Part 4—Harvard Law School flies to Finland: Based upon this week’s report from the Justice Department, the city of Ferguson has been running a horrible police department and overall city government.
In the past two days, the New York Times has run detailed reports about these matters. At our fiery liberal orgs, we’ll hear a lot about that part of what the Justice Department has found.
For ourselves, we’ve been surprised it has taken so long to see news reports of this type. We liberals have largely dragged our heels about the topics under discussion—for example, about the alleged targeting of black residents for the endless traffic fines which kept that city afloat.
We’ve dragged our heels when it comes to that topic. The mainstream press corps has followed suit.
We’ve also failed to ask basic question about the remarkable state of affairs which seems to have obtained in Ferguson down through the years. How is it possible that the practices in question haven’t been challenged by local civil rights organizations, by local elected officials and by local ministers? How is it possible that the elected official which drove these practices just kept getting re-elected in a city which was roughly two-thirds black?
The fecklessness of our liberal world has been on vivid display as these rather obvious questions have largely been ignored. Because of our tribal lassitude, you haven’t seen these questions explored at our favorite liberal orgs. Instead, you saw our leaders express their devotion to “Hands up, don’t shoot.”
As we’ve noted in the past, we modern liberals will get upset if you kill a black kid. Other than that, our high-minded, extremely useless tribe doesn’t much seem to care.
We’ll get upset if you kill a black kid. Like the ditto-heads we apparently long to be, we’ll then start making shit up!
This brings us back to the part of the story which isn’t being discussed at our liberal sites. We refer to the judgment the Justice Department reached concerning “Hands up, don’t shoot.”
Did Michael Brown have his hands raised, in an act of surrender, when he was shot by Officer Wilson? We can’t exactly tell you.
We weren’t present at the scene. No videotape has emerged.
That said, the Justice Department has found that the forensic evidence doesn’t support some of the familiar claims which were widely bruited about these events.
“The evidence establishes that the shots fired by Wilson while he was seated in his SUV were in self-defense,” the Justice Department says on page 80 of its official report.
Two pages later, the Department states a second, similar judgment: “The evidence establishes that the shots fired by Wilson after Brown turned around were in self-defense.”
We don’t know if we would agree with those judgments if we conducted a thorough inquiry, but those are the judgments reached by the people who did. In a footnote on page 83, the Department adds these pungent remarks about the work of “the media:”
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT (page 83): The media has widely reported that there is witness testimony that Brown said “don’t shoot” as he held his hands above his head. In fact, our investigation did not reveal any eyewitness who stated that Brown said “don’t shoot.”“Furthermore, there are no witnesses who could credibly testify that Wilson shot Brown while Brown was clearly attempting to surrender.” So the Justice Department states at the top of page 82.
Should Wilson have fired on Brown that day? We can’t exactly say. We would prefer that police officers fire their guns as rarely as possible, that they'd even consider running away if suspects refuse to surrender.
(Most likely, they can’t really do that.)
That said, we would also prefer that excitable groups—including pseudo-liberal pundits—would refrain from inventing tall tales to drive their agendas forward. This would be especially true when pundits are concocting tales with the express purposes of getting people accused and convicted of murder.
Increasingly, this is a game our fiery cable pundits very much like to play.
In his speech about his department’s report, Eric Holder said he agreed with its findings. He then raised a very good point.
He asked where narrative come from—false narrative, that is:
HOLDER (3/4/15): I recognize that the findings in our report may leave some to wonder how the department's findings can differ so sharply from some of the initial, widely-reported accounts of what transpired.As he continued, Holder explained why regular people in Ferguson might have been inclined to believe the worst about their city’s police department. He doesn’t explain why cable pundits behaved so unprofessionally as our own lynch mobs moved forward.
And I want to emphasize that the strength and integrity of America's justice system has always rested on its ability to deliver impartial results in precisely these types of difficult circumstances, adhering strictly to the facts and to the law, regardless of assumptions. Yet it remains not only valid, but essential, to question how such a strong alternative version of events was able to take hold so swiftly and to be accepted so readily.
