Beyond Race-baiting in Ferguson

Following events in Ferguson, Missouri, I’ve been wondering: Where are the voices of black leaders who are not race baiters? Most recently, I found three such voices.

Larry Elder was spot on as a member of a CNN panel. The clip is short (1.5 minutes) and well worth a listen. Elder who packs a lot into that short span of time ended with this:

I hear people talk about how the Ferguson Police Department does not represent the city. So what? Are you saying that because the city has a certain racial composition you therefore can’t represent the people? If that’s the argument, the logical extension is Obama should never be president because black people are just thirteen percent of the country. That’s ridiculous...

Jason Riley was part of a panel on Fox News Special Report. He was brilliant. In just three and a half minutes, he cut to the core of multiple key issues. Among other things, Riley tore into Obama’s statement that black criminality stems from poverty and a racist criminal justice system. Riley called this “nonsense” and “a dodge” that avoids addressing the root causes of criminal behavior in the black community. He also shredded the race hustler’s narrative that black men live in fear of being shot by the police, noting the risk is not getting shot by a police officer.

The real difficulty is not getting shot by other black people if you are a young black man in these neighborhoods…Cops are not the problem. Cops are not producing these black bodies in the morgues every week-end in Chicago, New York and Detroit and so forth.

Riley was outstanding and I would encourage you to listen to everything he had to say. He covered a lot of ground in a short span of time and made very single word count.

Dr. Ben Carson was on Fox News and also addressed a number of issues. During the nearly seven minute clip, he asserted that the unrest was being fueled by people from outside the community. But in the next breath he suggested Al Sharpton ask those who are rioting and looting: What exactly is it that you want? What is the message that you’re trying to get across? We’re willing to listen, just tell us what it is.

I thought this was a misguided idea. First of all, you don’t legitimize people behaving badly. You don’t give them the bull horn. You don’t offer them a platform upon which to spew nonsense (and they will spew nonsense). In addition, the suggestion made no sense in light of Carson’s statement that he believed the violence was being instigated by outsiders. If they are outsiders, why invite seek them out to ask them anything

Carson also spoke about crime in cities like Detroit, Chicago, and Washington DC, which skew the United States crime ranking such that when you include these cities, we rank in the top three countries in the world for murder. When you remove those cities we rank in the bottom four.

He expressed hope that what’s going on in Ferguson will be used for good, that it will open up a dialogue about underlying problems, and that we can find solutions.

I wish I could share his optimism.

Following events in Ferguson, Missouri, I’ve been wondering: Where are the voices of black leaders who are not race baiters? Most recently, I found three such voices.

Larry Elder was spot on as a member of a CNN panel. The clip is short (1.5 minutes) and well worth a listen. Elder who packs a lot into that short span of time ended with this:

I hear people talk about how the Ferguson Police Department does not represent the city. So what? Are you saying that because the city has a certain racial composition you therefore can’t represent the people? If that’s the argument, the logical extension is Obama should never be president because black people are just thirteen percent of the country. That’s ridiculous...

Jason Riley was part of a panel on Fox News Special Report. He was brilliant. In just three and a half minutes, he cut to the core of multiple key issues. Among other things, Riley tore into Obama’s statement that black criminality stems from poverty and a racist criminal justice system. Riley called this “nonsense” and “a dodge” that avoids addressing the root causes of criminal behavior in the black community. He also shredded the race hustler’s narrative that black men live in fear of being shot by the police, noting the risk is not getting shot by a police officer.

The real difficulty is not getting shot by other black people if you are a young black man in these neighborhoods…Cops are not the problem. Cops are not producing these black bodies in the morgues every week-end in Chicago, New York and Detroit and so forth.

Riley was outstanding and I would encourage you to listen to everything he had to say. He covered a lot of ground in a short span of time and made very single word count.

Dr. Ben Carson was on Fox News and also addressed a number of issues. During the nearly seven minute clip, he asserted that the unrest was being fueled by people from outside the community. But in the next breath he suggested Al Sharpton ask those who are rioting and looting: What exactly is it that you want? What is the message that you’re trying to get across? We’re willing to listen, just tell us what it is.

I thought this was a misguided idea. First of all, you don’t legitimize people behaving badly. You don’t give them the bull horn. You don’t offer them a platform upon which to spew nonsense (and they will spew nonsense). In addition, the suggestion made no sense in light of Carson’s statement that he believed the violence was being instigated by outsiders. If they are outsiders, why invite seek them out to ask them anything

Carson also spoke about crime in cities like Detroit, Chicago, and Washington DC, which skew the United States crime ranking such that when you include these cities, we rank in the top three countries in the world for murder. When you remove those cities we rank in the bottom four.

He expressed hope that what’s going on in Ferguson will be used for good, that it will open up a dialogue about underlying problems, and that we can find solutions.

I wish I could share his optimism.

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