President to Ferguson protestors: 'Stay on course'
It turns out that Barack Obama met with Ferguson protestors the day after Election Day. Per a New York Times article published on Sunday:
Montague Simmons, a leader of the Organization for Black Struggle, said there was a growing circle of demonstrators with “a clear message about what we are about and what kind of behavior we are looking for.” …leaders here acknowledge that there are disagreements about what form of response is fitting and whether militant acts might spill over into violence.
“There’s a lot of anger out there,” Mr. Simmons said. “There’s nothing we can do to control that.” (snip)
…About 50 organizations, including Mr. Simmons’s, have joined forces in a “Don’t Shoot Coalition,” and the level of planning is intense.
And they have proposed 19 “rules of engagement” with law enforcement authorities, including tolerance for “more minor lawbreaking” (like thrown water bottles) and 48 hours’ notice for the protesters before a grand jury decision comes in. Some of the rules have been agreed to during talks with law enforcement authorities, leaders said, but others have been rejected.
At the meeting here, Derek Laney, an organizer for a group called Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, drew a fine line on the question of how far to go. He said the protesters wanted to be peaceful, but they also wanted to rouse the community.
“We’re also committed to having a very determined and a very — I’m choosing my words carefully — yes, militant,” Mr. Laney said, “a militant nonviolent direct action.”
… “we also definitely want everyone to know we’re committed to nonviolence. We want to disrupt. We want to make the comfortable uncomfortable.” (snip)
Some of the national leaders met with President Obama on Nov. 5 for a gathering that included a conversation about Ferguson.
According to the Rev. Al Sharpton, who has appeared frequently in St. Louis with the Brown family and delivered a speech at Mr. Brown’s funeral, Mr. Obama “was concerned about Ferguson staying on course in terms of pursuing what it was that he knew we were advocating. He said he hopes that we’re doing all we can to keep peace.”
How predictable that the president has seen fit to insert his misguided mitts into issues not fitting for the office of the presidency (such as the Henry Louis Gates affair) while being MIA for months when it comes to taking a stand against lawlessness raging in Ferguson.
None of this comes as a surprise, since Obama has a bone to pick with white America (and conservative blacks for that matter). He seems to thrive on issues that involve real or imagined unidirectional racial animosity. If he can mangle a scenario to force-fit that whites-are-evil-and-blacks-are-innocent-victims narrative, he’ll do so. And if his words have negative consequences, so be it. Perhaps even all the better.
And so Obama saw fit to meet with Ferguson protestors to let them know he hopes they will stay on course while throwing in a gratuitous expression of hope that they can keep the peace.
To be fair, this is a secondhand report from Al Sharpton, so one must take it for what it’s worth. But assuming it’s an accurate depiction of Obama’s words, I find it telling that Obama seems invested in protestors staying “on course.” At best, it’s an ambiguous remark. In light of the violence that has unfolded in Ferguson since Michael Brown was shot (or perhaps I should say since Officer Wilson defended himself, should that prove true), it seems that a leader would want to make remarks that were unambiguous and certainly not say something that could be interpreted as support for lawless behavior.
In addition, there is Sharpton’s report that Obama said he hopes the protestors can keep the peace. If true, it’s about as weak a statement as the president of the United States could make in light of the situation. He could have made a strong and unequivocal statement that the law must be obeyed and that violence would not be tolerated.
But he didn’t. Because he is Barack Obama.
And then there is the rest of it. The protestors making demands (hey, come on, what’s a few water bottles thrown at someone’s head?) and some announcing they want to be militantly nonviolent so others are made to feel uncomfortable. Whatever that may be.
I suppose we will find out soon enough.
Hat tip: Gateway Pundit