“Remember the protests (and riots) in Ferguson last summer? It looks like at least some of the protestors were told they would be paid to show up and now they’re upset the checks haven’t arrived yet,” Katie Pavlich writes at Townhall. “Weaselzippers has the full story and the screen shots showing “protestors” using the Twitter hashtag #cutthecheck in response to non-payment. Based on tweets, Organize Missouri is responsible for issuing payments:”
On May 14, protesters, upset with not being paid their promised checks for protesting, protested outside MORE, Missourians Organizing For Reform and Empowerment, an ACORN organization which had received funding through George Soros to fund the protests.
To understand how we got here, it’s worth flashing back a few decades. In 1970, Tom Wolfe’s publishers packaged his classic lengthy New York magazine “Radical Chic” article, on Leonard Bernstein allowing the Black Panthers to fundraise in his opulent Park Ave. duplex, as a double-feature with his lesser-known article “Mau-Mauing The Flak Catchers,” which captured seething leftist protests on the other end of the wealth spectrum in San Francisco. While it lacks the star power of “Radical Chic,” “Mau-Mauing” offers several key insights into what made the Great Society years and their aftermath hell for millions of Americans, and possibly the first appearance in print of the phrase “community organizing,” our current president’s erstwhile former occupation:
It was a truly adventurous and experimental approach [Johnson-era bureaucrats] had. Instead of handing out alms, which never seemed to change anything, they would encourage the people in the ghettos to organize. They would help them become powerful enough to force the Establishment to give them what they needed. From the beginning the poverty program was aimed at helping ghetto people rise up against their oppressors. It was a scene in which the federal government came into the ghetto and said, “Here is some money and some field advisors. Now you organize your own pressure groups.” It was no accident that Huey Newton and Bobby Seale drew up the ten-point program of the Black Panther Party one night in the offices of the North Oakland Poverty Center.
To sell the poverty program, its backers had to give it the protective coloration of “jobs” and “education,” the Job Corps and Operation Head Start, things like that, things the country as a whole could accept. “Jobs” and “education” were things everybody could agree on. They were part of the free-enterprise ethic. They weren’t uncomfortable subjects like racism and the class structure—and giving the poor the money and the tools to fight City Hall. But from the first that was what the lion’s share of the poverty budget went into. It went into “community organizing,” which was the bureaucratic term for “power to the people,” the term for finding the real leaders of the ghetto and helping them organize the poor.
And how could they find out the identity of these leaders of the people? Simple. In their righteous wrath they would rise up and confront you. It was a beautiful piece of circular reasoning. The real leaders of the ghetto will rise up and confront you … Therefore, when somebody rises up in the ghetto and confronts you, then you know he’s a leader of the people. So the poverty program not only encouraged mau-mauing it, it practically demanded it. Subconsciously, for administrators in the poverty establishment, public and private, confrontations became a ritual. That was the way the system worked. By 1968 it was standard operating procedure. To get a job in the post office, you filled out forms and took the civil-service exam. To get into the poverty scene, you did some mau-mauing. If you could make the flak catchers lose control of the muscles around their mouths, if you could bring fear into their faces, your application was approved.
And by 2014, Ferguson as a media event existed as pure kabuki for the network mini-cameras. (Never mind the innocent businesses looted and burned — the networks sure didn’t.) In August, NBC allowed Al Sharpton to jet out there to organize the protestors, which his network colleague Andrea Mitchell Orwellianly referred to as Sharpton being “on a peace mission.” The protestors which Sharpton had ginned up threw rocks as part of their “peace mission,” narrowly missing his network colleague Chris Hayes, who was on scene. Hayes took it all “unexpectedly” well — as Larry O’Connor wrote at the Washington Free Beacon, “MSNBC Wouldn’t Be This Calm If Tea Party Protesters Threw Rocks at Their Hosts.” Camera crews working for MSNBC “endangered lives by shining its lights, spotlighting police officers in the crowd of Monday night’s violent racial protests,” the Daily Caller reported back then. CNN trotted out Spike Lee, last seen in 2012 attempting to publish the home address of George Zimmerman’s parents, who blurted on the air to Anderson Cooper, “I just hope that things will really blow up if the people aren’t happy with the verdict of this upcoming trial.”
