A meme gaining steam in today’s conservative blogosphere centers on persuading those willing to listen that the history of alleged bad police behavior in Ferguson played no role in the riots that erupted last year. Rather, as the pitch goes, Al Sharpton was the cause of the riots that followed the death of Michael Brown.
Hopefully, the nation at large is smarter than what these bloviators would entice us to believe and, as a result, Americans are capable of understanding that these two potential causes of the explosion of emotion and violence experienced in Missouri were not— and are not—mutually exclusive.
Make no mistake…when it comes to Al Sharpton, I stand right at the front of the line of those who question his motives and actions and the trouble they tend to bring.
Accordingly, I can very much appreciate the point of view that Sharpton’s appearance on the scene in Ferguson certainly did not help to calm the raw and explosive feelings that emerged following Brown’s death nor did his being there serve to quell the influx of outsiders looking for trouble.
However, if we are to believe the revelations set forth by the Justice Department investigation, Sharpton is certainly not the only—or even the primary— reason for what took place during those dark days in Ferguson.
What’s more, if you are all too willing to dismiss the DOJ investigation as false or biased simply because you don’t like Attorney General Eric Holder or his boss; or if you have fallen for the false argument that Holder had to deliver up a police scandal to justify his appearance and promises made in Ferguson, then you must accept that your head is so far buried in the sand that I might just ask you to pick me up dinner at my favorite restaurant in Beijing.
Here is a sampling of emails recovered during the investigation from the Ferguson Police Department records:
Source: Forbes | Rick Ungar