|Ferguson, MO town hall audience -- Credit Durrie Bouscaren, St. Louis Public Radio|
The audio is embedded in this link: http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/fergusons-mayor-faces-heat-forum-dissects-citys-divisions
It runs close to two hours, and some of it is very powerful. There are at least two Fergusons, the "black side" and the "white side," and the mayor is clearly nearly oblivious to the presence of the "black side" -- apart from his ability to bamboozle and screw its residents through those ever useful and productive fees, fines and forfeitures. He claims he's never had a problem with (his) negroes, but then what plantation owner ever did? At least they never did before the slave revolt.
Ferguson has had a mini slave revolt, and the white owners are trying desperately to figure out how to keep the idea from spreading. They send down Jesse Jackson and The Reverend Al to calm the negroes. They place negro overseers to ensure the pacification of the... well... savages.
Let's be clear.
From the evidence in this recording and from the many other recordings of incidents in Ferguson, it's clear that the owners (including the mayor as their agent) regard the colored folks as little more than exploitable resources, crops as it were, to be punished severely when they get out of line, to be mostly ignored otherwise. They are not human, they are not people. But they are "savages."
That's why we saw such sick, sick and ridiculous force being applied to control them starting within minutes of Michael Brown's execution when the St. Louis County police arrived with dogs and assault weapons at the ready to keep the crowds gathered on Canfield Drive "under control." They had the dogs out within minutes.
As many people at the town hall pointed out, the police were inciting the crowds from the outset, and they kept right on doing it, over and over and over again, and their incitement was a direct cause of the people's anger and upset. Could the mayor even begin to understand that? No, he could not. If the police were over-reacting, it wasn't his police. No, no, no, you negroes have to understand that his police were pulled off the streets -- except at the police station -- within a day or so of the "incident" and the police who were on the streets during the "disturbances" were St. Louis County and State Highway Patrol and all sorts of municipal police forces from around the area. They weren't Ferguson police. So, no harm no foul, right?
Where was the mayor during all this? Nobody saw him. Oh, he was at the police station sometimes; otherwise he was at home. Why? He talked to lots of constituents. He will not resign in disgrace. He has no control over the police chief and cannot hire or fire one, only the city manager can do that. The city manager has not been instructed to do that, and he probably won't be.
No one mentioned Darren Wilson and how the city is protecting him.
Even stranger, the fact that almost all the audience for this town hall (at least initially) was... white. See the picture above.
I guess that goes to show who doesn't listen to NPR.