The incendiary situation in Ferguson, Missouri goes on, showing no real sign of abating, and sadly appears to be on the increase as autopsy reports are dissected and debated. One can only wonder what will follow should an arrest be made, or not. To say nothing of a potential trial and verdict down the road.
I have no idea of the details surrounding the shooting of Michael Brown other than what has been made public via the media. However what concerns me is the situation that exists now between the law enforcement parties – police and National Guard – and those who are exercising their right to peaceful protest. Television news is full of video of the Guard setting up in anticipation of trouble. Armored personnel carriers and troops decked-out in camouflage more suited to a war zone that St. Louis appear to be preparing for an attack. Ferguson, Missouri looks like Iraq when viewed on television.
It brings to my mind the situation in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina some years ago. While Mother Nature wreaked her havoc, and levees burst, some locals decided it was an ideal opportunity to take advantage of the mayhem and exacerbate the situation by looting rather than cooperating. The effect of the presence of heavy-handed troops, rather than quelling the problem, was more like gas thrown on a fire. Enter General Russel Honoré, a native of Louisiana, whose approach to the problem is best summed up in his shouted order “Put that Goddamned weapon down, soldier”.
I have to believe that if the National Guard in Ferguson had made their point by letting the protesters see their equipment, getting across their message that they were serious about things, but then had plunked down a pile of boxes of pizza for the protesters to illustrate that they were not there to intimidate, that they are not the enemy, they would have won the public relations battle.