Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:August 19th, 2014 11:42 EST
As Ferguson, Mo.`s Social and Racial Unrest Festers, What Role Is Played By the Media?

As Ferguson, Mo.`s Social and Racial Unrest Festers, What Role Is Played By the Media?

By John G. Kays

Ferguson, Mo. isn`t Ferguson, Mo. anymore! Now it`s a staging ground for those who seek out justice for Michael Brown and for young African-American males in general, who appear to have been specifically targeted by the police (not just in Ferguson, but throughout the United States).

Nonetheless, there is something else going on here that`s new and may not have anything to do with the terrible atrocity superimposed on Michael Brown. This new entity or phenomenon, festering into a monster, practically, has more to do with an outside element of dissidents (let me cite the Revolution Club of Chicago) coming into Ferguson with a completely different agenda (which might be characterized as intrinsically nefarious).

Adding fuel to the mix, and contributing to a literally fiery conflagration of emotional rage, is the over-saturated, multitudinous presence of media, and highly-armed, militarized police, or now the Missouri National Guard, who don`t encourage or complement peaceful protest and demonstrations in any way, rather only exacerbating and exaggerating even sharper divisions (economic, social, and most certainly racial ones).

This is how I see it, although a good amount of this recent chronicle`s narrative will need airplay in my composition in order to verify my theories. However, I don`t mean to be difficult, but rather I`ll suggest, just such a timeline is unnecessary, since most people are right on top of all these developments, if not in real time, such as the media fits the metaphor of white on rice, delivering 24/7 coverage on Ferguson (even NBC`s Brian Williams was reporting from the troubled St Louis suburb last night).

As I see it, the obsession of zooming in on this rapidly evolving (if not deteriorating) story by virtually all news organizations, has created a new dynamic, a new angle to growing social unrest, that only balloons exponentially (even as I type), putting the police and protesters at more contentious odds, feeding upon itself.

The reporters (some ambitious reporter ought to take inventory of who`s there) blend with and almost morph into the amorphous body of legitimate protesters and outside dissidents or agitators, whose numbers ever increase with the passing of another day! In any case, when watching footage on your TV screen, you`re not able to distinguish too clearly who are the Good Guys and who are the supposed Bad Guys, or which of these people running about are dedicated news folks, just trying to give their designated target audience the scoops they want and deserve to get. 

The troublemakers know this, and so they can take advantage of it; as I`ve said previously, I`m reminded of Chicago in 1968, when the Yippies did something similar. The only difference is, Mayor Daley and the Chicago Police took the bait and burst out swinging their clubs without regard. I will say, appointing a Missouri State Highway Patrol captain, Ron Johnson, and sidelining (to some extent) the local Ferguson Police, was a wise move, although it still hasn`t had the healing effect we might have hoped for.

My take on this unfortunate realization is, just one man is not enough to put this down or quell the self-perpetuating quagmire; Governor Jay Nixon felt like he had to call in the National Guard, which tends to undermine the outstanding and courageous efforts manifested by Ron Johnson. Finally, yesterday, President Obama said he`s sending Eric Holder in to try and neutralize the mounting unrest (which I believe is due, in part, to the newly established presence of the National Guard, who are armed to the T, looking more like they`re ready to engage in combat)

Furthermore, the Department of Justice will conduct yet a 3rd autopsy on Michael Brown, which will be nice, just to make sure the other two autopsies were done correctly. For me, and I realize it`s too early to jump to unsubstantiated conclusions, but it looks like this white officer, Darren Wilson, ruthlessly, callously, and coldly, shot this young Black Man to death, at least 6 times, then they left his lifeless body to rot in the street for hours and hours, suggesting the FPF wanted to make an example out him, and to put the Fear of God (reminiscent of what the Ku Klux Klan would do) in the community. 

This is what will happen to you, if you mess with the police. Correct me if I`m wrong, but this is the reason why we (Americans) have a very big problem on our hands, that likely won`t go away too easily!