Fifty years after the Civil Rights movement and six years into the “post-racial” Obama presidency, we have Ferguson. A TOO theme is that politics in the US and other Western countries is getting steadily more racialized as Whites and non-Whites gravitate to separate political parties with vastly divergent interests and attitudes. Ferguson will accelerate this process. Apart from those Whites who make a living in the bastions of liberal power in the media and academic world (e.g., this incredible piece in Salon [or this one by a non-White professor who complains that the verdict shows that “White supremacy lives on” from her perch at bucolic Hampshire College] or this predictable reaction from a local Black politician), the great majority of Whites will see this as a justified shooting in which an out-of-control, enraged, and very physically imposing Black thug attacked a White police officer.
That’s what the evidence pointed to, and St. Louis prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch made it clear that some of the testimony implicating Officer Wilson was wildly at odds with the facts of the case. To put it charitably, these people saw what they wanted to see, and the Black underclass and the Black activists went all in with that narrative. Obama’s statement that the anger was “understandable” is outrageous since the anger flies in the face of the evidence. And even if you buy the idea that what happened in the past at least makes the reaction understandable, it certainly doesn’t justify an indictment, much less the shooting, burning and looting.