When Jeniece Andrews got a call that her Ferguson, Missouri, antiques and jewelry store, Hidden Treasures, was on fire on Monday night, she dropped everything and headed to the store. By the time she got there, it was too late: Three years of blood, sweat, and tears had disappeared into the night air.
"I came and parked across the street, and I just broke down. I couldn’t believe it. Everything I worked for for three years with my husband was gone," she told the Wall Street Journal.
Dayan, the Jewish owner of STL Cordless, also found his business destroyed by looters. Standing in the middle of his trashed electronics store, he told the Los Angeles Times, "They took everything — phones, cases, everything."
Dayan recalled, “They [the police] told us they would try to root that kind of violence out. I don’t know how much success they had.”
Not much. On Monday night more than 20 buildings were torched by arsonists. Most of these businesses were minority owned, KMOV-TV reported. Rioters may claim that they are attacking what they allege to be white racist society, yet it is minorities who are most hurt by the violence committed in minority-dominant communities such as Ferguson.
All of this despite claims by Missouri Governor Ray Nixon that “lives and property must be protected. This community deserves to have peace. We will provide safety and security to this region.”
Nixon quickly learned that 700 National Guard troops weren’t going to be enough, so on Tuesday he called up another 1,500, which apparently had the desired effect.
Oathkeepers thought that Nixon wouldn't provide enough protection, and so they made a special plea to their members to form a Ferguson Security Team to help guard small businesses from being incinerated:
Because we expected that Governor Nixon would drop the ball, we put a call out among our membership early Monday morning, asking for volunteers, and got enough of a response to commit to protecting the property of four local small business owners (two Asian, one black, one white) in downtown Ferguson.
Their shops are in the same strip mall. Those shop owners could not afford to hire security, and several had tears in their eyes as they thanked our team for offering to help for free.
They couldn’t believe someone would be so kind as to volunteer without pay, to protect them.
The police power is the collective representation of an individual’s right to self-defense, but it seems that the local police have been so intimidated and emasculated that officers were content merely to issued bull-horn warnings to looters to stop, and then observe the mayhem that followed. Part may have been due to the national attention the media has focused on alleged racism and white supremacy extant in the local police department, and part may have been because of Nixon’s call for a Unified Command of all forces except Ferguson’s, leaving them out of the loop and effectively removing from them any responsibility for the resultant rioting.
Editors at the Wall Street Journal expressed their own frustration on Tuesday when they noted that
Police, elected officials and protest leaders struggled Tuesday to understand how the situation spun out of control. State officials had spent weeks preparing for Monday’s [grand jury] announcement, from training officers to reaching out to clergy and protest leaders.
For years the causes of crime have been the focus of attention by social scientists and liberal interveners, with apparently little to show for their efforts. In 2009 The Handbook of Crime Correlates published the results of more than 5,200 studies, and noted strong correlations of crime with age (young males commit more crimes), especially those with the “warrior gene” tied to substance abuse. It pointed to a relationship between race and crime as well, along with maternal smoking during pregnancy, low “parent-child” attaching (i.e., absent fathers), child abuse, marital discord and high divorce rates, alcoholism and drug abuse, and poor “monitoring” of children during their formative years.
All this, and more, has led to the unhappy statistics showing that homicide is the leading cause of death among black men, and 90 percent of black murder victims are killed by other blacks. Blacks make up just 13 percent of the population but are responsible for a majority of all murders in the United States. Blacks commit violent crimes at seven to 10 times the rate that whites do, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Because of this, the police are naturally and logically more involved in arresting blacks simply because they commit more of the crimes. As the Journal noted: “So long as young black men are responsible for an outsized portion of violent crime, they will be viewed suspiciously by law enforcement and fellow citizens of all races.” It added, "Ferguson’s problem isn’t white cops or white prosecutors; it’s the thug behavior exhibited by individuals like Michael Brown, which puts a target on the backs of other young black men."
Coddling, romanticizing, or ignoring such behavior merely invites more of it. When black leaders such as President Obama and disgraced Attorney General Holder support the progressive lie of white supremacy being the cause of friction in Ferguson and elsewhere, they are inviting additional violence.
What might Obama and Holder have done differently in Ferguson? They could have travelled there in person and held a press conference urging respect for law and order and the justice system and support for the lawful grand jury’s findings.
They even, in a moment of brilliance, might have repeated the words of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani:"The first minute you break a window, you are put in handcuffs — whatever your race."
Photo: AP Images