Naturally, President Obama just had to say something following the decision of the grand jury not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown.
Obama has no credibility when it comes to talking about law enforcement. He permanently lost any credibility he might have had the moment he declared the Cambridge Police Department had “acted stupidly” in the arrest of his friend “Skip” Gates, Jr. a few years back despite admitting he did not have the all the facts before him.
Where it concerns the death of Michael Brown, let’s remember that Obama made a point of mentioning Ferguson in his speech before the UN General Assembly two months ago. “In a summer marked by instability in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, I know the world also took the notice of the small American city of Ferguson, Missouri – where a young man was killed, and a community was divided.” Sorry, this unfortunate incident does not rise to the level of Russians gathering on the Ukrainian border much less the beheading of American journalists in Syria. As for a community divided, this was done by way of sensationalism and by forces wishing to profit from unrest. This means you Al Sharpton. The same Al Sharpton whom President Obama seeks counsel on the appointment of cabinet officials.
It is interesting how Obama never saw fit to mention to the UN General Assembly this young man had robbed a store a short time before his death. Perhaps this young man would still be alive had he obeyed Officer Wilson’s commands. Perhaps this young man would still be alive had he not physically accosted Officer Wilson. It is easy for us to pillory the police when we know damn well we’ll never be faced with such a situation. It doesn’t mean the police are above the law. But it does mean there are circumstances where they must use force, even deadly force.
Obama spoke of the mistrust between police departments and racial minority communities and said that “communities of color aren’t just making these problems up”. A classic straw man argument. No one is arguing that there aren’t instances of genuine mistrust between these communities and the authorities. But how does that apply to this incident in Ferguson? Who can say that Officer Wilson would not have reacted the same way had Michael Brown been white? Why do the media harp on the fact that nine of the twelve grand jurors were white? By doing so, the media is judging those nine white jurors by their color of their skin, not the content of their character.
It’s true that Obama didn’t specifically second guess the decision of the grand jury, but by making race the center of his remarks there is a clear insinuation that Officer Wilson’s conduct, the conduct of the St. Louis County prosecutor and that of the grand jury in this matter is motivated by race. In the long run, such remark are not helpful.
Well, at least we can be grateful that Obama didn’t say that Michael Brown reminded him of the son he never had.