We’ve gotten pretty good at that in the past few years! We’ve gotten good, at times like these, at inventing bogus facts (George Zimmerman was told to stay in his car!) and at hiding behind completely irrelevant drama. (All he had was a bag of Skittles!)
Because we know how upright we are, we seem to think that it’s OK when we and our “leaders” behave in these ways. Needless to say, it isn’t OK, although you’ll never convince our tribal legions of that.
In this morning’s New York Times, Jack Healy pens a front-page report in which we liberals express our right to our own born-in-Kenya tales. If the other side can stick to its bogus tales, well then so can we!
Because we know how right we are, we claim the right to Our Own Beliefs. In this passage, a local activist says he still truly believes:
HEALY (3/6/15): Others rejected the Justice Department’s conclusions entirely, and said they still believed Mr. Brown was trying to surrender when he was killed.“To McPherson,” Brown still had his hands up! And of course, to millions of others, Barack Obama was born in Kenya; Hillary Clinton killed Vince Foster; Al Gore said he invented the Internet; and the moon is made of blue cheese which gets shipped from Mars.
They said they did not trust an earlier state grand jury process that had cleared Mr. Wilson, who left the Ferguson police force late last year, of state criminal charges in November, and had no faith in the federal investigation or the high bar set to find a law enforcement officer responsible for civil rights violations.
“To me, he had his hands up,” said Michael T. McPhearson, co-chairman of the Don’t Shoot Coalition in St. Louis. “It doesn’t change it for me.”
On what basis does McPhearson continue to say he believes? There is no sign that Healy asked that question. Later, Healy quotes a political leader engaged in a tiny bit of postmodern okie-doke:
HEALY: Representative Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat of New York, said he had no regrets about making the “hands up, don’t shoot” gesture in a speech on the House floor last year as part of a series of speeches by Congressional Black Caucus members.No one was saying that Brown did that! Where did folk get that idea?
“If I had to do it again, I would proceed in exactly the same way,” he said. “I made clear in my remarks that ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ is a rallying cry for people all across America who want to see the constitutional promise of equal protection under the law brought to life.” He added, “At no point in that speech did any member of the black caucus indicate that that’s what occurred between Mr. Wilson and Mike Brown.”
Here in our tribe, we’ve gotten quite good at making up stories like this. We don’t mean that as a criticism of regular people in Ferguson who may have misspoken.
We do mean that as a criticism of the millionaire TV stars you see playing the fool, and dumbing you down, on our own cable TV shows.
We’ve gotten quite good at making up facts and trying to get people thrown into prison. Regarding America’s superb black youth, who we see in this city each day:
Our TV stars seem to get mad when someone gets killed, don’t seem to give a flying fark about pretty much anything else.
Last weekend, we saw a professor from Harvard Law speaking about our black youth.
She seemed to know nothing about public schools, but public education isn't her beat. But when she took the trip to Finland, all the analysts cried.
Our overpaid leaders are quite unimpressive. They’re actually good at very little, except perhaps conning us rubes.
As we follow them other their cliffs, plenty of swag lands in their pants. And then too, there is the output of our own professors.
On Monday, we’ll start to discuss that latter group. We’ll start with the Harvard professor who took the scripted trip to Finland. We’ll also mention the bright young reporter who took the same low-IQ ride.
When we take that trip, we slander the superb young people we see here in Baltimore every day. We also slander their public school teachers. We cuff both groups to the curb.
We’re rattling script that the plutocrats wrote. But my, how we do love that ride!
Starting Monday: The caliber of our professors
For those who seek to punish themselves: Last Sunday, Professor Guinier discussed the state of the public schools midway through C-Span’s three-hour program, In Depth.
The professor knows nothing about public schools. But she does know the Finland script!
If you want to punish yourself, you can watch her flight to that marvelous land. It starts at roughly 1:35:00 of this three-hour tape.
Even Harvard professors can rattle that script! As soon as they saw that it was coming, each of the analysts cried.