Michael Brown

Obama Speaks on Ferguson Events; Has Nothing to Say About Police Militarization


Here's President Barack Obama, commenting on the events in Ferguson with all the engagement of an announcer reading the side effects of a prescription medication in a television ad:

I thought about highlighting some comments from the four-minute speech, but it's just that shitty that I can't quote anything that you can't just make up in your own head. Calls for peace and calm? Check. Statement that feds are investigating? Check. Declaration that we all have "shared values" in the face of clear evidence otherwise? Check. Belief that we're all equal under the law as though that has ever been the case for law enforcement officers? Check. Here's an Associated Press story you can skim if you can't watch the video.

Completely absent: Any sort of reference to the militarization of the police, the very thing that has become a central, fundamental part of this narrative. It's the one component that is drawing the left and the right together. And yet, the issue of these police officers having absurd, unnecessary weapons and trucks is completely unmentioned. Contrast Obama's response to Sen. Rand Paul's criticism in Time that our police forces have become a military presence.

It shouldn't be a surprise, though. Where did the police department get this equipment? The militarization of the police has happened with the participation and encouragement of the executive branch of the federal government. Did anybody actually expect Obama to suggest the idea that government is too powerful? Don't be silly.