoot Brown in a racist rage? Or did Wilson, face battered and eye socket smashed in a fight with the 290-pound, 6-foot-4-inch Brown, empty his gun in self-defense? We do not know. And neither does Barack Obama.

For weeks, a grand jury in St. Louis County has been hearing testimony, trying to sort it out. But by implying the shooting was done for racial reasons, that Brown may have been “targeted” for “walking while black,” Obama is stoking the fires of racial resentment.

Why is he parroting a party line about America that he knows is more myth than truth? White cops are not the great lurking danger, nor the leading cause of violent death, of black teenagers and men.

That role is fulfilled by other black teenagers and other black men. And the statistics on the ugliest forms of racial violence in America – interracial assaults, rapes, murders – reveal that such crimes are overwhelmingly black-on-white.



Saturday night, a Ferguson cop was shot in an incident unrelated to August. But Chief Jackson and State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson have told the Washington Post their officers have been repeatedly threatened and, since August, have come under gunfire.

If a St. Louis officer is wounded or killed in revenge for Brown, President Obama will deserve a full share of the moral responsibility.

It is time he started acting like a president of all the people and dropped this role of outside agitator.

Ben Carson: To Know Obama, Read 'Mein Kampf'

In an interview with Newsmax host J.D. Hayworth today, Ben Carson said that if people want to know the truth about President Obama, they should simply “read ‘Mein Kampf’ and read the works of Vladimir Lenin.” “Mein Kampf,” of course, was written by Adolf Hitler and is filled with anti-Communist diatribes.

Carson, a likely Republican presidential candidate who is obsessed with the conspiracy-theory-laden book “The Naked Communist,” strongly hinted in the interview that he believes Obama is a communist.

Carson has previously claimed that Obama wants to turn America into Nazi Germany and a Gestapo-like state, warning that “we live in a Gestapo age.”

He also told Hayworth, a former Arizona Republican congressman, that Obama and other Democrats are using the uproar in Ferguson, Missouri, to “manipulate” people and “fan the flames of division.”

Carson said the fatal shooting of Michael Brown “has less to do with racism and a lot more to do with some deep cultural issues that are producing individuals who are likely to end up in trouble with the law, who are likely to end up in conflict with each other which will lead to violence and death.”

WorldNetDaily Pundit Inadvertently Explains Why Bundy Supporters Went Quiet On Ferguson

Yesterday, we asked why the anti-government “Patriot” movement that was so angry about perceived government overreach at Cliven Bundy’s ranch in Nevada was all but silent about the arrival of police officers in military grade gear to quell protests in Ferguson, Missouri.

The best explanation, we said, was race: both the Right’s general denial that race plays a role in American life until liberals bring it up, and the sense among some in the anti-government Right that African Americans, even when they are protesting government overreach, are actually tools of the government.

Today, WorldNetDaily columnist Ilana Mercer demonstrated this very point for us in a column in which she says she will not stand with those protesting in Ferguson, even though she agrees with them on many issues, because they are trying to make it about race.

Mercer, who defended Cliven Bundy in his stand-off with the government, writes that she is very angry about “police brutality,” the “militarization of the police force” and the “rise of the warrior cop”; that she supports drug decriminalization; and that she thinks that the shooting of Michael Brown was “an unjustified use of lethal police force.”

But, she says, she won’t ally with anybody who sees these issues as racial issues, such as the “two pimps in a pod” Al Sharpton and President Obama, and she blasts Sen. Rand Paul for acknowledging the role of race in Michael Brown’s death.

Police brutality? Yes! Militarization of the police force? You bet! “A Government of Wolves”? Yes again! “The Rise of the Warrior Cop”? No doubt! But racism? Nonsense on stilts! So why have some libertarians applied this rhetoric to the murder-by-cop of black teenager Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri? The same people who would argue against color-coded hate-crime legislation – and rightly so, for a crime is a crime, no matter the skin pigment of perp or prey – would have you believe that it is possible to differentiate a racist from a non-racist shooting or beating.

