Wednesday, November 26, 2014

JENSEN: What is Ferguson really about now?

By RICK JENSEN, Cagle Cartoons Syndicated Columnist | 8/22/2014

The initial outburst of rage, simmering for years in a brick and pavement community draped in poverty was genuine, and for many today is still genuine. It didn’t and will never matter to many in Ferguson what Michael Brown did or did not do. What remains is a white man of authority gunned him down in the street and “the man” left his corpse in the open to rot for hours as men, women and children ogled, stared and raged from a distance.

What are the Black Panthers doing in Ferguson? Why are violent protesters and looters coming to Ferguson from California and New York?

The initial outburst of rage, simmering for years in a brick and pavement community draped in poverty was genuine, and for many today is still genuine. It didn’t and will never matter to many in Ferguson what Michael Brown did or did not do. What remains is a white man of authority gunned him down in the street and “the man” left his corpse in the open to rot for hours as men, women and children ogled, stared and raged from a distance.

What are the Black Panthers doing in Ferguson? Why are violent protesters and looters coming to Ferguson from California and New York?

We know why Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are there. Jesse Jackson was booed by residents as he asked for donations. Yes, Jesse, the folks in Ferguson see right through you. It’s taken awhile for people to say so publicly, but we’ve known you to be a poverty pimp for personal profit for some time now. Tell us again why Budweiser gave your son a Chicago distributorship that made him a millionaire.

Ferguson’s population is two-thirds black, and the general consensus among these people is that their lives are controlled by outside forces that do not have their best interests in heart. They see armored vehicles with police wearing armor and helmets and get no sense of community from these police. They see an authority bent on suppression.

When State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson walked around Ferguson with residents, he assured them that his goal was to keep the peace. People around the Captain who grew up in the neighborhood felt relieved. That is, they felt relieved until the police were pelted with bottles and drew their weapons upon hearing gunfire.

Now Malik Shabazz, leader of the New Black Panther Party, is leading people in chants calling for the murder of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson.

Shabazz (on bullhorn): “Who do we want?”

Crowd: “Darren Wilson!”

Shabazz: “How do we want him?”

Crowd: “Dead!”

That’s helpful.

Democratic Governor Jay Nixon goes on national TV and excoriates Ferguson police for the “over-militarization” of their force. He is received warmly among the liberal press and powerful leftwing sites like Huffington Post, Slate and Salon.

Then he sends in the military. The Missouri National Guard rolls in with armored vehicles equipped with gun turrets.

That’s helpful, too.

The bad actors are upstaging the truly afflicted residents. Those bad actors are not merely the out-of-state agitators and race hustlers.

Left-wing websites fill laptops and smartphones with stories designed to make the police seem evil, as though they created false scenarios around the innocent “gentle giant” Mike Brown who gently pushed around the convenience store clerk from whom he stole.

Governor Nixon wasn’t done playing politics by sending in the big guns and Robocop lookalikes, either.

He has found an ego-massaging spotlight by criticizing the Ferguson police chief for the same decisions he himself made.

“There are times when force is necessary, but we really felt that push at that time was a little aggressive, obviously, and those images were not what we were trying to get to,” Nixon said on ABC’s “This Week,” referring to the policing using heavily armored military vehicles. “And in those situations where folks are rolling up heavily armored and they’re pointing guns at folks, that’s impossible to have a dialogue.

Yes, those are the words of the same Governor Nixon who ordered his National Guard to roll up the streets of Ferguson heavily armored.

Ferguson started out being about residents crushed by over 13 percent unemployment and low wages for those who do work, enveloped in a world of crime where police are over-worked and unappreciated by too many of the people they try to serve.

Frustration and anger has been simmering for years. The Democratic Party ruling the state, county and town (where the exception is the Republican Mayor) has no solutions.

Now, instead of working toward meaningful solutions like creating real job opportunities and meaningful changes in education in Ferguson, only the race hustlers and politicians are profiting.

Rick Jensen is a Cagle Cartoons syndicated columnist. Email him at rick@wdel.com or follow him on Twitter@Jensen1150WDEL

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