NY Times: Ferguson Shooting Is Part Of Bigger Racial Problem In Democrat Voting Urban Areas


Of course, they don’t actually mention that a good majority of urban areas around the country tend to vote Democrat, but they do attempt to turn the incident in Ferguson into a bigger issue. Here’s the Editorial Board, but, first, let me make it clear that I am in no way defending either the unnamed officer nor the police department. The officer should be afforded the notion of innocent till proven guilty, and we do need to find out exactly what happened before jumping the gun

The Death of Michael Brown
Racial History Behind the Ferguson Protests

The F.B.I. may be able to answer the many questions surrounding the death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black student from Ferguson, Mo., who was a few days from heading off to college when he was shot by a police officer on Saturday. The shooting of Mr. Brown, who was unarmed, led to three days of protest, some of it violent, and several tense confrontations between residents of the St. Louis suburban town of 21,000 and the police.

“Some of it violent”? “Tense confrontations”? Do the members of the Editorial Board read the news? There were riots, which included theft, violence, assault, vandalism, and arson. Violent crime in Ferguson tends to be slightly above the US average, and property crimes well above the US average.

But it doesn’t take a federal investigation to understand the history of racial segregation, economic inequality and overbearing law enforcement that produced so much of the tension now evident on the streets. St. Louis has long been one of the nation’s most segregated metropolitan areas, and there remains a high wall between black residents – who overwhelmingly have lower incomes – and the white power structure that dominates City Councils and police departments like the ones in Ferguson.

Hmm, that’s interesting, because, at least at the county level (St. Louis county), the area votes heavily Democrat, like most urban areas. The county went 56% for Obama, and I’m sure if we had city data, we’d see a much higher Democrat support level.

As black families moved into Ferguson, the whites fled. In 1980, the town was 85 percent white and 14 percent black; by 2010, it was 29 percent white and 69 percent black. But blacks did not gain political power as their numbers grew. The mayor and the police chief are white, as are five of the six City Council members. The school board consists of six white members and one Hispanic. As Mr. Gordon explains, many black residents, lacking the wealth to buy property, move from apartment to apartment and have not put down political roots.

This is amusing when it comes from the NYTEB, since they feature just one Black on the board. Is that racism? Does the Times intentionally block Blacks from being on the Board? Are whites in Ferguson intentionally blocking Blacks from serving in government? Or, is that simply the things shake out, for both the EB and the Ferguson city council? That there’s nothing intentionally about it?

BTW, perhaps the EB could have mentioned that Dwayne T. James, one of the council members, is Black. The Ferguson city council has better Black diversity than the NYTEB.

The disparity is most evident in the Ferguson Police Department, of which only three of 53 officers are black. The largely white force stops black residents far out of proportion to their population, according to statistics kept by the state attorney general. Blacks account for 86 percent of the traffic stops in the city, and 93 percent of the arrests after those stops. Similar problems exist around St. Louis County, where earlier this year the state chapter of the N.A.A.C.P. filed a federal civil rights complaint alleging widespread racial profiling by police departments.

As the EB pointed out, Blacks represent 69% of the population. Of course they are going to be stopped more. Strange, though, that there would be so much “racism” in a heavily Democrat area, wouldn’t you say?

What is not in dispute is the sense of permanent grievance held by many residents and shared in segregated urban areas around the country. Though nothing excuses violence and looting, it is clear that local governments have not dispensed justice equally. The death of Mr. Brown is “heartbreaking,” as President Obama said Tuesday, but it is also a reminder of a toxic racial legacy that still infects cities and suburbs across America.

Interesting. First off, they excuse the violence in Ferguson the past few days and nights as “permanent grievance” before saying “nothing excuses”. Again, in a heavily Democrat voting area. Second, this means that there is a “toxic racial legacy” in urban areas, which tend to vote overwhelmingly Democrat. Democrats, heal thyselves before preaching. Instead of throwing out accusations, the Times could offer solutions.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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