Wednesday, November 26, 2014
The Posers at the Gate: Why the protesters in Ferguson are not dangerous and why that should concern us
The narrative here is that these people are upset at the verdict and they are acting out their anger. But most of the reports don't seem to show this. With the exception of the family and a handful of other people, the protesters don't seem angry at all. In fact, one news report described the scene where a store was being looted as having a "festival atmosphere."
Al Sharpton isn't mad. Nor are the other out-of-town rabble-rousers. They're perfectly happy to mug for the cameras and generally attract attention to themselves. This is what they do best.
It isn't anger that has characterized the demonstrations. What has characterized the demonstration is opportunism.
It's enough to give nihilism a bad name.
In fact, to call these people nihilists would unduly dignify the actions of people who don't know or care enough about anything, including Michael Brown's death to do anything that would really rise to the level of positive evil.
They're not nihilists, they're Nietzsche's "Last Men," cosmic couch potatoes who react to these kind of things with a lazy ignorance and lack of any real concern that makes you wonder why they even bothered. They are shallow opportunists posing as the aggrieved and oppressed who are there mainly there to get the "I protested in Ferguson" T-shirt that should be hitting the streets any time now.
Race riots—or the very poor imitation of them we saw in Ferguson—have become the underclass equivalent of fashion statements. It's a chance to get on the news and pretend you're part of something meaningful before you go back to your warm home and check to see if there's something worth eating in the fridge.
In fact, if you really think about it, on a grand scale, how much damage to life and property did they really do? Not much. They started a few fires, turned over a few cars, stole a few mobile phones. But, other than a small handful of store owners whose lives they surely made very much more difficult, they really didn't do much. Not as much, at least, as CNN made out.
CNN. Talk about opportunism. They talked about it as if the whole nation was ablaze, which, of course, it was not. The whole nation couldn't have been ablaze because the whole nation was at home in their comfortable living rooms watching CNN talk about how the whole nation was ablaze on their high definition television screens.
I could live with some serious devastation if it was at least about something. I would think a whole lot more of the protesters if there was some real, authentic, righteous anger behind some really big explosions.
But c'mon. These are people who can't even destroy things with any level of competence.
They did little damage and in doing what little damage they did they risked very little. Had there been any serious threat from police, even the paltry fires they lit and the tawdry looting they did would never have happened.
The wussishness of protesters was matched only by the wussishness of the people who were supposed to lead the effort to keep them under control.
(Wait a minute. Maybe the term "wuss" is now Politically Incorrect. If so, maybe I should use it again.)
In fact, the worst aspect of all this was the reaction of the alleged adults who are supposed to be in charge. We have a President who earlier sent two White House officials to the funeral of the guy who tried to kill a cop and who then, in the minutes after the grand jury's decision, did everything but issue an order to hand out gasoline to protesters.
And then there was the absurd Missouri governor who couldn't even find it within himself to order the National Guard out until the next day.
And while we're on the subject, when are the witnesses who lied to the grand jury about Michael Brown's response to Darren Wilson going to be prosecuted for perjury? Good luck waiting for that. The protesters must truly despise these people.
There is good news and bad news in all this.
The bad news is that we live in a time when the people running our government and our law enforcement have lost their will to deal seriously with public safety threats posed by certain politically protected groups because it might look bad on TV.
The good news is that the politically protected groups, some of whose members pose public safety threats, have lost their restraint in expressing their lack of commitment to anything valuable in our culture because it would look good on TV.