Don’t Expect Riots Over Ferguson
© Jack Cashill
Democratic Missouri Governor Jay Nixon held a press conference on Tuesday about the events in Ferguson, and he talked tougher than he has in the past, much tougher.
I think I know why.
“The Guard will be available when we determine it is necessary to support local law enforcement,” Nixon announced at a state highway patrol headquarters. “Quite simply, we must and will be fully prepared.”
Widely criticized for his squishy response in August after the shooting death of Michael Brown by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, Nixon seems to have found his mojo.
“In the days immediately following Michael Brown’s death, peaceful protests were marred by senseless acts of violence and destruction,” he said. “Vandals smashed the windows of small businesses. Criminals looted and set fire to stores.”
“Gunshots and Molotov cocktails endangered citizens exercising their First Amendment rights and law enforcement attempting to maintain peace,” Nixon continued. “That ugliness was not representative of Missouri, and it cannot be repeated.”
This is the toughest talk out of a governing Democrat since Chicago Mayor Richard “Boss” Daley hung up his blackjack.
Nixon has something going for him now that Daley did not and that the media have almost entirely ignored, namely the weather. A vast cold front has settled on the central part of the country and shows no sign of relenting.
Temperatures for the next week at least will be running twenty degrees below normal in Ferguson. Nighttime temperatures routinely will dip into the low twenties and high teens.
To this point, even when the weather was more conducive to running around shirtless with one’s drawers’ drooping, the rioting has not broken out of the immediate Ferguson area.
Cross-state in Kansas City, where I live, there have been no disturbances at all. In fact, the homicide rate in Kansas City is at a low not seen in a generation or more.
One suspects that authorities in the St. Louis area, federal and state, are conscious of the weather and its impact on human behavior and have withheld their announcements accordingly.
One is hard pressed to recall a serious riot taking place during a major cold spell. The major urban riots of the sixties all took place in the summer. Campus riots have inevitably taken place in the spring. The only exceptions have been in places like California and Florida.
Another factor to consider is that despite the dire warnings, and despite the fact that the George Zimmerman verdict came down in July, there were no riots over the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
The great majority of African Americans understand that Trayvon Martin, like Michael Brown, was no Martin Luther King, no Emmett Till either.
In the case of Michael Brown, much more information about his thuggery has seeped into the public domain than about Martin. All but the willfully deaf understand that he did much to provoke his own death.
It bears all the hallmarks of a classic “suicide by cop.”
In the case of both Martin and Brown, the media, especially the television networks, have created a theater of nostalgia designed to remind liberals of their moral superiority.
The mischief makers in Ferguson have exploited the opportunities that the main stage offers, but they have no sympathy with the stage managers and little understanding of the historic narrative.
Few among them will risk their futures, let alone their lives, for the gentle giant or some comforting media spin.
So Jay Nixon can do all the posturing he wants. He strongly suspects that nature will do all the hard work for him.
I tend to agree. That much said, I like most Missourians, am keeping my powder dry.
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