Today in St Louis, the governor of Missouri stopped by to do a press conference with the St Louis County Police to discuss what might happen in the event of a decision – NOT THAT THERE HAS BEEN ONE – of the Grand Jury that might…you know…umm…make people, uhh, stop watching TiVo and stand on the street.
NOT because they have decided to let Darren Wilson go without as much as a reprimand, jeez Louise, no, what made you think that? Just, you know, they have tanks and battle helicopters and police from other cities and the cast of Rent and brass knuckles and Bunker Buster bombs and Dick Cheney and sharks with frickin’ lasers on their heads and the National Guard and the Swiss Guard and Milli Vanilli in town…no reason!
But in case there were a problem, look you f***ing animals, I mean citizens, you can have your “speech” and your Amendment Number 63 or whatever, but if there is any mischief we will totally pull this Ferguson over and re-establish law and order so everybody can be normal! And we have done TONS of community outreach so this is really a partnership, even though the real victims here are the police, but this is all about peace and relaxation.
BUT violence will not be tolerated! So Wesley Lowrey from the Washington Post can totally stay in DC with those other East Coast Elites and not loiter in Ferguson such that we might be forced yet again to bounce his head off the soda machine at McDonald’s because he was illegally journalisting in a fast food restaurant against the Bill of Rights. And if you are a journalist or human rights observer, watch the f*** out because we are TOTALLY here to make sure you can exercise rights ‘n’ stuff, as long as you don’t stay still for more than five seconds at a time, which is a new law we invented.
Now you kids behave! If you are good during your Ferguson Party, or whatever, then you can have some job programs or whatever it is you need to make this normal. But only if you’re good! Otherwise, you get a face full of Milli Vanilli and Dick Cheney.
Also, God Bless America!
Actually, I watched a bunch of scared old men try to sound like their Dads this afternoon at that press conference. Go and watch the live stream of Governor Nixon and Chief Belmar and see what I mean. Watch the forced lowering of vocal cords. Listen for the strange emphasis on BEING IN CHARGE as opposed to being partners in a sad moment of an ancient system of racism and injustice that none of us started but which could use considerable amounts of grace and mindfulness after the last ten weeks. Watch a bunch of local guys pathetically try to force Newtonian physics over the quantum complexity of a global human rights event that now extends to Hong Kong and Geneva and Portugal and Egypt and beyond.
The main factor here is fear. Mistakes have been made that cannot be unmade. The power structure of St Louis is trying to defend a credibility that has been decimated through maximum force and minimum humility. I’ll tell you, Governor Nixon looked like a man scared of the future, and he should be. The levers he can pull are not the ones that will make up for for the following grievances:
- Pulling 35% of city revenues off of the backs of the population in the form of traffic tickets and court costs.
- 92% of traffic stops being for people of dark skin tone when people of light skin tone are statistically more likely to have drugs or guns.
- The killing of unarmed teen Michael Brown in broad daylight for a crime that has never been revealed, followed by a body left in the sun for four hours, followed by no homicide report filed and the police told to lawyer up and keep quiet.
- Police arriving at the scene of Brown’s memorial with attack dogs, then driving over the flowers and candles laid out by his mother upon leaving.
- Engaging peaceful protestors on August 13 with tanks and sniper rifles, acting as an invading army might, teargassing people in their own backyards, and more.
- Teargassing, menacing, aggressing and arresting journalists and human rights observers from around the world.
- Enforcing an unconstitutional “five second rule” to keep people from peacefully assembling and forcing them to move against their will.
- Calling the employers of protest leaders to intimidate those expressing their 1st Amendment rights, then claiming that this was actually free speech by the police instead of intimidation.
So Gov. Nixon has good reason to feel nervous. The power structure of Missouri leadership has addressed none of this, and now they will announce that they find Darren Wilson’s actions totally cool, and they fear the consequences.
So feel empathy for Governor Nixon and Chief Belmar. Both are over their heads. But don’t feel sorry for them, or let them off the hook. Continue to demand the rights of a free and honorable people of a democratic republic.
That’s who you are and that’s what you deserve.