Laws prohibiting the individual from purchasing, selling, ingesting, inhaling and injecting drugs ought to be repudiated and repealed on the grounds that they are wrong, not racist. But statism is not necessarily racism. Drug laws ensnare more blacks, because blacks are more likely to violate them by dealing in drugs or engaging in violence around commerce in drugs, not necessarily because cops are racists.


The following statements are, I believe, not mutually exclusive: Cops deal with the reality of crime. The culture of U.S. cops is that of a craven disregard for American lives.

By all means, argue against laws prohibiting victimless “crimes” on the ground that these disproportionally ensnare blacks. But do not err in accusing all cops of targeting blacks, when the former are entrusted with enforcing the law, and the latter violate the law in disproportion to their numbers in the general population.

The left-liberal trend continued on the libertarian LewRockwell.com, where white sympathy with the police was conflated with racism: “This doesn’t mean that racism is not also involved [in Ferguson]. Polls show that a majority of white Americans are content with the police justification for the killing.”

Could it be that ordinary Americans maligned as racists are honestly waiting for more information, or suffer an authoritarian, submissive mindset; are ignorant about “police state USA,” or have simply experienced “black crime” firsthand, or are fearful of experiencing “black-on-white violence” in all it ferocity?

Clearly, there are many reasons for the acquiescence of whites in what might seem to many of us – myself included – as an unjustified use of lethal police force.

MSNBC host Al Sharpton is that fellow whose intelligible spoken English is confined to the words “racial discrimination.” The country’s second-leading race agitator has been deputized by its first as liaison to the White House in Ferguson. With his choice of Sharpton as point man on the ground, President Barack Obama, who was to usher in an America in which “ebony and ivory live together in perfect harmony,” is stoking more strife.

Like two pimps in a pod, Sharpton and Obama have collaborated to keep racial grievance going.

Where Was The Anti-Government Right In Ferguson?

The protests in Ferguson, Missouri, this month presented a dilemma for the anti-government Right. The activists and elected officials who spent the spring fawning over lawless Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s stand against what they saw as an overbearing federal government changed their tune or just went silent when a police force armed with military weapons cracked down on mostly peaceful protesters in Ferguson.

On Tuesday, Gawker’s Adam Weinstein examined the “inherent contradiction” in the membership of St. Louis police officer Dan Page — who was suspended after he shoved a CNN reporter and the video of a violent rant he made came to light — in Oath Keepers, a group whose entire founding purpose is a fear of violent government overreach against unarmed citizens.

…For all their delusions, the Oath Keepers seem tailor-made to counter the surreal overarmed police state that may have played a role in Michael Brown's death by cop in Ferguson, and that has ebbed and flowed through the streets there ever since. The oath that Oath Keepers keep is to disobey a set of orders they believe may be given by government authorities . Hence they swear, in part:

  • We will NOT obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.
  • We will NOT obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies.
  • We will NOT obey any orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances.

As Weinstein notes, the Missouri chapter of the Oath Keepers has sent a “letter of warning” to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon in opposition to police tactics against the protesters. But the Oath Keepers’ opposition seems to be based less on principle than on strategy — in a separate blog post, the national group objects to the police failure to stop looting while it took aim at peaceful protesters. The blog post also notes that Oath Keepers on the scene in Ferguson were “talking consensus for the benefit of the police and the people equally.” This role of self-appointed mediator is in sharp contrast to the group’s show of force at the Bundy ranch.

Ferguson has exposed some common ground between the anti-government Right and mainstream civil liberties groups — for instance, both the extreme right-wing Gun Owners of America and the American Civil Liberties Union have signed on to a plan to end the program that sends discount military equipment to local police departments.

Gun Owners of America’s executive director Larry Pratt, however, has been uncharacteristically quiet about Ferguson, linking on Twitter to the Missouri Oath Keepers’ letter to Nixon, but also to an article claiming that Michael Brown wasn’t unarmed because he was “young and strong.” GOA sent out an email arguing that violence in Ferguson was just another reason why people should be allowed to own AR-15s.

Sheriff Richard Mack, the founder of a group that believes that county sheriffs are the highest law enforcement officers in the land, has also been strangely silent on Ferguson, despite having spent time rallying against the federal government at the Bundy ranch with armed militia groups that he compared to Rosa Parks.

