Ferguson

Hillary Clinton Finally Comments on Ferguson, Focuses on Race-Based Enforcement Injustices

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Did it really take that long to get the comments focus group-tested?
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Hey, remember when Paul Waldman in The Washington Post wondered where the libertarians were on Michael Brown's killing in Ferguson, Missouri, and then Sen. Rand Paul wrote a big op-ed in Time the next day denouncing both the militarization of the police and the racial injustices of the way blacks are treated by law enforcement and courts?

Just thought I should remind folks about that happening nearly two weeks ago.

In completely unrelated news, presumptive Democratic candidate for president Hillary Clinton finally weighed in on the events in Ferguson yesterday. The Washington Post has some video footage of her prepared comments here. She makes a vague reference to the militarization of police by saying "Nobody wants our streets to look like a war zone," but she focused much more on the racism inherent in how our current justice system operates:

Imagine what we would feel and what we would do if white drivers were three times as likely to be searched by police during a traffic stop as black drivers instead of the other way around. If white offenders received prison sentences ten percent longer than black offenders for the same crimes. If a third of all white men – just look at this room and take one-third – went to prison during their lifetime. Imagine that. That is the reality in the lives of so many of our fellow Americans in so many of the communities in which they live.

Her comments aren't bad at all (though her vagueness on militarization suggests to me that she doesn't see the distribution of equipment as a problem but rather its use in these circumstances). But it certainly took her a long time to articulate simple thoughts about racial injustice that aren't actually all that controversial or new and haven't already been said in response to Ferguson. Remember, this is the woman who campaigned against Barack Obama with the famous "3 a.m. phone call" that she would be more ready to lead at a moment's notice than any of her Democratic rivals:

There's nothing wrong with taking a day or so to get your thoughts together over the complex issues that drove what happened in Ferguson. But two weeks after everybody else? It makes her look like she wanted to evaluate what everybody else was saying first.  

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  1. Come on now! Bill Clinton was an expert at politicking with one finger in the wind. Surely Hillary’s learned something from her husband by now (besides PUA).

    1. A finger in the wind, and one in the intern!

      Political mastery, thy name is Bill Clinton.

      1. His very own version of “The Shocker”

    2. Hillary’s one finger in the air is the middle finger.

    3. Actually he was like the little dutch boy. He stuck one finger in the dyke …

  2. Hillary doesn’t feel no ways tired…

  3. Black Like Hillary: The Wife of the First Black President Speaks.

  4. Wow, she didn’t jump to the “evil whitey” conclusion within ten seconds of this tragic event in an effort to exploit it for crass political purposes?

    Personally, I consider that more a point in her favor than I do one against her.

    1. There’s nothing wrong with taking a day or so to get your thoughts together over the complex issues that drove what happened in Ferguson.”

      The first libertarian “voice” took FIVE days, not a day or so. (Reason reported from the start … to libertarians.)

  5. What difference, at this point, does it make?

  6. That is the reality in the lives of so many of our fellow Americans in so many of the communities in which they live.

    And this all happens in a complete vacuum where behavior and choice play no role whatsoever in outcomes.

    1. I know, what kind of idiot would choose to be black in this country?

      1. Wow Tony Clifton, that was vapid even for whoever is playing you today.

    2. The point is that the behavior of other people in one’s community should not be a basis to stop one, right? I mean, you seem to suggest that this profiling is at least somewhat excused because some number of blacks do behave badly. That’s pretty collectivist thinking

      1. It’s not “collectivist thinking” to be aware of statistics. If I’m walking down the sidewalk at night and encounter four people walking towards me, what are the odds that I am in danger? If they are two elderly Asian couples, near zero. If it’s four black teen males dressed like gangsters, rather more than zero.

  7. The delay in her public announcements will all be forgotten by the time the primary season comes around.

    And by then the Press will be pointedly asking why, oh why, did it take so long for Rand Paul to make a statement.

    1. Rand Paul believes that taxpayer-funded policemen should go into restaurants and forcibly remove black people if the proprietors of the restaurant doesn’t want to serve them because they are black. Yeah, Republican outreach to minority communities is going swimmingly.

      1. Gee Tony, is it that time of the month for you?
        You’re being exceptionally assholey today.

        1. Actually I’m on vacation. Don’t know why I’m in such a pissy mood. Drinking should help.

          1. *Drinking should help.*

            Indeed. Try antifreeze.

      2. He also believes that taxpayer-funded policemen should go into restuarants and forcibly remove white people if the proprietors of the restuarant don’t want to serve them because they’re white.

        Funny thing, principles are, no?

        1. Not as funny as small-government advocates believing that the state should enforce racial discrimination.

          1. Not as funny as small-government advocates believing that the state should enforce racial discrimination property rights.

            Yeah, why should anyone expect the government to enforce property rights? Geez, those wacky libertarians.

            1. Unfortunately, and for arbitrary reasons, you define property rights as including the right of owners of business that cater to the public to discriminate based on race.

