The climactic uproar in Ferguson, Mo., a week ago took a zany turn when the “we want peace” message of Michael Brown’s family rotated 180 degrees to the imperative command, “burn this bitch down,” hollered repeatedly by stepfather Louis Head outside the grand jury headquarters as the decision was announced.
The assembled crowd dutifully obliged and burned down many of the businesses that the local population depends on for routine commerce.
The scripted quality of these events seemed as formally predictable as an 1856 minstrel show, and the parallel is worth reflecting on because the nation appears determined to explode again in some kind of a civil war — bearing in mind Karl Marx’s advisory that “history repeats, first as tragedy, then farce.” As is the case with many show-biz extravaganza’s of our time the script had many authors.
First were the cable TV news venues, led by the race hustlers at CNN, whose limitless pandering to the intemperance of black viewers played a large part in cultivating the mood of injustice that failed to square with the objective reality of Michael Brown’s shooting at the hands of policeman Darren Wilson. Every conceivable delusion generated by the event was nurtured to the max in order to amp up the melodrama at the expense of clarifying what had happened. In the end, CNN celebrities Don Lemon and Anderson Cooper got the explosion of violence that their producers had worked so hard to fuel.
Next were the professional black race hustlers such as the Reverend Al Sharpton, now an MSNBC anchor! It seems generally forgotten that Sharpton fomented the 1988 Tawana Brawley rape farce that occupied the nation’s attention for a good year before all the allegations unwound into a limp skein of falsehoods, and Sharpton along with his race hustler lawyer sidekicks, Alton H. Maddox and Vernon Mason, were found liable for making defamatory claims against a Dutchess County (New York) Assistant District Attorney (alleged to be among several Brawley rapists). Now, 25 years later, a new crop of race hustlers has come along such as Brown family lawyer Benjamin Crump, who previously worked for Trayvon Martin’s family in the 2012 Florida case. In Act 3 of the Ferguson soap opera, you can be sure Crump will be trolling the “deep pockets” of Missouri for a “settlement.”
Next are the two idiots on The New York Times op-ed page: Nicholas Kristoff and Charles M. Blow. Kristoff, in his latest installment of racial self-mystification — When Whites Just Don’t Get It, Part 5 — proposes a “national commission” to study America’s race troubles. Wow, what an original idea! Commissions are so darn effective, don’t you think? Mr. Blow repeatedly makes the point that Americans are not willing to have an honest debate about racial issues. That is true largely because public figures such as Mr. Blow will instantly label as “racist” any idea or opinion that contradicts their own pleadings. Is disproportionate black crime a problem? “Racist!” Don’t go there.
A week after the grand jury decision and the riot that followed, the Michael Brown incident is already disappearing down the national memory hole. Why? Mainly because anyway you cut it Michael Brown was a poor candidate for martyrdom. The generous view of his fate is that he made a series of very poor choices one summer’s day. So now CNN is shopping for a replacement. As of Sunday night, they seemed to have settled on 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was shot while brandishing a BB gun in Cleveland, Ohio. The media insist on calling it “a toy gun,” though photos depict a BB gun obviously designed to look like a regular automatic pistol. Poor Tamir Rice was foolishly acting out a childish mime show, pretending to shoot at passers-by. Someone in the neighborhood might have advised him that this was a good way to get himself shot. But no one did. Now, why was that?