As with everything Ferguson, there are no easy answers. But at this juncture, it's pretty clear Obama's presence would be a very risky political move.Bar Patrons, I got words. Now, since I got quite a few, let me just do this in a list:
...As we wrote Monday, the issue is already proving to be racially and politically polarizing -- much like the Trayvon Martin case -- with African Americans and Democrats much more skeptical of the police and the investigation and much more likely to believe race was a factor in what happened. Whites and Republicans see the situation in a far, far different light.
So when a polarizing African American Democratic president shows up, it's pretty much unavoidable that it would be seen as a nod to the protesters and their cause. (Source)
1 - Google "Law Enforcement Reform"
Google it now, and Google it just like that, in quotes.
*nods* I know.
2 - Don't fall for the Race Derail
In this instance, "Race Derail" refers to how law enforcement specifically targets people of color. They do so because in a racist police state like America, they are usually able to murder and harass us with impunity. In short, POC make the best targets for police harassment because this society doesn't protect us the way it does white people.
But don't kid yourselves. The minute law enforcement can find a way over that particular hurdle, the civilian death rate will go up astronomically.
In essence, the Race Derail allows law enforcement to racialize POC's response to their abuse, assuring the white citizenry that POC are liars, violent animals, and natural-born criminals deserving of such treatment, and that law enforcement would never, ever, ever react to white civilians the same way.
3 - Don't fall for the Rioters/Looters Derail
Debating whether or not rioting is an acceptable form of self-expression is in and of itself a derail. I say this because, as BrothaWolf so aptly points out, rioting never seems to be a problem when white people do it. By focusing on the looters and rioters in Ferguson, the conversation sanctimoniously deviates from what started it all, and no...that's not Mike Brown. Mike Brown - may he rest in peace - was the last straw that broke Ferguson's back. Over the past several days, we've learned an awful lot about the history and sociology of not just Ferguson, but St. Louis and Missouri overall. This display of civil unrest was a long, long time in the making, and while white folks may be shocked and/or appalled, POC had long realized that 1 + 1 was gonna equal 2 sooner or later. It's always just a matter of time.
4 - Don't kid yourselves
America needs to let go of the fantasy where POC take bullets lying down, and our only response to tyranny is candlelight vigils and Negro spirituals. Various armed rioters have been quoted flat-out stating that enough is enough; they are sick of being treated like this by the police and they're not gonna take it anymore.
Fashion Tip from Moi
The focus of the conversation now should be 1) what justice will Mike Brown's family receive, 2) how soon can they expect it, and 3) what will this country do to eliminate the abuses of law enforcement - period. Everything else is just runaround intended to maintain - or worsen - the status quo.