Moral Befuddlement in Ferguson

Patrick J. Buchanan, VDARE, November 25, 2014

“It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”

Edmund Burke’s insight returned to mind while watching cable news coverage of the rampage in Ferguson, Missouri, after St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced that officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

The rioting, looting, arson and gunfire that began after McCulloch relayed the grand jury’s decision, a decision long predicted and anticipated, revealed the unspoken truth about Ferguson.

The problem in Ferguson is not the 53-man police department. The problem is the hoodlum element those Ferguson cops have to police, who, Monday night, burned and pillaged the stores on the main streets of their own community.

The police were portraits in restraint as they were cursed and showered with rocks, bottles and Molotov cocktails. If the police were at fault at all, it was in their refusal to use the necessary force to stop a rampaging mob that destroyed the lives and livelihoods of honest businessmen and women of Ferguson.


“No justice, no peace!” has been a howl of the protesters.

What they mean is strikingly clear: Michael Brown, one of us, is dead. Therefore, this cop, Darren Wilson, must go on trial for his life.

But this is not justice in America. We have a legal process to determine who was in the right and who in the wrong, and whether a crime has been committed by a policeman in the use of deadly force.

“No justice, no peace” is an encapsulation of the lex talionis, an eye for an eye. Do we really want to go back to race-based lynch law?

That 10 o’clock split screen of Obama in the White House briefing room calling for peaceful protest and greater efforts by police to understand “communities of color,” side by side with graphic video of mob mayhem in Ferguson, tells a sad truth.

America’s election of a black president has not closed and, for some, has not even narrowed the racial divide.


Unfortunately, many are openly pandering to the crowd, denouncing the prosecutor, denouncing the grand jury, denouncing the Ferguson cops, but tongue-tied when it come to denouncing the thuggery of black youth on the streets of Ferguson.


Where, from the president on down, do we hear any thunderous condemnation of what went on in Ferguson Monday night and of those responsible, coupled with a clarion call for the restoration of law and order in Ferguson, as an essential precondition of any civilized society?


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