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The Lessons of Ferguson
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September 10, 2014, 04:27 PM
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The New York Times Editorial Board remains all over the most pressing problem of our age: matters of local administration in Ferguson, MO, a modest-sized suburb 955 miles from the New York Times Building:
A Step Toward Fairness in Ferguson

The racially torn city of Ferguson, Mo., took an important step on Monday when the City Council announced proposals aimed at remaking its troubled court system and creating a civilian review board for the Police Department. …

For the reforms to be truly meaningful, they will need to be adopted by neighboring towns in St. Louis County that have similarly unfair legal systems, which appear to single out black motorists for traffic and streets stops.

As you may recall, the Prestige Press hasn’t really been able to get their acts together on what exactly The Issue is in Ferguson.

At first Ferguson was going to be about white cops randomly shooting angelic unarmed black babies who never did a thing in the back, about how the high death rate among black boys is due to racist whites hunting them down and killing them in cold blood.

But the convenience store security camera footage and three autopsies deflated that myth. We now see that a 292 pound adult already on a crime spree attacked a police officer from outside the police cruiser (something I’ve almost never heard of before) and somehow the gun went off inside the police car in the fighting. Now, it’s quite possible that the police officer subsequently over-reacted, but, you know, they’ll sometimes get a little too agitated in the moments after you’ve almost murdered them with their own gun. Adrenaline and all that …

I got involved a few years ago in investigating the fatal shooting in my neighborhood of an 18-year-old by an over-excited federal agent. I encouraged the grieving mother to sue, and the family eventually was awarded $3 million by a judge. On the other hand, I didn’t lead a pogrom or paint “Snitches Get Stitches” on the wall of the convenience store I burned down by mistake.

Then the media decided that the Real Problem was cops dressing up in quasi-military gear. That’s what was causing the anti-snitching riots. So, the cops stopped … and the riots went on.

Then the problem was that there aren’t enough blacks on the city council. But a national study showed that blacks are quite capable of electing each other to city councils.

Then it was going to be a lack of black cops, but it turns out that the one study done of the subject in Florida found that the more black cops on a force, the more police brutality.

Then it was going to be Redlining, which the FDR administration did setting up the FHA. It’s always Redlining. (Except when it’s Reverse Redlining.)

And of course it was also always the legacies of Jim Crow and slavery, which only seem to grow in strength as they disappear into the distant past.

Lately, national attention has focused like a laser beam on the contention that various other small municipalities in the St. Louis area are … speed traps!

In reality, you have countless examples every month of Blacks Behaving Badly. Mostly, the national press ignores this as dreary local police blotter stuff.

But every so often it gets the idea that it can run with some provincial incident as Proof that white racism is the dominant problem of our times. In most of these cases, however, it turns out when all the facts come in that the incident the national media chose to obsess over is really just another piece of crap case of blacks behaving badly. You might think that would be humiliating to all the Big Foot Media Types who fell once again for the latest over-inflated fiasco. But the Power of the Megaphone means that you never have to say you’re sorry. You just change the subject to … uh … uh, speed traps in neighboring towns!