And then there’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a Bundy ally who, as the situation in Ferguson escalated, crowed about the combat supplies that he had amassed for his own department.

Yes, the relative silence of the anti-government Right on Ferguson is inconsistent, but so is their view of the Ferguson protests: In the view of many right-wing activists, the protesters in Ferguson weren’t standing up to the government, they were themselves tools of the government.

There is a school of thought among right-wing commentators that the protests in Ferguson were orchestrated — or at the very least encouraged — by Attorney General Eric Holder and the Obama administration in order to stir up racial resentments and increase Democratic chances in the 2014 midterm elections.

This paranoid scenario is in line with Pratt’s fear, expressed last year, that President Obama is on the verge of starting a race war against white people.

The Ferguson protests exposed a key fault line in the anti-government "Patriot" movement: they are against government overreach, but their definition of what counts as government never seems to be quite clear. 

Ben Stein: Michael Brown 'Wasn't Unarmed. He Was Armed With His Incredibly Strong, Scary Self'

In an interview with Newsmax’s Steve Malzberg yesterday, conservative pundit Ben Stein insisted that Michael Brown, the black teenager who was shot to death by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, “wasn’t unarmed” because he was “armed with his incredibly strong, scary self.”

“The idea of calling this poor man ‘unarmed’ when he was six-foot-four, 300 pounds, full of muscles, apparently — from what I read in the New York Times — on marijuana, to call him unarmed is like calling Sonny Liston unarmed or Cassius Clay unarmed,” Stein said.

He went on to accuse Attorney General Eric Holder of leading a “lynching” of the police officer who killed Brown, alleging that the deaths of Brown and of Trayvon Martin were cases of a “very large so-called victim attacking a policeman.”

PFAW’s Diallo Brooks Discusses Michael Brown Shooting on BET

Today People For the American Way Director of Outreach and Public Engagement Diallo Brooks was featured in a powerful BET segment on the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.

In the interview, Brooks situates Brown’s death within the larger context of police harassment of and violence toward African American men. “We’ve learned that history continues to repeat itself — that we haven’t healed the old wounds that exist in this country,” Brooks says.

Brooks also underscores the importance of voter engagement in local elections for addressing these issues: “We need to really step up and demand our law enforcement to look like us and to represent us, to be a part of us — to be a part of the fabric of the community.”

Watch the full interview below:

PFAW

J. Christian Adams: DOJ Civil Rights Attorneys Are 'Rancid, Rotted, Corrupt Racialists'

Former Bush administration Justice Department official J. Christian Adams has made a career out of attacking Attorney General Eric Holder for his civil rights policies, which Adams sees as “race-obsessed.”

So, it’s unsurprising that Adams has been making the rounds in the right-wing media to claim that the Ferguson protests are all part of a plan by the Obama administration to divide Americans based on race in order to win the coming midterm elections.

In an interview with Newsmax on Friday, Adams showed particular contempt for the lawyers in the Justice Department’s civil rights division (where he worked under Bush), who he accused of being “anti-police, racially saturated, paranoid lawyers” and “rancid, rotted, corrupt racialists” who are incapable of acting in an unbiased manner because they recognize that racism exists.

“They think that the deck is stacked against African Americans everywhere, that you can’t get a fair shake in the criminal justice system, that people act with a racial intent all the time,” Adams said with derision. “These are people who think totally differently from most Americans.”

Voter Registration in Ferguson Inspires Rather Than Disgusts

This post was originally published at the Huffington Post. 

On August 9, I don't believe 18-year-old Michael Brown, Jr. woke up in the morning thinking he would not see the evening sun, his family or friends, the end of the day that started with hope and promise. That morning, I don't believe Officer Darren Wilson left for work knowing his tragic encounter with an unarmed young African American male, who he would shoot and kill, would be the spark that ignited the flame that has been slowly burning in the city of Ferguson - the need for change.

In the wake of the fatal police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, Jr. in Ferguson, Missouri, community members and civil rights activists are proactively turning pain into power by praying, marching, meeting and yes, registering people to vote -- a move that the leader of the Missouri Republican Party, Matt Wills, said this week was "not only disgusting but completely inappropriate."

