Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has stepped up to denounce the Ferguson protesters while the rest of the potential presidential candidates appear to be staying on the sidelines.
The Washington Times
says Huckabee believes the weeks of unrest following Michael Brown's death have been fueled by people who live a long way from the communities they claim to want to help.
He called the leaders of the Ferguson protests "a group of fashionably progressive hipsters from New York City in their designer clothes and shoes, latest iPhones in hand, carrying shopping bags, bottled water, and protest signs denouncing capitalism and the 'capitalist police' and 'capitalist courts.'"
The Fox News host, who was a GOP presidential contender
in 2008 and is considering another run in 2016, continued, "I'd bet a week's pay that there wasn't one handmade shirt in that anti-capitalist clique that wasn't made by the hands of underage Third World garment workers.
"Elizabeth Vega, a major agitator on the scene in Ferguson, spent Monday night leading an anti-police rally where she fired up the crowd into chanting, 'F*** the police!' When it was all over, she walked back to where she'd parked her car and discovered it had been stolen.
"Wonder who she reported that crime to — her friendly neighborhood community organizer?" Huckabee asked.
"The most absurd protesters in America are all those who demand justice while baying for mob rule, who claim to oppose the unjust targeting of the innocent while burning and looting small businesses with no connection to the case and who posture as champions of African-Americans while destroying businesses owned by African-Americans, that serve African-Americans and that employ African-Americans."
He added, "If the governor of Missouri isn't willing to arrest them for rioting, looting and arson, then how about at least throwing them in jail for felony hypocrisy?"
The protests started in August when Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old, was shot and killed by white police officer Darren Wilson, whom a grand jury declined to indict on criminal charges.
In the ensuing weeks of nationwide protests, the majority of the presidential hopefuls have been careful to make low-key or innocuous comments on the controversy, according to the Times.
Hillary Clinton, the presumed Democratic front-runner in the White House race, remained mute for weeks until she finally condemned "the inequities that persist in our justice system" and declared, "We are better than that."
Texas Gov. Rick Perry sounded off with careful comments that called for a peaceful solution, while saying that "any time the life of a young person is lost, it's a tragedy."
"But it is wrong to perpetuate tragedy with violence," Perry told The Washington Times in an earlier interview. "I support the rule of law everywhere in America and commend law enforcement officials who put their lives on the line to protect our families and support responsible leaders who advocate for peace."
In a recent Times commentary, potential White House candidate Ben Carson appeared to stand on the fence while urging Democratic and GOP leaders to speak out against the police shooting as well as the widespread civil disobedience that followed.
"Courage from the kitchen table, the pulpit, the classroom, and the streets was prevalent when I was a child," he wrote. "Many people had no problem publicly denouncing deleterious behavior even if it made them temporarily unpopular.
"Fear of being called names or being proclaimed out of touch has paralyzed many in our inner cities, just as it has throughout the nation."
In a separate interview with the Times, Carson said that communities like Ferguson should "ask itself logical questions such as, 'What is accomplished by listening to agitators who frequently don't live in the neighborhood or suffer the consequences of rioting?'"
He added, "We need to begin thinking about the many young people who suffer violence within their community — and it has nothing to do with policing — and we need to think what the young people and the community can do to change it or forever be victims."
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