August 20 2014
Ferguson: A Test for American Justice
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has called for "a vigorous prosecution” that “must now be pursued" in the shooting of Ferguson teenager Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by a police officer.
Well, yeah—but in this country we have a grand jury system.
In calling for “vigorous prosecution” before a grand jury returns an indictment, Governor Jay Nixon shows that he has succumbed mob justice.
As for the Ferguson mob, well, we’ve had race riots before. But this one is particularly distressing: The riot, with its deep bitterness about American society, behaves as if nothing that the United States has done to repair racial injustices matters. They are living with the realities of a pre-civil rights America, which equates all police officers with the notorious Bull Connor, even before the evidence is in and evaluated. The Ferguson riots also occur at a time when we have a first African-American president, who spent the last five years not bringing us together.
Nobody has been better on Ferguson than Jason Riley, Wall Street Journal writer and author of Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed. Riley's take on President Obama's response to Ferguson was reported by the Daily Caller:
Normally soft-spoken Wall Street Journal editor Jason Riley became heated during a rant on the Ferguson crisis, calling President Obama’s most recent statement “a dodge” and slamming the “false narrative” that black men are targeted by white cops.
Riley appeared on Fox News’ “Special Report” on Monday to discuss the White House statement about the riots ravaging Ferguson, Missouri since the death of black teenager Michael Brown at the hands of a white police officer.
Riley was happy that Obama brought up black crime, “but then he attributed that black criminality — he suggested it stems from poverty or a racist criminal justice system, which is nonsense.”
“The black crime rate in 1960 was lower than it is today,” he said. “Was there less racism or less poverty than in 1960? This is about black behavior. It needs to be addressed head-on. It’s about attitudes toward the criminal justice system in these neighborhoods, where young black men have no sense of what it means to be a male or what it means to be black.”
Our hearts go out to Michael Brown’s parents, even if we wish they had chosen somebody other than racial grievance peddler the Rev. Al Sharpton to eulogize him Monday at the funeral. Wasn’t there a friend who might talk about the Michael he knew instead of the renowned race baiter?
Still, there are two people who deserve justice: Michael Brown, of course, and, if we were his parents, we wouldn’t rest until we knew what happened that night. But police officer Darren Wilson, who pulled the trigger deserves justice, too. Justice for Wilson could be either prison or freedom (though I doubt he will ever be entirely free again), depending on the evidence.