What is disgusting is that type of commentary and thinking! What is disgusting is for anyone to say, as Wills did, that "injecting race into this conversation and into this tragedy, not only is not helpful, but it doesn't help a continued conversation of justice and peace."

Is that leader aware or in denial of the Missouri Attorney General's 2013 report on racial profiling which shows that out of 5,384 Ferguson Police Department stops, 4,632 were of African Americans? That's disgusting and "completely inappropriate."

Is he aware or in denial that of the 521 arrests made during the report period, 483 were of African Americans? That out of 2,489 stops for moving violations, 1,983 were of African Americans? Shame on that leader and those who are "disgusted" by the simple act of voter registration drives to bring "light into darkness"!

In the shadow of Michael's death and the ensuing protests, I cannot imagine a more profound, inspiring response than voter registration. Justice and peace are close companions of democracy. Conducting voter registration drives at any time -- but especially at this time in a "sick and tired of being sick and tired" city that had just 12 percent turnout in this year's municipal election, 11.7 percent turnout in 2013, and 8.9 percent in 2012 -- is a critical way to address this as both a personal tragedy and a systemic tragedy.

It is not "disgusting" but deserving of those who live in a place that lacks diversity in local government, from the city council to the school board to the police department.

With deep condolences to the parents of Michal Brown, Jr. -- not wanting to "politicize" his death or exploit a grieving family who is calling for justice for the one who left out on Saturday morning and will never return -- what better way to honor them than by sowing the seeds of long-term, much needed change? Even from where I am in Washington, DC, I feel the urgency of the call for change in the homes, neighborhoods, businesses, and community of Ferguson.

The world has watched the dehumanization of a mother's child, police with military-grade gear tear-gassing protesters, journalists arrested and assaulted, and the response of helplessness and frustration that many community members must feel toward elected officials from City Hall to the halls of Congress. As Simon Maloy from Salon put it, "a week's worth of unrestrained police crackdowns...with the blessing or tacit approval of political leaders...will tend to erode whatever trust one has left in the people in charge."

So those of us who are watching should applaud, not complain about or attack, a community that turns a lack of trust in its elected officials into a movement for change.

We should applaud and not attack an inspiring vision for a different future for the rest of Michael's siblings, family and friends -- one in which the local officials are responsive to the needs of the entire community, and better reflect the community's diversity. Be "disgusted" by the city's racial profiling data. Be "disgusted" by the predicament of "driving while Black." Be "disgusted" by efforts to suppress voter participation, in Ferguson and around the country as some have "dusted off Jim Crow tactics" trying to stand in the way of men and women, youth and elder, unemployed and employed, determined to exercise their most fundamental right as citizens.

As the leader of a national alliance of African American faith leaders, I work every day with people who are often part of the first responders to tragedies like this, who walk with the family, who eulogize the deceased and who also organize, connect, and empower. They know the face of systemic injustices and of elected leaders who want to make it harder, rather than easier, for certain communities to participate in our democracy. To make the leap from pain to a promise of peace is a difficult step, but thank goodness for those who are taking it.

As one St. Louis faith leader said, pointing at a voter registration tent set up on a Ferguson street by a local woman and her daughter: "That's where change is gonna happen."

Believe is my favorite word. I truly believe "a change is gonna come." After the protests end, after the national cameras leave, after the marchers from east to west return to their homes, neighbors, and communities, there will be follow-up, there will be change.

Registering, educating and getting out the vote is not "disgusting" or "completely inappropriate." What is "disgusting" and "completely inappropriate" is not responding effectively, productively, and positively to suppression and oppression.

As I read about the homegoing (funeral) service planned for next week, I pause and pray for the family and people of Ferguson. What next comes to mind for Michael Brown, Jr. and for change in Ferguson, is: be inspired -- register and vote! For Michael's parents, Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown, Sr. and for change in Ferguson: be inspired -- register and vote! For all those who loved "Big Mike," and all the other unnamed youth who have died to "justifiable" or "legal interventions" by law officers and know that Ferguson deserves change: be inspired -- register and vote for justice and for the fulfilled promise of peace!

