Did you hear how the president opened Monday’s news conference?
“Earlier today I received updates from my team on two separate issues that I’ve been following closely: our ongoing operation in Iraq and the situation in Ferguson, Missouri.”
Ferguson and Iraq in the same presidential sentence. Two cases where order has broken down because large numbers of people believe the government does not represent them.
The latest Pew Research poll on the shooting of Michael Brown was completely predictable: “Eighty percent of African Americans said this case raises important issues about race. Only 37 percent of whites agree.”
Here it is again, and in Ferguson, part of the problem is a 94 percent Caucasian police force in a 67 percent African-American town.
Courts don’t like Affirmative Action anymore, but law enforcement experts will tell you that in the context of America’s race history, the racial makeup of a police force still matters. A few more minorities in uniform might have pointed out, for example, that using dogs for crowd control looks a lot different to a black person than to a white person.
Race isn’t the only factor. Income matters too. A $120 speeding ticket hurts a lot more when you bring home $20,000 than when you make $80,000. And if you can’t pay the fine and the penalties, they take your license, they issue a warrant, and suddenly every cop is your enemy.
You see people separating into opposite corners thinking it’s a question of honor, not realizing they’ve just cleared the way for the crazies who thrive on chaos.