What we are currently seeing in Ferguson is a scenario we have seen repeated often. Not just recently, either. There have frequently been people that will tell any sort of lie, no matter how big and inflammatory, with the apparent expectation of not being called out for it. The purpose is to stir up those they want to stir up, and the more stirred up and the faster, the better.
Back in the 80’s, while I worked on a bench in a shop in Dallas, Texas, I used to listen to WRR, the classical music station there. On Wednesdays, they would broadcast the city council meeting (WRR was owned by the city of Dallas). At this time, Bob Folsom was mayor of Dallas. Also at this time, there was quite a bit of racial tensions in Dallas and, therefore, quite a few racial agitators (perhaps you have heard of the travails of John Wiley Price). Often, what would normally be considered a boring venue was very entertaining. That’s why I listened.
One of the agitators was Al Lipscomb. He was before the city council speaking every week. He didn’t like anything; once, he declared it racist that the city wanted to put in a new park in predominately black and poverty-stricken South Dallas. On this day, however, he had his A-game on.
Al recounted the story of a poor, innocent black youth that, for no apparent reason, was pulled over by the police. Well, there was a reason… he was black and that’s all the reason the Dallas Gestapo needed. They rousted this young man, the cop pulled his .357 Magnum (no, really, this was the dialogue) and “blew this boy’s leg off”. The gallery erupted in shouts and disruption and that was pretty much the end of that session.
The next week, Al came up, once again, to speak. When he started speaking, on a new subject, Mayor Folsom stopped him. He said, “You made some accusations before this council last week. Today, I am going to answer those accusations, in kind, publicly, just as you did”.
Folsom recounted the same story, but with a few minor details changed.
First, the officer was responding to a robbery. He saw a young man walking down the street wearing a large coat. When the young man (he was black) saw the patrol car, he turned and went the opposite direction. He then ducked down an alley. The police pursued.
The policeman caught up with the man and asked what he was doing. He opened his coat, and he had a stereo tucked inside. He also had a pistol stuck in his belt. When the officer reached for the weapon (this was well before CHL), a struggle ensued. The man was wrestled to the ground and the officer attempted to cuff the man. He broke loose and beat the officer with the cuffs (clasped to one wrist) and fled. He was pursued and tackled. After a struggle, he escaped again.
He was pursued into the courtyard of an apartment complex. Once again he was tackled. Once again, a struggle ensued. This time, the man struggled with the officer’s weapon. In the struggle for the weapon, it was discharged and hit the man in the leg.
There were twelve witnesses. This is the version of the encounter they observed.
Oh, and the man confessed to this as well.
Al went ballistic, as did his supporters in the gallery, and eventually, the gallery was cleared out.
I wondered how anyone thought they could get away with twisting and distorting facts in such a way to inflame and incite and simply expect to get away with it. Well, they do, and later, Al was a city councilman in Dallas.
This is a pattern and a tactic of the race-baiting agitators who feed on the hatred they brew. In the Zimmerman case, the public was whipped into a frenzy by the same breed of haters and even when the facts were made clear, the death of Travon Martin was still characterized as a racial killing.
In Ferguson, the same names and faces appear to whip up the crowd into a blood-lusting frenzy, inventing facts, exaggerating actions and imposing motives. Even as more and more facts come out and refute the inflammatory rhetoric being used for personal gain, they (Sharpton, Jackson, etc) continue with the same story line because none of their listeners want to hear the truth. I see this as the same behavior as I listened to on WRR back in the ’80’s. It still works.