PFAW Foundation

David Horowitz: Eric Holder Is Leading A Black Lynch Mob

David Horowitz appeared on Newsmax today to debate St. Louis County public defender Thomas Harvey about the ongoing situation in Ferguson, Missouri.

While Harvey described evidence of discrimination in the criminal justice system, Horowitz ended up shouting about how he is “sick and tired of the black America blaming everybody but itself for its problems.”

“What we have going on in Ferguson is a lynch mob, this is one of the most disgraceful acts imaginable,” he continued. “You have uh, indict, prosecute, indict, convict or else, this is exactly the mentality of the lynch mobs of the past, the difference is that this lynch mob is black and it’s led by the attorney general of the United States.”

Dinesh D'Souza Explains The 'Common Thread Between ISIS And What's Going On In Ferguson'

Dinesh D'Souza was a guest on Steve Malzberg's program on Newsmax yesterday, where he inexplicably linked the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri to the murderous rampage being carried out by ISIS in Iraq.

D’Souza accused President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and Al Sharpton of undermining the justice system by "fostering an atmosphere in Ferguson that basically goes 'let's declare that this guy is probably guilty and let's see what we can do to put him up against the wall.' The idea that he would get impartial justice is becoming highly questionable."

Declaring that, historically, it was black people who were denied equal justice under the law, D'Souza said that now we are seeing "a complete flip" so that now white people cannot get justice under President Obama and America is just "going from one set of injustices to another."

That somehow led D'Souza to claim that there is "a common thread between ISIS and what's going on in Ferguson" because, in both situations, people are seeking to correct a perceived injustice by inflicting a whole host of new injustices "and all of this is then licensed by the Left and licensed, to some degree, by the media":

Steve Deace Links Michael Brown Shooting To Lax Immigration Enforcement

Rivaling Newsmax’s Steve Malzberg, who yesterday managed to link the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, to Hamas, on his talk show on Tuesday Steve Deace linked the shooting of Michael Brown and the ensuing protests to what he sees as lax enforcement of immigration laws.

Deace cited the announcement that 22 Iowa county sheriffs are refusing to hold federal immigration detainees without a court order as evidence that local governments are “creating lawlessness.” This, he implied, could cause rioting if a released undocumented immigrant committed a murder, as people “take the law into their own hands,” causing law enforcement to “militarize up.”

This culture of “lawlessness,” he implies, was responsible if not for the murder of Brown, then at least for the ensuing protests and violence.

Deace, of course, was a supporter of the lawless militia groups at the Bundy ranch, who believe that local sheriffs should be free to ignore federal laws with which they disagree.

Here in my hometown of Des Moines, Iowa, we’ve got 22 Iowa county jails that have announced today — including their sheriffs — that they are just not going to enforce the immigration law, they’re just not going to do it. That if the fed’s come in and say, hey, we want you to hold people we suspect are here illegally, they won’t do it, they refuse, we’re just not going to do it. And the sheriffs have said we’re not going to punish people who are here in the country illegally. So, again, we’re creating lawlessness.

So, let’s create a hypothetical situation here that’s not that far-fetched. Let’s assume that one of these illegals in this county goes on a murderous rampage and it could have been prevented if he had been deported and you’re in a position where people are — again, I’m not advocating this, I’m not justifying it, I’m just telling you, Michael, this is what happens when the rule of law is not upheld, people will sooner or later start taking the law into their own hands.

And when they start taking the law into their own hands, then the government will come along and say, that’s why we’ve got to militarize up because you’ve got this, that means we’ve got to have that, and on and on the escalation goes. And it’s because we’ve exceeded these spheres of authority. Who knows if that would have stopped what happened to Michael Brown. I’ve got to believe it might have stopped six consecutive nights of rioting and looting, however, had we known that.

Pat Robertson Explains Ferguson Incident: Maybe Michael Brown Was On PCP?

Today on “The 700 Club,” televangelist Pat Robertson weighed in on the ongoing situation in Ferguson, Missouri, insisting that Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was shot and killed by a police officer, was a menacing “giant” who assaulted a “little cop” and may have been using PCP.

Naturally, Robertson then went on to criticize other commentators for “grandstanding” and jumping too quickly to conclusions.

