Arnold Ahlert: Obama and the Roots of the Ferguson Rage

And so the whirlwind, cultivated by Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Al Sharpton, the mainstream media and the army of thugs they enabled, is now being reaped. As the result of a St. Louis County grand jury refusing to indict officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown, Ferguson, MO has become Ground Zero, in what irresponsible Missouri State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadali referred to on MSNBC as “St. Louis’s race war.”

One of the race war’s architects pleaded for calm shortly after the decision was announced. Yet even as Obama spoke about that “need for calm” and that there was “no excuse for violence,” he insisted, “We have to try to understand” the anger of those who demanded nothing less than a murder charge absent an ounce of evidence as an “understandable reaction” from people who believe “the law is being applied in a discriminatory fashion.”

Where did those people get that belief? Leave it to Obama to omit that critical information — the same President Obama who met with protest leaders and Sharpton on Nov. 5 at the White House. It was at that unscheduled meeting the president was ostensibly “concerned about Ferguson staying on course in terms of pursuing what it was that he knew we were advocating,” according to Sharpton. “He said he hopes that we’re doing all we can to keep peace.”

One is left to marvel at one of two realities. Either we have a president so utterly naive he believes a hoax-perpetratingriot-inciting Al Sharpton, who denigrated the grand jury process, pre-organized protest rallies in 25 American cities, and uses his MSNBC platform to fire up racial unrest, is a man of peace. Or the president, who once urged his Latino followers to “punish our enemies,” remains as wedded to the same racial “us against them” mentality as America’s foremost racial arsonist. Is it really possible to believe the former?

Despite Obama’s superficial condemnations of violence, at least 25 businesses were set ablaze, many of which are total losses—and most of which were minority owned.  Ten cars were burned at a dealership, and a “lot of gunfire,” as Ferguson Asst. Fire Chief Steve Fair put it, made maintaining control of the streets highly problematic, if not impossible. Reporters were assaulted, the store Michael Brown robbed prior to his confrontation with Wilson was looted, and at least 61 people have been arrested. “What I’ve seen tonight is probably much worse than the worst night we ever had in August, and that’s truly unfortunate,” said St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar Monday at a 1:30 a.m press conference. Belmar further noted that there was “nothing left” along West Florissant between Solway Avenue and Chambers Road, that he heard at least 150 gun shots, and that he was surprised he and Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, who “got lit up,” as they drove through the area, weren’t hit by that gunfire.

“We talked about peaceful protest, and that did not happen tonight,” Johnson said. “We definitely have done something here that’s going to impact our community for a long time…that’s not how we create change.”

Sharpton continued to stir the pot, criticizing Democratic Prosecutor Bob McCulloch’s handling of the case, and demanding to know who voted for or against indicting Wilson, even though the law prohibits that information from being released. Sharpton’s motives are transparent. The grand jury was comprised of nine white and three black jurors, seven of whom were men, and five of whom were women. Agreement by nine of 12 jurors was necessary to file criminal charges, and there is no doubt Sharpton was attempting to exacerbate the racial divide with the implication that race was the over-riding, if not sole, factor in the decision.

The grand jury met 25 times over the course of three months and heard testimony from 60 witnesses. They contemplated charges ranging from first-degree murder to involuntary manslaughter, and the bar for indictment was “probable cause,” not the far more onerous standard of determining “beyond a reasonable doubt” whether a crime had been committed. A plethora of evidence from the proceedings was released, demonstrating how the jury came to the conclusions it did. It included testimony from Wilson himself, physical evidence, and other eyewitness testimony, including some from black Americans who corroborated Wilson’s version of events. ”They determined that no probable cause exists to file any charge against Officer Wilson, and returned a ‘No True Bill’ on each of the five indictments,” explained McCulloch.

None of it mattered to the mob—or seemingly the media either. McCulloch faced a hostile press during his post-announcement interview, one that has characterized that interview as “bizarre,” no doubt in response to his contention the media’s “insatiable appetite for something, for anything to talk about, following closely behind with the non-stop rumors on social media,” contributed to the firestorm surrounding this case.

That would be the same media that initially lionized Brown’s friend, Dorian Johnson, whose thoroughly debunked eyewitness testimony about Brown being shot in the back while holding his hands up in surrender, epitomized the sensationalism that ignited the national firestorm. Johnson’s lie propelled much of the violence and unrest that followed, initiating the “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” meme that remains prevalent to this day. It was the same media that perpetrated the “gentle giant” meme to describe the 6’4’’ nearly 300-pound Brown, only to see it undone by his participation in a strong-arm robbery of a much smaller store owner just prior to his confrontation with Wilson. It was the media who leaked information during the grand jury proceedings, drawing a rebuke from an “exasperated” Holder, despite the reality that MSNBC, The New York Times and the Daily Caller all cited the administration and the Justice Department itself as sources of those leaks. That would be the same Eric Holder who ginned up mistrust of the police when he spoke to 50 community leaders, not just as Attorney General of the United States, but “as a black man” who remembers how “angry” he was when police stopped him for speeding on the New Jersey Turnpike.

