Tags: Barack Obama | Ferguson in Crisis

Ferguson Officials Right to Mobilize National Guard

Thursday, 20 November 2014 01:03 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Many predicted a ruined country when President Barack Obama was re-elected. But here’s what happened, the country survived and is chugging along. The president is as unpopular as ever.

With all our bickering, it’s easy to forget that which makes us unique — our ability to accept, without reservation, the transition of power from one political party to the other — peacefully and honorably.

Sure, we’ve endured our share of tragedies, from Lincoln to Kennedy, but the show still went on. America refused to allow acts of evil to affect who we were, or destroy the system we fought so hard to attain. Our respect for the rule of law, and the order and stability it produces, has been a bedrock value for so long that it’s often taken for granted.

But in Ferguson, Mo., chaos has ensued over another matter. We know the storyline. Michael Brown, a large 18-year old black man, who had allegedly just committed a felony, got into a physical confrontation with white police officer Darren Wilson. Wilson shot Brown multiple times, resulting in Brown’s death.

Riots ensued, with bedlam lasting weeks. The situation became so untenable that Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon called in the National Guard.

Irrelevant to the rioters were those pesky things called facts, many of which weren’t known then, and remain undisclosed today.

A grand jury has been investigating, and is due to release its findings — and whether to charge Wilson — at any moment. In anticipation, Nixon has mobilized the National Guard. For that, he has been sharply criticized by Brown supporters and armchair analysts sitting in ivory towers nowhere near Missouri. They contend that he is inflaming tensions.

That criticism is so devoid of logic that it defies belief. Here’s a look at the situation:
  • Nixon couldn’t articulate who would be in charge. The police — if so, which force? Or, the National Guard. That fumbling didn’t help matters, but looking foolish doesn’t make Nixon wrong. Mobilizing the Guard was prudent.
  • Nixon also declared a state of emergency. He deserves credit for being decisive while in a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t situation. If he didn’t act preemptively, and riots ensued, he would have been demonized for being asleep at the switch while Ferguson burned. And by acting proactively, he catches hell from the offended class who cry racism and accuse him of strong-arm tactics.

Given the threat to life and property, especially in view of Ferguson’s track record, it’s wiser to err on the side of caution. Well done governor.
  • The government’s response is not directed at protesters, but rioters. People have the freedom to protest peacefully. But vandals are simply using race as an excuse to loot, shoot, and hoot — taking advantage of chaos to break the law.
  • Here’s the elephant in the room. Where is society going when the National Guard and riot police need to be mobilized every time a case has a racial element (perceived or real) to it? Why are leaders of all races and both Parties not condemning the violence in stronger fashion? Why do we not call out the agitators, the ones with ulterior motives rooted in self-interest, who use inflammatory language and tactics to ignite the powder keg? When are we going to start leading on facts, not color?
  • America’s justice system is not perfect, just the best. We must have faith in the grand jury, and that justice will be served. Wilson should not get railroaded because jurors fear riots. Nor should Brown’s death be in vain if excessive force was used.
Tragically, all blacks become guilty-by-association, wiping out the tremendous work done by black pastors, civic leaders, and others to advance equality and keep the peace. The obnoxious ones, and the media coverage they receive, overshadow the genuine leaders. That must change.

We are not a banana republic. Americans must remember who we are, and what makes us special. We may not always agree with judicial decisions, but we must hammer those who resort to intimidation and violence every time they don’t like something.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.

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Our respect for the rule of law, and the order and stability it produces, has been a bedrock value for so long that it’s often taken for granted.
Barack Obama, Ferguson in Crisis
Thursday, 20 November 2014 01:03 PM
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