Michelle Obama and the Why of Ferguson, Missouri

It’s difficult to imagine a sadder state of affairs than political figures suggesting that any constituent group must adhere to a predetermined ideology without question, preaching that the flock should unquestionably follow a political party’s whims in lockstep.  We all know such a thing be an anathema among free-thinking people, don’t we? 

This is a trait of past civilizations that we often ridicule and lament, having the benefit of hindsight and the blessings of Western concepts of morality.  How, indeed, did Germans fall under the Nazi spell?  When, exactly, did the Khmer Rouge accept their roles as enforcers of party-line groupthink to the extent that they would murder their own countrymen for a lack of faith in the Communist regime?  At what moment did Mao’s subjects sacrifice their own right to human choice such that millions perished under the yoke of communalist agricultural revolution called the “Great Leap Forward?”

These are all enduring questions in our effort to dissect political dysfunction and the nature of humankind.  But I would offer this: we need not look at history.  Look at our current First Lady to see such methods of indoctrination at work.

Before this month’s election, Michelle Obama beseeched an audience to vote along party lines, “no matter who’s on the ballot.” “It’s not about that person on the ballot,” she said.  “It’s about you, and for most of the people we are talking to, a Democratic ticket is the clear ticket that we should be voting on regardless of who said what or did this, that shouldn’t even come into the equation.”

As the television audience to whom she directed these comments is primarily composed of blacks, we can safely infer that she meant blacks should think and act of one mind, and march to the polls and vote Democrat at her behest.  Or at the very least, the color of their skin alone should compel them to do so.  That is a suggestion that should be pretty ridiculous if you consider in most other contexts.

Imagine that I were to suggest that all other Anglo-Hispanic Americans, be they from California, Maine, or anywhere in that broad space between, are singularly tied to my personal experience in such a way that despite having shared little or no common experience with me beyond our ethnic and racial background, we are bound by a singular expression of thought and action.  Then imagine that I tell you that you should vote Republican, because anyone in that racial category should always vote for Republicans at all costs, regardless of which politician is on the ballot, irrespective of the party’s track record, and oblivious to what Republican politicians have expressed to be the intended consequence of their having a future mandate.

If you listened to me and unthinkingly voted Republican on the weight of my plea, you wouldn’t be acting on your own volition.  You would be acting in accordance to my will, because you have surrendered your right to think for yourself and have put your faith in a political machine.

In a nutshell, that is how individualism dies, and collectivist ambition prevails -- through the invention and exploitation of identity groups which elites insist must define one’s thoughts and expression.  One’s supposed inclusion with this preset identity group must necessarily forbid any individual expression to the contrary -- a message usually delivered by charismatic mediums. 

Such are the sly seductions which have infected our culture in recent decades, and these leftist seductions -- not institutional white racism -- are the culprit that keeps Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of a world where men are judged “by the content of their character” and not by the “color of their skin” just out of reach.  Democrats outwardly claim to desire Dr. King’s post-racial world, yet they deny it an existence and smother his dream by relentlessly clinging to racial identities and fomenting racial animus.  They disseminate theories about a society which is motivated by strangling black ambition and success, even as a black man and a black woman hold the two highest-of-high profile positions within that very society.  Some among Michelle’s target audience have the good sense to recognize the hypocrisy in Democrats sermonizing about the curse of poverty among black demographics from their lavish pulpit.  But tragically, most just take Michelle Obama’s plea to heart, and focus on the supposed microcosms of institutional racism against blacks -- like black people are supposed to do, as I’m sure Michelle would argue. 

And like marionettes on strings, the rabid flock, influenced by the attack-politics of Democrats and media race-hustlers, has descended upon Ferguson, Missouri, undoubtedly driven at some level by delusions of grandeur about it being this generation’s Selma, Alabama.   Some are there to profit and/or grow the brand (Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, the deceased Michael Brown’s family, et al), while some are there to simply break things, steal stuff, and hurt people, disguising their selfish aggression and desire for attention as festering anger about racism, or something like that.  And undeterred by the onslaught of released evidence which suggests that Michael Brown’s death at the hands of Darren Wilson was not a simple matter of a teen with his hands up gunned down by a murderous officer as the popular narrative suggests, and despite the results of a grand jury investigation which angry black mobs will likely find disagreeable in any event, Democrats and the media will report the profiteering, arson, thievery, and violence that will ensue in Ferguson as if it has anything to do at all with Darren Wilson and Michael Brown, and nothing to do with the incendiary and dangerous rhetoric that Democrats have delivered leading up to and surrounding the incident which brought all of it about.

Yes, Ferguson is indeed a microcosm of a deeply rooted societal disease.  But it’s certainly not white racism.

William Sullivan blogs at Political Palaver and can be followed on Twitter.