By Paul Bremmer
There’s been criticism of militarized police actions in Ferguson, Missouri, where officers for more than a week have been trying to head off riots, vandalism, looting and burning that erupted in the wake of the shooting of a black teenager by a policeman.
There’s been tear gas, multi-purpose military vehicles, smoke grenades, flak-jacketed officers, curfews and more.
But one author who has written extensively about black mob violence says he’s not particularly concerned over that aspect of the violent situation.
He said that’s because the killing of Michael Brown on Aug. 9 has brought out an ugly side of the black community – hatred for police.
According to multiple reports, some protesters have lobbed Molotov cocktails at police sent to quell riots. Other rioters stood on top of police cars and taunted officers. Death threats have been made against members of the Ferguson Police Department.
“The weird thing to me about Ferguson is the people are now out of the closet, the people who say this violence is justified because of white racism,” said Colin Flaherty, the author of “White Girl Bleed A Lot: The Return of Racial Violence to America and How the Media Ignore It.” “They’re being very explicit about it, much more so than I’ve ever seen in the past.”
Flaherty doesn’t think the Ferguson riots are justified, and he is more sympathetic toward the tactics police have felt they need to use to battle rioters. He said he has seen thousands of videos of black mob violence all over the country, in big cities and small towns alike, and that violence has convinced him that police have to militarize.
“There’s an enormous amount of large-scale violence, and the police are being confronted every day with racial animosity on an individual and group level, and so I don’t worry about the paramilitary operations of the police department,” he said.
There were two startling examples of black hatred of the police on back-to-back weekends last month, according to Flaherty. On July 5, Indianapolis Police Officer Perry Renn was shot and killed by black gunman Major Davis Jr. Davis’ family blamed Renn for the incident, telling a local TV station the officer should have stayed in his car because he could see that Davis had a gun.
Several officers in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department responded by starting a social media campaign to assert their commitment to stand up to dangerous criminals. In a series of short Facebook videos, officers can be seen declaring that they will always get out of their cars.
Rev. Charles Harrison, one of the leaders of the 10 Point Coalition in Indianapolis, which works to mediate individuals in the black community from retaliating in violence after one crime has been committed, told the Indianapolis Star, “This generation of young people does not have any respect for authority in general and are much more willing to be confrontational with the police.”
The next weekend, on July 13, black gunman Lawrence Campbell shot and killed a young police officer outside a Walgreens store in Jersey City, New Jersey. He himself was later shot and killed by police. Campbell’s wife told a local TV station that she wished her husband had taken as many cops as possible with him to the grave. Somebody even set up a makeshift memorial for Campbell near his house.
Flaherty talks to police officers all over the country about what they go through.
“They tell me, when they roll up in a ghetto, or maybe to a group of black people outside of a store, oftentimes people are singing the song ‘F— tha Police’ [a 1988 N.W.A. rap hit]. This is an old song, and they’re still singing it. Sometimes, they’ll take their fingers, and they’ll point it and shoot it at the cops,” Flaherty said.
Statistics reveal black people encounter police and arrest situations at a much higher rate than their white counterparts. According to 2012 FBI statistics, 4,203 blacks were arrested for murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, versus 4,101 whites, and police arrested 44,002 blacks for robbery, versus only 34,000 whites, despite the fact whites make up a much larger share of the total U.S. population.
Flaherty, however, doesn’t buy the typical liberal explanation for the differing rates of arrest.
“The big lie is the only reason that black people and white people are arrested in different amounts for different crimes is because of white racism,” Flaherty said.
The author sees those who enable black mob violence – he suggests names like President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder – as just as culpable as those who actually perpetrate the violence.
“The president and the attorney general are encouraging, denying, condoning, enabling this enormous level of black mob violence all around the country and especially in Ferguson,” Flaherty said. “This is an enormous tragedy.”