Tags: Exclusive Interviews | Ferguson in Crisis | MidPoint | Missouri | Ferguson | voting | Michael Brown

Clarence McKee: Ferguson Won't Change If Residents Don't Vote

By Sean Piccoli   |   Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 03:10 PM

If residents of majority-black Ferguson, Missouri want a city government and police force that's more racially diverse and responsive to their needs, they have to put down their protest signs and start casting ballots, a Florida communications executive told Newsmax TV on Thursday.

Newsmax contributor Clarence McKee, CEO of McKee Communications, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner that riot-torn Ferguson won't change if racially charged protests there over the the death of Michael Brown don't give way to real engagement with the local political process.

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"You get the kind of government you deserve and demand," said McKee. "I don't know what the people have been doing there for all these years, but they haven't been marching to the polls as they have been marching in the streets. That's how you get a mayor who will pick the police chief who will diversify the department."

McKee said that he doesn't doubt black residents of the St. Louis suburb face difficulties in dealing with a predominantly white municipal government and police force.

But he noted that even the Rev. Al Sharpton — in his controversial visit to Ferguson after a white police officer shot black teenager Brown — chided residents for a dismal 12 percent turnout in local elections.

"It's not all the fault of whites," said McKee. "Blacks have a lot of responsibility to pick their government. That's what the civil rights movement was about."

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