Moderate Moment | Moderate Moms

Are We Ever Going to Live Together?

August 20, 2014  |  Share

It isn’t just tempers heating up around the police involved shooting in Ferguson, the thermostat is heading north, too. We are now facing days on end of near 100 degree weather. These could be the hottest days this Summer.

The headline today is that Attorney General Eric Holder is in Ferguso to confer with local officials about the federal investigation into the shooting death of Michael Brown.

I like to listen to as varied a spectrum of news outlets as possible when digesting the news and today, I tuned in Rush. I think it is critical to listen to as many voices as possible when trying to understand the polarization affecting this country right now.

It was a good day to do so. Rush kept questioning why CNN interviewed director Spike Lee last night. Well, if you haven’t seen the movie, “Do the Right Thing,” rent it. The key line in that movie, after a hot summer day filled with racial tension ends in violence, is “Are we ever going to live together?” What a fitting line for this situation.

I guess I am naive but I truly believe it’s what most people want. And that there is more good than bad. And more people interested in peace than violence.  I know I am naive because I blogged a few years ago that, having elected our first African American President, we had proven that we had moved beyond race. Finally, we could be that rising tide that lifts all boats. In other words, we could focus on that entrepreneurial spirit that defines this country. Having said that, we need to acknowledge religious plurality and tolerance were also values this country was founded on.

I went up to Ferguson the other day and what I saw was a middle class community with working class areas, pockets of lower income areas, kids in racially mixed groups who looked like kids in any other middle class community on a hot Summer day and a coffee shop filled with Moms at mid-day.

But, I am seeing something else every night on television and social media. They’re looters with covered faces who don’t want to be identified but have somehow attached themselves to a protest that started out over a police department’s reluctance to identify the officer accused of shooting Michael Brown. What? You can’t have it both ways. Remember the issue was transparency, right? Show your faces, looters and molotov cocktail throwers unless that isn’t why you’re there.

Today, the faces calling for the County Prosecutor to be removed from the case are those of African-Americans like the County Executive, a State Senator and a United States Congressman. They question whether McCulloch can be objective given that his own father, a police officer, was killed by an African-American suspect while responding to a call when McCulloch was just 12 years old. McCulloch said he isn’t stepping down but if Nixon doesn’t decide soon whether to appoint a Special Prosecutor, it could hurt the case.

McCulloch has also said repeatedly that guilt or innocence isn’t decided by him. A grand jury will decide if there is enough evidence to bring charges and a jury will decide from there.

The quote I was most relieved to hear came from FBI Director James Comey who said, while announcing there are 40 field agents looking for witnesses in Ferguson, “We don’t give a rip about the politics.” That’s good. It means someone is focussed solely on the facts in this case.

 


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