Report on Ferguson violence a wish list for social justice warriors

Did you know that one of the causes of violence in Ferguson, MO after the shooting of Michael Brown was that the state hadn't expanded its Medicaid program under Obamacare? Or the idea that the minimum wage isn't $15 an hour contributed to the violence?

The report on Ferguson generated by 15 people picked by Governor Jay Nixon is about what you'd expect from a bunch of social justice warriors. Everyone else and everything else is at fault - except the rioting criminals.

In truth, there are some legitimate points of friction between the police department/justice system and the black community. But not building housing for the poor in wealthy neighborhoods isn't one of them.

Washington Post:

The report, commissioned last fall by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to dissect to roots of Ferguson's unrest, is most compelling, though, for all the subjects in its crosshairs that seemingly have little to do with criminal justice. The commission also calls for the state of Missouri to expand Medicaid coverage (Missouri is one of 19 states that have refused to do so under the Affordable Care Act). It calls for a $15 minimum wage (the current floor in Missouri is $7.65 an hour).

It calls for a cap on the interest predatory payday lenders demand of the poor, and an end to childhood hunger. Also: smarter transportation investments, a commitment to early childhood education, and disciplinary reform in elementary schools. It even demands "inclusionary zoning" policies that would ensure more low-income housing gets built in neighborhoods with good schools and opportunity.

The report, nearly 200 pages long, fingers every interlocking policy problem — in education, housing, transportation, the courts, employment, law enforcement, public health — implicated in the racial inequality at the heart of Ferguson's unrest. Want to stabilize families in poverty? Rein in unregulated payday lenders. Want to enable a poor parent to get the job that will pay off the parking ticket that will keep her out of jail? Expand Medicaid so a single mom living on $10,000 a year can actually qualify for it (today in Missouri, unbelievably, she makes too much money).

Want to dissuade police departments from ginning up revenue off petty traffic stops that disproportionately impact minorities? Restructure how public services are provided so every micro-suburb doesn't need to fund its own police force. And so a driver with an expired tag doesn't get pulled overmultiple times on the same trip as he drives through several jurisdictions (St. Louis County has 81 different municipal courts, and 60 distinct police departments).

Why do the traffic stops " disproportionately impact minorities"? One supposes that the traffic stops in Ferguson would catch black people since the town is nearly 70% black. The statement is nonsense, but part and parcel of the effort in the report to condemn the police force.

True, they could have made a greater effort to hire black police officers, although I have yet to see any evidence that putting more policemen of color on the streets reduces crime.  And the idea of putting someone in jail for not paying a traffic ticket is obscene. 

But looking at their other recommendations and observations, you realize that the members of the commission view the entire world through a prism of race and racism. There is no part of life that doesn't impact race - a ridiculous notion to anyone who gives the problem a couple of minutes of thought. What's at fault in Ferguson at least as much as racism is bad government. Poorly run and managed civic affairs are as much to blame as any charges of racism. 




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