Conservative Rich Lowry’s take on Ferguson killing illustrates his ignorance
Conservative Rich Lowry showed a severe lack of understanding about all the issues that led up to the protesting and dissatisfaction in Ferguson. The diverse panel afforded a kind of push back that was a welcomed departure from past panels’ reactions to Rich Lowry’s statements.
Chuck Todd asked whether a post grand jury verdict Department of Justice (DOJ) action would open up more wounds or raise too many expectations. Helene Cooper, Pentagon correspondent for the New York Times, said that she believes DOJ action has the potential to make things worse.
She said she wish we could move on because the fundamental issue is still there. “It isn’t necessarily about Michael Brown,” Helene Cooper said. “It’s that this keeps happening to Black men. It is that whole issue of driving while Black.” She then recounts an article in the Wall Street Journal by her friend Gary Fields about what it feels like to be a two hundred fifty pound Black man walking down the street always under suspicion. I wrote my own essay titled “I was Trayvon Martin the day I came to America” during the Trayvon Martin killing that was strikingly similar in tone.
Helene Cooper’s most prescient statement however speaks volumes to all incidences like Ferguson. “As long as Black people continue to feel that you cannot walk down the street,” Helene Cooper said. “without coming under suspicion, this anger is going to continue.”
Washington Post Columnist Eugene Robinson reiterated her statements and then admonished a previous Rich Lowry statement that implied minorities and the poor are resistant to their need of more policing for systemic crime. “I just want to comment on one thing. Poor communities want policing,” Eugene Robinson said. “They need policing. You find the most law-and-order oriented people you could ever find in low-income communities that have a crime problem. They want policing that’s done with the community instead of to the community.”
Andrea Mitchell also interjected an important statement. “And they want policing not with the majority white police force and a majority black community, Rich,” she said.
Chuck Todd then attempted to get some feedback from Rich Lowry as to the reasons suburban Whites less than urban Whites believe there are deeper racial problems. Instead of answering directly, Rich Lowry used the opportunity to indict Michael Brown.
“But what I really object to is you can discuss all these problems, but let’s not pretend that this particular incident was something it wasn’t,” Rich Lowry said. “If you look at the most credible evidence, the lessons are really basic. Don’t rob a convenience store. Don’t fight a policeman when he stops you and try to take his gun. And when he yells at you to stop with his gun drawn, just stop, and none of this would’ve happened.”
The panel all admonished him for his interpretation. Andrea Mitchell used the opportunity to further school Rich Lowry on how good government irrespective of the race of leadership can work. “One quick point about the polling place,” Andrea Mitchell said. “Cities like Baltimore, Maryland, are doing things on diversity of police force that has nothing to do with elected. White officials can diversify their police forces.”