Ferguson and Staten Island: A tale of two cities

Protestors outside Justice Dept., Washington, DC
Protestors outside Justice Dept., Washington, DC

CHARLOTTE, N.C., December 4, 2014 —Ferguson, Mo. and Staten Island, N.Y. have become a modern day “tale of two cities” which, unfortunately, unveiled their ugly scenarios too closely together. The result leaves an impression ideally suited for racial demagoguery by those who would exploit the issue for political purposes.

In the opening paragraph of his classic novel, A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way — in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

Mr. Dickens’ words seem truly prophetic.

Al Sharpton has called the situation a “national crisis.”

Attorney General Eric Holder went so far as to term the Ferguson police an “occupying force.”

President Obama weighed in, saying, “I’m not interested in talk, I’m interested in action. And I am absolutely committed, as president of the United States, to making sure that we have a country in which everybody believes in the core principle that we are equal under the law.”

Since when does Barack Obama do anything other than talk? Since when does he take any action other than when it benefits him or his party politically?

As for being “absolutely committed” about anything other than a 30-foot putt, Obama has long since given up any credibility in that regard.

Obama states that it is his “job as president to solve” the problem, which is tantamount to a personal admission that the situation will only get worse.

Obama, Holder and Sharpton have no desire to find solutions. Solutions do not fatten Sharpton’s wallet, nor do they satisfy the political needs of the president and his myriad of radical cronies.

There is visible evidence which shows the Eric Garner choking incident in Staten Island was considerably more difficult to justify than the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson.

That is troubling, and the problem should be addressed with serious efforts to correct it. But even when such conditions do improve, they will never completely eradicate crime and violence.

It is worth noting that last year alone, black-on-black violence killed nearly 6,000 people. Blacks also killed about 400 whites in this country. That is a startling disparity which is rarely, if ever, reported.

Consider also, that the national average of white police killings of blacks every year is less than 100.

Why do we not hear the media citing those statistics? Why is black on black crime not a “national crisis” as well?

Two-thirds of the world’s population lives in abject poverty far worse than most Americans who are poor can even begin to imagine.

Our elected representatives run the government, yet they are the first to scream when incidents such as Ferguson and Staten Island erupt. And somehow the poor continue to keep on getting poorer despite the laws those representatives pass.

Even so, a poor person in the United States has things that the poor in other countries around the world can only dream about.

Why then do the poor in the U.S. want to be like the poor in other countries?

That question creates a conundrum for the current immigration problem. If this country has a national racial crisis that is as dire as Sharpton says, why are so many illegal immigrants trying to come here?

If the Garner incident was an egregious miscarriage of justice, then the situation needs to be addressed and bona fide practices must be adopted to prevent such events in the future.

Eric Holder termed the Ferguson violence “a genuine expression of concern and involvement,” which in reality condoned the riotous response of looting, arson and destruction that followed the grand jury decision rather than more constructive responses.

Obama thrives by laying blame on everyone else, but in this case, his policies, combined with the inflammatory rhetoric perpetuated by Al Sharpton, have done nothing more than magnify and increase racial tensions across the country. And all for their own personal gain.

That is the real “national crisis.”


Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe. Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)

Read more of What in the World and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News; follow Bob on Twitter @MrPeabod


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