Ben Carson: Michael Brown Died Because He Lacked A Father Figure, Political Correctness

Ben Carson seems to be convinced that “political correctness” is to blame for Michael Brown’s death, and made the case yesterday on Washington Times Radio that Brown died due to the “hypersensitive” climate of American politics.

He told host Andy Parks that political correctness is distracting people from addressing “real problems” like teen pregnancy and “all of those kids who are born into poverty and will live in poverty and in many cases will end up without a father figure in their life and don’t know how to respond to authority and end up being killed like Michael Brown.”

Carson, who has built a political career by regularly arguing that he is losing his right to free speech because people criticize his political views and that he is facing Nazi-style persecution, said “hypersensitive” people who manufacture claims about how their rights are under attack are ruining America.

Carson later said the “agitators” and “criminals” in Ferguson need to be punished and the real lesson is that people should “teach your children to respect authority.”

Ironically, a few months ago Carson praised the “outstanding people” who flocked to the Bundy ranch in Nevada to assist in the lawless standoff with law enforcement, saying that it is high time for Americans to “stand up against the government” and stave off looming martial law.

Ben Carson And Steve Malzberg Muse On How Ferguson Protestors Are Like Hamas

Conservative activist and potential 2016 presidential candidate Ben Carson joined Steve Malzberg on his Newsmax program yesterday to discuss the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, as well as Islamic extremism in the Middle East. Malzberg, amazingly, was able to tie the two together, accusing the Obama administration of sympathizing with both the “grievances” of groups like Hamas and of the Ferguson protestors, creating “a bizarre world of sorts.”

Doctor, do you see a world now through a media and maybe even through the White House and Justice Department and the State Department where Hamas is kind of equal to Israel, they have their own grievances, you put a suit and tie on the Hamas spokesmen and you believe what they say, and Israel has to be proportional to their response; and now the cops, Rachel Maddow says the cops are rioting and Obama says they’re too militarized, as many people do, and we have got to hear the grievances and there’s a war on black men, we hear from some people. Do you see how these two kind of go together in a bizarre world of sorts?

“It’s very bizarre, and I see a very politically correct administration, and political correctness is in the process of destroying this nation,” Carson responded.

Ted Nugent: Liberals To Blame For Michael Brown's Death

In his column for WorldNetDaily this week, Ted Nugent writes liberals should be held responsible for the death of Michael Brown because of their support for reforms to reduce gun violence.

Nugent alleged that Obama is “fanning the embers of racism” and trying “to beat the race drum” over the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, hoping to stoke racial hostility in order to make sure African Americans support Democrats come November.

“The ugly truth is that liberals are complicit in Michael Brown’s death and the deaths of thousands of other young black guys who have been encouraged to become thugs,” Nugent writes.

The president knows all too well that losing a portion of the black vote would spell disaster for the Democrats in upcoming elections. Like his race-baiting buddy Al-Not-So-Sharpton, Mr. Obama believes fanning the embers of racism will keep black Americans squarely in the corner of their big daddy Democratic Party. That’s good for liberal politics and bad for racial harmony and America.



President Obama continues to beat the race drum in a feeble attempt to reduce the nonstop gangland gangbanger warfare in Chi-raq and other urban warzones in Baltimore, Oakland, New Orleans, Detroit, St. Louis, etc., repeating the nonsense that more “reasonable” gun control laws will stop street savages from getting their hands on guns and killing each other.



What President Obama proposes is spending another trillion on poverty-related programs for the next 10 years, thereby ensuring that the nightly bloody slaughters in our urban warzones will continue.

You don’t need to be a social psychologist, anthropologist, criminologist or even a greasy Motown guitar player to understand why America has urban warzones. It is the result of liberals who believe every problem can be solved by massive government spending and a bumbling, lethargic, counter-productive bureaucracy, instead of demanding accountability.

The ugly truth is that liberals are complicit in Michael Brown’s death and the deaths of thousands of other young black guys who have been encouraged to become thugs.

The pesky fact is that America has a discipline-less related violence problem.

That apparently is quite OK with liberals so long as they can continue to try and con the American people, especially black Americans, into believing that access to guns and racism are the problem.
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