That would also be the same Eric Holder, who like his efforts in the Trayvon Martin case, initiated two separate DOJ investigations, one of potential civil rights violations allegedly committed by Wilson, and the other regarding practices of the Ferguson police force. “While the grand jury proceeding in St. Louis County has concluded, the Justice Department’s investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown remains ongoing,” he said. “In addition, the Department continues to investigate allegations of unconstitutional policing patterns or practices by the Ferguson Police Department.”

As for social media, the Twitterverse is currently inundated with calls for the murder of Officer Wilson.

Thus it is unsurprising the protests have spread beyond Ferguson. In Oakland, CA, hundreds of protesters bearing signs that read “The People Say Guilty!” and “Missouri, Palestine, Justice Now!” (an illuminating linkage to say the least) blocked a major highway and other streets, starting fires, breaking the window of a bank, and spray painting a police cruiser with graffiti. In New York City, three bridges were blocked, there were marchers in Times Square and the Police Commissioner had fake blood thrown at him. A total of 90 cities across the nation were besieged by protesters who were seemingly united by a trio of themes: Michael Brown was innocent, Darren Wilson was guilty, and police departments deliberately and disproportionately target black America.

And once again, a mainstream media still interested in fanning the racialist flames is leading the way. The same CNN that ripped the heavy police presence in Ferguson last August is the CNN whose morning co-anchor Michaela Pereira spoke about the community’s “frustration the police didn’t do more to protect those businesses.” Vox columnist Ezra Klein, who apparently considers himself more knowledgable than the grand jury, penned a column whose title says it all: “Officer Darren Wilson’s story is unbelievable. Literally.” Why? “None of this fits with what we know of Michael Brown,” Klein insists, even as he admits the encounter with Wilson happened shortly after the aforementioned robbery. pushed the envelope to the max, declaring the jury’s decision “reaffirmed what we already knew: America is a white supremacist state.”

Even Brown’s immediate family, who initially expressed “profound disappointment with the decision, but asked that the protests “be kept peaceful,” had their wishes undermined by stepfather Louis Head. Shortly after the decision was reached, he urged the crowd 10 times to “burn this bitch down.”

Those four words aptly describe the agenda of those with a vested interest in keeping Americans divided, angry and completely convinced the nation is a cesspool of racism where law enforcement must be considered the “enemy.” A nation where there are no longer irrefutable facts backed by witnesses and evidence, but a nation where reason and truth can only be determined after the filter of race is applied. One where the narrative must be served, even when that narrative assumes the characteristics of a lynch mob calling for the death of a police officer.

It is a narrative that dismisses the reality of a disproportionate amount of homicides and other crimes committed by black Americans (overwhelmingly against other black Americans) relative to their population, even as it has long glorified the thug culture that engenders most of it. It is the narrative that demands police forces who “reflect the racial demography of the community,” even as many black Americans have been “taught from the time that you could speak, from the time that you could understand speech, that police are to be feared and that they’re part of an occupying force that is there to circumvent the democratic processes and to strip you of your rights,” according to Phillip Atiba Goff, co-founder and president of the Center for Policing Equity at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Saddest of all, it is the narrative supported by a president whose track record extends from his past with Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his racist rantings and assertions the Cambridge police “acted stupidly” when they arrested Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., to his efforts to exacerbate racial discord during and after the Trayvon Martin saga. He is joined by an Attorney General who believes Americans are a “nation of cowards” when it comes to discussing race, one who insists voter ID is tantamount to “black disenfranchisement,” and continues to run the most racially polarized DOJ in recent history.

Even worse, both men have unduly elevated the status of race huckster Al Sharpton, showing up at National Action Network (NAN) galas to sing his praises. That odious reality is tantamount to a Republican president showing up at a meeting of the European-American Unity and Rights Organization and singing the praises of its white supremacist founder, David Duke. The fact that such as comparison is never made obscures the depths of the racial polarization embraced by the nations’s top two law enforcement officials. It is both an ongoing tragedy and a national disgrace that will only be assuaged when Sharpton and every other person who profits from the misery of millions is ejected from the national stage.

Until then, America will seethe. Well-meaning Americans on both sides of the color line will tread warily, remaining ultimately distrustful of each other, lest they be branded sellouts to “the cause.” The mob and its media enablers will continue to foment violence, looting, death and destruction, based largely on the notion that such mayhem is a “reasonable” price to be extracted from an irredeemably racist nation in need of “fundamental transformation.” One family will mourn for a son who could not resist the siren song of thug culture, while another family will continue to live in terror perhaps forever, or at least until the mob finds another bogeyman at whom it can channel its orchestrated blood-lust. The thin blue line that separates America from the anarchists will be stretched to its limits.

And the promise of a post-racial society that once propelled this president into the White House now more closely resembles the division and racialist bean-counting that epitomizes the community organizer mindset. In short, hope and change is going up in flames in Ferguson, MO.