Ferguson, Missouri: When apathy, entitlement and arrogance collide


Things went wrong in Ferguson way before Michael Brown was shot by Officer Darren Wilson. The situation may have been out of control before the infamous Swisher Sweets were stolen from the QuikTrip convenience store. The Ferguson Riots very well may be the perfect example of what happens when equal parts of apathy, the entitlement mentality and arrogance meet.

Pigeon-holed by the Washington Post to their Monkey Cage category (their words, not mine), the good folks at the WaPo don’t exactly pull their punches with an article entitled “How Ferguson exposes the racial bias in local elections.” Little is left to the imagination as to why the town’s mayor as well as five out of six city council members are all white in a city that’s almost 70 percent black – it’s all a plot by white folks designed to keep the black folks down. At least that’s how I take the WaPo’s manipulation of dubious charts and alleged facts.

Now just to make sure I understand things correctly, more than a few are asking why the Ferguson Police Department, as well as the aforementioned elected officials, are overwhelmingly of the Caucasian persuasion. Especially in a city where blacks have been in the majority of the population for over two decades, why isn’t there a greater representation on the FPD than a measly 6 percent? In all honesty, that’s a fair question.

Yet according to the Washington Post the problem lies in local elections being held during odd years, as well as the elections are defined as non-partisan (where party affiliation doesn’t appear on the ballot). Or as the wisened writers for the Post tell us, when the equation involves odd numbered years and candidates not telling us if they’re Democrats or Republicans, the inevitable result is that the losers are “people with less education and less income.” Ummm… isn’t it just a wee bit prejudiced to automatically insinuate that the blacks are the ones who are stupid and poor? That’s just how I read the Post’s strong suggestion thereof.

Again, I just to make sure I understand things correctly – There’s no poll tax in effect in Ferguson nor are there any Jim Crow laws or any literacy requirements on the books. If the oppressed blacks of Ferguson, Missouri want change in the complexion of their police department (instead of making sure the best cops available are hired), then why don’t they demand such of their local officials?

As the Post pointed out, black residents of Ferguson essentially stayed home during the April 2013 municipal elections. Despite whites being roughly a third of citizenry, whites showed up to the polls greater than blacks by a 3-1 average. Now if it’s due to odd years and no party affiliation being the reason, then why does Memphis, Philadelphia and Jacksonville all have black mayors? Why does Los Angeles and El Paso have Latino mayors? All those cities also happen to have their elections on odd numbered years.

What’s happening in Ferguson now is exactly what happens when We The People just don’t care anymore. But now that someone’s been killed, the tear gas is flying, and agitators of all colors take take to the streets, are we suppose to throw out a slew of legitimate and transparent elections because of the threat of mob violence? That’s not the way we do things in America.

If those so interested in burning down their own neighborhood because they don’t like the way things are, now want immediate gratification in the wake of Michael Brown’s killing, then maybe if they were more interested in voting instead of throwing Molotov Cocktails, maybe … just maybe Michael Brown would still be alive right now. Just a thought.

By the way, just this weekend alone, there’s been one killed and 26 wounded in Chicago shootings. No word if Barack Obama, Eric Holder or Al Sharpton will be mentioning or investigating or visiting the Windy City anytime soon.