Like many other people in America, I have been watching the events in Ferguson, MO with horror and with anger. In this situation the televised images convey the essential truth: Ferguson is suffering a military occupation by an enemy power armed and outfitted by the United States government and proceeding, as such occupations so often do, under the color of law. I do not think I need to describe what has been happening or add my anger to that being expressed by the people of Ferguson. But I do wish to make one small point.
This is one of those rare cases of injustice and oppression where an effective response is available. To put it as simply as I can, the Black majority in Ferguson can vote the White mayor and city council out of office at the next election, and put in their place a city government that will send the military equipment back to the Feds and institute a just, fair, lawful, responsive city government, including the police department.
I may have missed it, but I have not yet heard any loud, insistent calls for political action by the people of Ferguson. To be sure, if such action begins, the city government will, I am sure, do everything it can to suppress the vote, but I rather suspect in this case the people of Ferguson could count on state and federal authorities to back them in their effort to proceed lawfully and politically.
The racial composition of the Ferguson city government is explained by reference to the tendency of Black residents not to vote, as though that were some sort of genetic or environmental condition about which nothing could be done. But that is nonsense. If all the people who are protesting committed themselves to removing the city government, I think their chances of success would be very great indeed. Then, perhaps, they might secure indictments against the policeman who shot Michael Brown six times in the head and upper body while he was walking down the middle of the street, and perhaps indictments as well against the policeman's superiors, who are responsible for the conduct of officers under their command.