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Ferguson Protests: Reactions and Reasons

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

The Ferguson, Missouri Grand Jury released their verdict on the Michael Brown case last week, and determined that there was no probable cause for indicting police officer Darren Wilson for any crime against the deceased youth. Video recording of Brown’ robbing a convenience store released after the shooting and the initial rash of violent protests, confirmed that Brown was anything but “The Gentle Giant” which race-baiting, mythologizing sympathizers wished to portray.


Nevertheless, just as black outrage broke out after the “Not Guilty” verdict for Florida resident and Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman following the death of Trayvon Martin, so too unrest has unfolded all over the country because of the death of Michael Brown. The more violent reaction follows from the facts that a police officer killed Brown, and a grand jury declined to indict him. Critics, whether committing crimes on the streets or commenting in the media, are operating from the deeper assumption that African-Americans get no justice from local law enforcement, and even get away with murder.

Let’s reconsider the facts of the case before evaluating the propriety of these reactions.

A grand jury took a serious, non-partisan look at the case. They concluded that officer Darren Wilson did nothing wrong. Furthermore, autopsy reports confirm that Michael Brown was not holding his hands in the air, but had attacked the police officer. Finally, contrary to the ongoing media myth of Michael Brown “Gentle Giant,” he was caught on camera robbing a convenience store. According to our Rule of Law, a jury makes the final determination, not wild protesting on the public square.

Therefore, on the facts and consequences of the case alone, the outcries of “No Justice, No Peace” are unjustified. Yet, it is a free country, and individuals are entitled to share their opinion.


They are not entitled, however, to blare their grievance at the expense of other people’s lives or livelihood. Destroying property, vandalizing businesses, including institutions owned by minorities, not only discredits any outrage about the verdict, but exposes that societal breakdown which forced a peace officer to fire at a marauding youth. The uprising of ethnic violence in our inner cities, from Providence to Los Angeles, are not a sudden shock, as much as a reawakening of the same destructive impulses fomented by Big Government liberalism.

Where did these latent outpourings of violence come from? The notion that the United States is racist society suppressing equality of opportunity does not hold true in the light of the unprecedented number of elected officials of color in local, state, and federal office.

The scenes of looting and riots in Ferguson gave me a better answer, as they reminded me of President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s “Great Society” crumbling into dishevel shambles in the 1960s. His progressive vision of government-sponsored racial harmony undermined the true underpinnings of a thriving community: strong families and American values, where God-given rights trump government enacted moralizing. Young men without stable parents become unstable, unruly adults. Liberal pandering to the basic goodness of man merely incites man’s fraught and flawed nature to burst forth with untrammeled vigor.


Another executive during mid-1960s, California Governor Ronald Reagan, condemned the illegal, disruptive protests on University of California campuses. “No one is allowed to break the law in the name of social protests,” Reagan lectured the UC Regents. “You as adults ought to know better.”

Johnson did not understand this principle, and President Obama certainly hasn’t, either. Commenting on the Grand Jury’s decision, Obama noted the following:

"First and foremost, we are a nation built on the rule of law. And so we need to accept that this decision was the grand jury’s to make."

The rule of law is a strange phrase in the President’s mouth, as he has ignored his own laws as well as long-standing immigration statutes:

"I also appeal to the law enforcement officials in Ferguson and the region to show care and restraint in managing peaceful protests that may occur."

The President pleaded for restraint, from protestors and police. However, the police did not break the law, and the protests have been anything but peaceful. The President’s chronic equivocation has augmented the moral lapses on display in Ferguson and elsewhere. There is no immediate equality in law enforcement: someone breaks the law, another person holds that individual accountable. There can be no respecter of persons in determining guilt or innocence.

President Obama’s legacy of fomenting racial prejudice burns brightly today, outshining his Democratic Convention claims that there is no Red or Blue America. His we-vs-they pandering and animosity, and the ongoing societal costs of welfarism, stagnant underemployment, and impoverished public schooling have engendered the same moral chaos of the Johnson era. “Hope and Change” has devolved into the Same-ol’ Same-ol’ self-righteousness of ethnic arrogance, bitterness, and unparalleled bigotry.


Big government fomented big problems in 1960s America, with race riots burning up major cities all over the country. In 2014, another liberal President, who no regard of the Constitution and simple economics, enamored with a vision of a perfected people through government intervention, can only watch and enable the civil unrest.

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