Opinion | Morgan Liddick: In Ferguson, facts be damned
In this season of the Prince of Peace, a few words on the state of concord in America seem appropriate. They will not be welcome.
Ferguson, Missouri, is a fair snapshot of race relations in our country. What it shows should fill us all, regardless of skin color, with concern, anger and a determination to bring the whole rotten business crashing down. Because do not doubt, business is what we are seeing.
In Ferguson, we know a white police officer shot and killed a black man. Do we know more? Yes. The deceased was a robber, whose assault on a convenience store clerk had been recorded previously in the day; he was walking down the middle of a street with a friend at the time of the altercation. We know the police officer had not previously fired his weapon while on patrol. We know Michael Brown, the black man, struck Darren Wilson, the police officer, while struggling at or in the latter’s police car. Forensic evidence shows Mr. Brown was struck in the hand by one shot fired at close range and that other shots struck the front of his body and head, at some distance.
We now know inflammatory accounts of Brown being shot while “on his knees with his hands up,” and of officer Wilson “standing over him and finishing him off” are fabrications. Darrien Johnson, who gave that account, admitted to altering his statement to fit “other things he heard,” as have other supposed eyewitnesses. Not that facts made a bit of difference; the damage had long been done.
Shortly after the shooting, race hustlers like Al Sharpton, Cornell West, the New Black Panther Party and their white-guilt-junkie allies in the media grabbed the false — but tremendously attractive — story about a poor little black kid who got shot by a white cop for no reason at all, and away they went.
After the first night of looting and burning, they were joined by the community organizer in chief who, with his attorney general and other Democrat party cronies, sought to exploit the human misery of Ferguson to energize their increasingly racialized base. It worked, just as it did with Treyvon Martin.
The mob screaming for “justice” when they really want vengeance is execrably ignorant. Throughout its millennium-long history, the grand jury has existed to determine if prosecutable crimes have occurred — a process guaranteed in our Constitution’s 14th Amendment. But the mob has no interest in judicial process, only in punishing officer Wilson — and facts be damned. In this, they mirror exactly the vicious thugs of the past who victimized minorities in our South and West.
The results are predictable: more racial animosity, more friction, more suspicion, more conflict — all of which Progressives will use as evidence of the need for more government programs promoting “diversity,” more support for minorities, and more and closer supervision of any white Americans in a position of authority, regardless of individual history.
None of this will fix what’s wrong, nor will it rebuild Ferguson. If history is any guide, the future of that community is bleak: it faces decades of desolation and decay, as both entrepreneurs and financiers avoid the risk of involvement in a community where thinking runs: “I’ve had it with the authorities, so I’m going to destroy my neighbors and take their stuff.” Social collapse will be very hard to avoid in the Maelstrom of this self-destructive lunacy.
There is an alternative. If we want a society, culture and government that is race-neutral, the first step is to stop using race as an excuse of first resort. Put away black and white, Hispanic and Asian. No more set-asides, “underserved communities,” “non-traditional customers,” first-generation-whatevers and “underlying patterns of discrimination” provable only by statistical analysis. We are all citizens of the United States so we should be that without reservation, penalty or favor and work together to improve our common weal not because some new government program compels us, but because it is the right thing to do.
It won’t happen. Not only do we no longer recognize the “right thing,” there’s too much at stake. Too much money, too much power; too many programs, profiting too many people. Too many ways to interfere in others’ lives — all in the name of making them better, of course.
Except they don’t. Crying “racism” at every slight or stymie robs the term of its power; promiscuous accusation does nothing but diminish the goodwill of those accused. Neither helps the country, nor the residents of wounded communities like Ferguson. But it temporarily enhances the stature of the accusers, so expect more of the same until we’re poisoned by suspicion, hatred and Balkanized beyond the dreams of Josef Stalin.
That’ll be better, won’t it?
Morgan Liddick writes a weekly column for the Summit Daily News.
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