Ever since white police officer Darren Wilson shot unarmed black teenager Michael Brown to death in Ferguson, Mo., in August mainstream media have been full of “solidarity with Ferguson” stories and photos. But what does that nebulous slogan really mean? It depends who you talk or listen to.
Does “solidarity with Ferguson” mean most Americans condone convenience store robberies or looting in the name of social justice? Does it mean it’s OK to punch police officers in the face and reach for their guns? Or does it mean those who chant this slogan sympathize with law enforcement and the hapless victims of random violence and looting? I think I know the answers to my questions; let me explain.
The debate over the meaning of “solidarity with Ferguson” continued unabated last Sunday when five members of the St. Louis Rams came out of the stadium tunnel in a “hands-up, don’t shoot” pose that was supposed to show sympathy for 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was shot by Officer Wilson. The only problem with that narrative was it didn’t fit the facts of the case as revealed by an exhaustive grand jury investigation of the incident.
The liberal media narrative is Brown, a 300-pound “gentle giant,” had his hands up when a racist white cop shot him because he was black. But after hearing testimony from several eyewitnesses to the shooting, most of them black, the impartial grand jury determined there wasn’t enough evidence to indict Officer Wilson for manslaughter or murder, as demanded by the unruly mobs who took to the streets of Ferguson and other cities after the grand jury decision was announced. The angry mobs preferred their “facts” instead of the real facts of the case.
Of course the No. 1 race-baiter in the country, the Rev. Al Sharpton, was on hand to whip Ferguson demonstrators into a frenzied mob, and our “progressive” Attorney General, Eric Holder, promised a federal investigation into whether Officer Wilson violated young Mr. Brown’s civil rights.
So the Feds are in Ferguson to “help” with race relations. Good luck with that.
Jarrett Bell, an African-American USA Today journalist, fanned the flames of racial unrest last week by praising the five St. Louis Rams who came out of the tunnel with their hands up.
“Their gesture served as a powerful symbol,” Bell wrote. “They should be applauded, not condemned, for . . . demonstrating a measure of social consciousness.” Another USA Today journalist, Yamiche Alcindor, wrote the Ferguson violence was “pain on display” and quoted a young man who told her he “felt good” as he threw rocks at the police.
But another prominent African-American, NBA basketball legend Charles Barkley, called the Ferguson looters “scumbags” and said “the true story came out from the grand jury testimony,” noting several black witnesses confirmed Officer Wilson’s version of the story. He added “there’s no excuse for people to be out there burning down businesses (and) burning police cars.”
I really admire Barkley because he always speaks his mind and refuses to follow alleged black leaders like Sharpton, who blames white folks for anything and everything.
Meanwhile, nationally syndicated conservative columnist Michelle Malkin spoke for many of us when she blamed “black radical grievance-mongers” for the Ferguson violence and called on President Obama to support the police and the rule of law.
He could also address the issue of black-on-black violence and the need for better parenting in the black community. Obama and his wife Michelle are good family role models and should speak out more often on parenting issues.
Guy W. Farmer is the Appeal’s senior political columnist.