Roger L. Simon

Suppose They Gave a 'Ferguson' and Nobody Came?

Here we go again.  Ferguson…a place — let’s be honest — almost no one had heard of a few months ago…is once more going to be the center of the media universe.  All the usual suspects will be there — the tedious mega-reactionaries from MSNBC, the unwatchable bores from CNN, the wildly overheated conservatives from FOX — giving us wall-to-wall coverage of a sad but quotidian event that should have made, at best, the police blotter of the local paper.

A  cop shot a violent teenager who was attacking him in his car, loaded on dope. That’s national news?  Oh, I forgot.  The cop was white and the teenager was black? What if it was the other way around?  Wouldn’t even make that police blotter in a medium-sized city.  In that way it’s sort of like the umpteen black on black murders that permeate our urban landscape, so common but we never hear of even one on the nightly news.  Not interesting.  It’s as if those people never existed.  Talk about racism.  That’s the real racism, ignoring that and covering Ferguson.

Sorry, no Candy Crowley for those brothers.   Candy’s only interested when revolution is in the air and there is blood on the streets.  But as Gil Scott-Heron informed us way back in 1970, “The revolution will not be televised.” (Zo Rachel revised it later for PJTV — see above. ) Candy will not be there for the revolution.  She will only be there to cover for prevaricating presidents in foreign policy debates and, these days, if there is a revolution in the USA, it is not going to come from the left anyway. That’s over.  The left is too establishment to rebel now.  Too old-fashioned.  They can’t have a revolution against themselves, can they?

No, they have to concoct something in Ferguson. The big losers in all this are, of course, black people (or, if your prefer the reactionary neologism, African Americans). And their real enemy — aside from the obvious  Democratic Party that has oppressed them from time immemorial (or at least the Great Society) — are the media.  They are the ones who turn events like Ferguson into national news, exploiting and exacerbating the pervasive victimology that is wrecking black culture and making it worse.  And worse.  And worse — so that in the age of Obama it is careening toward the tragic. The media are the ones who pave the way for the Al Sharptons and the Jesse Jacksons.  Without the media, those leeches who, quite literally, despise their own people, or at least they act that way, would wither away and die.  Who would pay attention to them?

And sorry again, as I indicate above — that includes you, Fox.  You don’t get off from this one, Sean. Nor you, Megyn and Bill.  You’re part of the problem. It’s all been one big fiesta of faux news across cable land and beyond, manufactured from the get-go.

But, as Huey P. Newton famously said, “You’re either part of the solution or part of the problem.”  So what’s the solution?

It’s obvious.  Ignore Ferguson. It was a media creation in the first place.

I know, I know.  Not so easy now.  The horse is out of the proverbial barn and running up, down and through that Eero Saarinen Gateway Arch they’ve got out in St. Louis.

So here’s another suggestion:  Ignore Ferguson but spend time discussing other approaches for helping black communities in our country, staying as far away as possible from the old liberal solutions that black people are clearly beginning to learn have failed completely.  This is a moment of opportunity. Seize the discussion.  Go in other directions — some of which have been suggested by Jack Kemp and Rand Paul.  There are more, I am sure.  Do that and turn the cameras away from the demonstrations over nothing, the endless nattering of the victim mongers.  Like a tree crashing in the wilderness, if you don’t show them, they won’t be there.  We’ll all be better for it.

UPDATE:  To be clear, when I say help black communities, I mean create conditions where they can help themselves.  Get out of the way and let them do it.  And end identity politics, which is the most obstructive thing there is to black people and of which “Ferguson” and all it engenders is a prime example.  In other words, follow the advice of Jason Riley’s new book:  Stop Helping Us.