Ferguson: The real tea is what’s not being reported.

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(ThyBlackMan.com) The events in Ferguson, MO have forced the nation to once again deal with the lingering effects of institutionalized racism. The public execution of an unarmed 18-year-old black man at the hands of a white police officer stoked the fires of frustration and rage that many black people have felt in Ferguson and across the nation.

The vision of yet another young black man lying dead in the street has become an all too familiar reality for many of our communities. This one resonated so deeply because, in addition to eyewitness reports that contradicted the reports from a disjointed and openly hostile police department, social media was quick to galvanize support at the grass roots level. Before anyone knew it a movement of angry, frustrated and fearless protestors descended on this otherwise quiet, solidly middle-class bedroom community.

And then the national corporate owned media showed up and everything went to hell.

The corporate-owned media machine quickly seized the moment and with the finesse of a ballerina dancing in work boots, the story quickly became about the violent, unlawful protestors. Gone was the coverage of the organically grown forms of protests that was being orchestrated by the spiritual and social leaders who lived in and knew the community. What the media chose to focus on were the crowds of angry and frustrated youth who were daily growing leery of the snail’s pace the official investigation was moving. Adding to their frustration was the fact that the Ferguson ferguson-mo-2014police department defiantly refused to divulge the name of the officer who was involved in the shooting due to fear for his safety.

As the crowds grew in size and boldness the local media seized the moment to gleefully aim their cameras at the reaction rather than the cause. After all, that’s what the media does best. It catches flash points and sound bites. Its purpose, above all, is to entertain. These networks, known as the fourth estate, don’t have any love for Michael Brown’s parents any further than they can exploit their pain to make a dollar. They rarely, if ever, report the real story.

So, just what is the real story behind the Michael Brown assassination?

The city of Ferguson has a little over 21,000 occupants. Compared to the rest of the state, crime in this majority black city is relatively low. It is situated between two cities with very different crime profiles. Those cities are Jennings, which is to the southeast, and Florissant which is northwest of the city. Jennings has some of the highest crime rates in the state, while Florissant has some of the lowest.

Black people make up a little over twenty-five percent of the population of Florissant while they make up over sixty-percent of the population in Ferguson. That both of these cities boast such a low crime index is evidence that people there are law abiding. On the other hand Jennings, MO does not have the same profile. Crime and corruption there is rampant, so much so that the Jennings Police Department had to be disbanded years earlier amid a horrendous record on race relations. Why is this important? Officer Darren Wilson, whom the police identified as the killer, had worked for and been fired from this same police department.

Another thing that the corporate owned media didn’t report was the fact that in 2013 the Ferguson Police Department made over 4600 stops of black car occupants and less than 700 for whites. It made close to 500 arrests of black drivers while only less than 40 arrest of white drivers. These disparities undoubtedly caused a great deal of resentment in the black community, but again, these statistics weren’t as important as “bottle throwing protestors.”

More pointedly, as the crowds of protestors began to grow the ethnic make-up began to change dramatically and the media stayed completely silent. Local leaders complained to deaf ears that a lot of people who were saying they represented the needs of the community weren’t actually from the community and therefore couldn’t have the same sense of loyalty. Local leaders said those people were more interested in agitating than they were in rebuilding. Ferguson arrest records illustrated this reality after they were released and some people as far away as San Diego were jailed.

And this is where the national media dug in its heels. Soon after arriving it became evident that the networks set about infusing their own brand of counter-intelligence. The underlying story coming out of Ferguson became one of law enforcement versus unstable law breakers who were being whipped into a frenzy by outside “race baiters” like Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton. These are the stories that began to be highlighted. Unfortunately some protestors fell victim to some of the same tactics that were used to break-up the Black Panther Party under the COINTELPRO program used by the FBI back in the 60’s and 70’s. A very obvious divide and conquer tactic, once deployed, became very effective in a short amount of time. Both Jackson and Sharpton were roundly criticized and eventually asked to leave.

One of the most glaringly obvious omissions from much of the reporting was the fact that the Ferguson police didn’t hesitate to show an over-zealous response to the very people they had pushed into a corner for years. They pulled out military grade vehicles that they had acquired, for free, under a little known program that the Pentagon had authorized. Under the Pentagon 1033 program small town police departments can be given military surplus equipment at no charge. However, upon closer inspection, it has been proven that it actually costs the military more money to ship surplus equipment back to the United States than to have it destroyed while deployed abroad. The question remains, what therefore is the true purpose of such a program?

Adolf Hitler launched propaganda against the Jews a year before he began to forcefully exterminate them. He was getting people used to the idea of Jews being subhuman so that when he launched his full-scale attack against them he had already conditioned their minds. The same thing is happening with the black community at large, and the fourth estate is part of that process. The resounding message as of late is that Black life isn’t worth the same as white life, and when the natives get restless send in an overwhelming show of brutal force to crush them.

That’s the real story of Ferguson. It is a well-orchestrated dress rehearsal for communities of color across the country. The audacity to exhibit righteous indignation in the form of public protest, one of the founding principles of our Constitution, should read “does not apply here.” 

Staff Writer; Steven Robinson

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