Lee got his wish, and then some, as we’ll explore right after the page break.
In November, the New York Times published Officer Darren Wilson’s home address. All of the television networks brought back stunning nighttime footage of the city being burned to the ground in a series of after-hours Nuremberg Rallies, to borrow a memorable phrase from the late Michael O’Donoghue, possibly to never recover economically, a protest that the Obama administration gave their tacit approval to. First noting all of the administration’s prior meddling in the affairs of local law enforcement to poison race relations, in the Daily Beast this past March, Ron Christie wrote that “the president has behaved horribly” during the events in Ferguson and their aftermath:
The circumstances under which [Michael] Brown lost his life are both heartbreaking and tragic—but not in the manner implied by the president. Rather than waiting for local authorities to complete their investigation, the president took sides—particularly with the “his family will never hold Michael in their arms again” line. The implication here is that a white police gunned down a young black man in a manner that was irresponsible and opaque.
The narrative thus set, Al Sharpton and the media descended upon Ferguson alongside outside agitators who marched with such slogans as “No Justice, No Peace” or “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot.” More unrest would follow when the grand jury elected not to indict the officer for the tragic shooting. Riots and looting would ensue—with breathless coverage in the media and little from the President of the United States and the Attorney General to quell the violence.
“On November 25, Obama said that the ‘grand jury made a decision yesterday that upset a lot of people.” frequent PJM contributor Hans von Spakovsky wrote late last year, adding:
Eric Holder’s announcement that DOJ will soon release guidelines banning racial profiling again gives the false impression that what happened in Ferguson was the result of racial profiling. In any event, the Bush administration already banned racial and ethnic profiling in 2003 when the Civil Rights Division issued such guidance for all federal law enforcement officials. It said that “racial profiling is wrong and will not be tolerated.”
We should be more concerned about the violence, looting and arson in Ferguson, as well as the false narrative being pushed across the country that black Americans are routinely treated unfairly in the criminal justice system. The undermining of our faith in the criminal justice system by the president, the attorney general, and many others has long-term, negative consequences that will only deepen the racial divide.
And now we learn that a pro-Obama organization apparently paid for at least some of the protestors to swing into action. Call it a vast left-wing conspiracy, to coin a phrase.
But hey, give Mr. Obama and his allies credit — the left may be Potemkin Villages all the way down, but unlike Russia, they sure know how to dispose of them properly when they’re no longer needed.
Related: “DOJ Official: Slavery to Blame for Riots in Ferguson and Baltimore.” And the Crusades too — we mustn’t forget the Crusades. As Glenn Reynolds insta-quips in response, “So Hillary’s scandals are ancient history, but slavery is as fresh as today!”
Update: OK, it’s not the Crusades or Slavery, but it’s history that’s older than the aforementioned Great Society of the 1960s. Astonishingly, as Jack Coleman spotted today at NewsBusters, a University of California-Berkeley professor recently discussed with Terry Gross and the far left audience of NPR’s Fresh Air, “a largely ignored culprit in the creation of segregated urban ghettos that erupted in frequent violence during the ’60s — and as shown by riots in Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore over the last year, are at risk of going up in flames again.” Well, at least Ferguson and Baltimore, the flames were all too real, and as Coleman notes, “New Deal Policies Created Ghettos That Led to Riots.”
Read the whole thing; as Coleman writes, it’s “History that’s been forgotten — or that doesn’t get taught by left wingers who control the unions in public schools? A liberal in front of a classroom has a vested interest in making sure this history remains ignored — it perpetuates the myth that Republicans are solely to blame for racism in this country.”
Elsewhere: #BlackLivesMatters Protesters Protest Soros Group After Getting Stiffed,” Debra Heine writes at the PJ Tatler.