RadioWhoWhatWhy: Finally, a Meaningful Report on Ferguson, MO

The DOJ’s report on what happened in Ferguson is as much the story of race in 21st century America as it is about what transpired in Missouri. Photo credit: Wikimedia Foundation
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Harlem, Watts, Rodney King, Michael Brown, Freddie Grey. These names and what they represent are images seared into our collective conscience.

In the wake of the Charleston shootings and a wave of fatal assaults or shootings of unarmed black men by the police, the national dialogue on race and racism in the US has reached a fever pitch.

In March, the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice issued its Report on Policing in Ferguson. The Report, while specifically about the events that transpired leading to the death of Michael Brown, is really the story of race in America, two decades into the 21st century.

The report is now being published by The New Press, with an introduction by Ted Shaw, former head of the NAACP Legal and Educational Defense Fund. Shaw speaks to WhoWhatWhy’s Jeff Schechtman about the meaning, scope and impact of the report.

Shaw opines that the report is both factual and damning and that law enforcement in Ferguson reflects not only a culture of racism, but also an obligation to a municipality that is financially dependent upon picking the pockets of the majority black population—through traffic fines, false arrests, municipal ordinances and fees for petty violations.

The report reveals a pattern of conduct that routinely violates the Constitutional rights of black Americans, and concludes that the events in Ferguson were bigger than Michael Brown and Officer Darren Wilson. But is the report enough to ensure that #blacklivesmatter when it comes to interactions with armed officials?


Panorama credits: Loavesofbread / Wikimedia / Jamelle Bouie / Wikimedia / Loavesofbread / Wikimedia

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10 responses to “RadioWhoWhatWhy: Finally, a Meaningful Report on Ferguson, MO”

  1. Yahoo results

    While browsing Yahoo I discovered this page in the results and I didn’t think it fit

  2. Susan says:

    Ferguson is nothing but typical, government corruption in action. The situation isn’t complicated, but no one in the government or government-controlled-media wants reality to interfere with the on-going government lies.

  3. Dick Lancaster says:

    An investigation into police brutality against blacks conducted by Eric Holder and reported on by the NAACP is about as objective as a black church burning investigated by the KKK and reported on by the Aryan Nation’s newsletter. WhoWhatWhy just lost a load of credibility. I’ll scrutinize subsequent articles much more carefully now. Thanks for the blatant heads-up.

    • russbaker says:

      The fact is that the Justice Department hardly has a record of aggressive remedial action toward law enforcement, which is its natural ally in many things. When the Justice Dept finds a pattern of discriminatory practices, it should not be dismissed on its face, and no thoughtful or open minded person would do so.

    • Dick Lancaster says:

      I don’t buy your premise, Russ. Discrimination is a survival instinct. When it is made into a crime, it is solely political. The NAACP as well as the current Justice Department are political entities that see a crime. If you will collect a dozen pizza boxes, put a pizza sign on top of your car, stuff a load of cash in your pocket and drive through Ferguson at 11 pm you will find out why pizza stores discriminate against these citizens. Be sure to unlock your door and exit the vehicle a dozen times or more within reach of a a group or two of discriminated citizens to get a real feel for the survival instinct. Take a few Justice Department and NAACP friends with you. Don’t be surprised however, if they refuse to go because hypocrisy, while not an instinct, is a very common human trait.

    • chefjas says:

      Russ,
      I agree with your observation, however, I have no great trust for Eric Holder’s ability to be fair and objective in matters dealing with race. Having said that, I am inclined to believe that an almost all white police force in a town like Ferguson likely has racial bias.
      I think it’s no surprise to anyone that the police, justice system, and city leaders use the population for funding. Look at nearly any city in the country and you will find the same thing.

    • Jane Dough says:

      Please tell me then who should report it? I’m so confused.

    • Dick Lancaster says:

      Many outlets have. Ideally, many sources should be reviewed before an informed opinion can be gathered, including this one. But unfortunately, confusion is the goal of the major media outlets, many of whom are on government payrolls.

    • johndissed says:

      Comparing hate groups like the KKK and the Aryan Nation to the NAACP or a black Attorney General is not only an extreme logical fallacy, but an obscene one at that.

    • Dick Lancaster says:

      You give the KKK or the Aryan Nation just a 10th of the power of the NAACP and 1% of the power of the DoJ and we’ll have a legitimate debate on logic and obscenity. And while we’ve seemed to accept the political concept of a “hate group,” we logical citizens are still waiting for a legitimate definition of the authority that determines which group qualifies as such.