              Property rights are never absolute (you can’t commit a crime on your property). For nonarbitrary reasons our society found it preferable to enforce free access to public accommodations instead of enforcing business owners’ right to discriminate. Yet society has failed to crumble as a result.

              1. cater to the public

                Tony, I have told you this before. Try to pay attention this time: Businesses do not cater to ‘the public’. Businesses are private and cater to private customers by trading a product or service for the customers money. This is a private and voluntary transaction. If one party chooses not to participate, the transaction does not happen. Additionally, if a business owner wants you to leave their property (for any reason) and you refuse, you are in violation of their rights to their property. If you want a

                1. (accidently hit submit)…cont: If you want a private business the caters to the public, by all means start one and run it how you see fit.

                2. Good argument Rev-Match. Opens the door to an “equal rights” context.

      3. Or straights if the gay bar owner doesn’t want them there. Or the lesbian fitness club doesn’t want them there. Or the Muslim butcher doesn’t want infidels in his store.

        1. The Muslim Butcher? Was he the Jack of Spades on the deck of Iraqi Leadership Playing Cards or was he the guy that teamed up with Nikolai Volkoff in Wrestlmania?

      4. Police should protect people’s rights. I doubt you’d have an issue with police, say, protecting the rights of Nazis as they marched.

        1. Yeah so it depends on which right you think is more important, the right of racists to discriminate in public accommodations or the right of people to be free from discrimination in the same. No fundamental reason to choose the former over the latter, and we made that choice a long time ago anyway.

          1. Personally, Tony, I think the right of free association and property rights trump anyone’s right to be free of private discrimination.

            1. That’s a legitimate position in that it’s not self-contradictory. I just disagree because, like, reality.

              1. And what “reality” is that? Have non-discrimination laws been effective? Obviously not, that’s why we still have all those “racial disparities” that progressives keep droning on about.

                Reality is that non-discrimination laws perpetuate racial disparities and inequality and keep minorities down.

            2. I don’t understand how you can have a right to do business with another person, whether they want to or not.

          2. and we made that choice a long time ago anyway.

            And even longer before that “we” made the choice to allow one human being to own another, I suppose slaves didn’t have any rights back then since the government said so right?

          3. public accommodations

            Again, businesses are private and do not serve as public accommodations.

          4. Tony there is no such thing as a “right to be free of” anything

          5. Yeah so it depends on which right you think is more important

            Fundamental rights are unalienable — thus equal to each other.

      5. He also believes they should remove whites if the owners want, even if the owner is (gasp) black. That a gay owner can exclude a straight person and vice versa, that men’s clubs can exclude women, and women’s gums can exclude men. This is usually the part where you either argue that some groups are more equal, or some variation of the government says so, therefore its moral. So I guess equal protection only applies to gay marriage in your mind.

      6. When it’s a Republican proposal, Tony acknowledges the violence inherent in the system.

      7. Even back in the ’60s, research showed that the market solved this: segregated businesses did less well than integrated ones. Today, I’d be surprised if a segregated business lasted a month.

  8. To me Clinton resembles a problem gambler down to her last 20 bucks wandering around a casino looking for the perfect table where she just knows she will win all of her money back.

    1. Meanwhile, Lizzie Warren is cleaning the house out in the high limit craps area.

      1. I saw my first “Run Bernie Run as a Democrat for President” bumper sticker on a car yesterday (in one of the richest areas – the Main Line – of Philadelphia.)

        1. Perhaps I’m clueless, who’s Bernie? Sanders?

          1. Career socialist politician from Vermont. Got elected Mayor of Burlington just before France first elected Mitterrand president back in 1981; was elected to the US House in 1990; and then to the Senate in 2006.

        2. It’s always the rich areas where the most hardened bourgouise commies are. I saw my first Warren 2016 bumper sticker on the PCH in Malibu a year ago.

  9. “Hey, remember when Paul Waldman in The Washington Post wondered where the libertarians were on Michael Brown’s killing in Ferguson, Missouri”

    yes. and i thought it was a lowbrow, scumbag observation that assumes being the first to jump in front of a parade and concern-troll an issue makes one morally superior

    Which does not necessarily require anyone to then play their game, and try to “win” at the contest they invented.

    I do not think the correct response should have been “UH, well yeah, our guy DID speak out and he did it before YOUR GUY!! IN YOUR FACE!!”

    The correct response should have been to point out that what is far more important is the issue of Police Militarization – something Reason has covered for over a decade while mainstream news outlets have largely ignored.

    One-upping the progs at their own scumbaggery is not in our best interests.

    1. Sure, his criticism was based on a false premise. But the criticism was also *factually* false, a point worth noting.

      1. Notorious G.K.C.|8.29.14 @ 4:09PM|#
        Sure, his criticism was based on a false premise. But the criticism was also *factually* false, a point worth noting.

        It was 100% factually correct.
        The premise was quite valid. see the actual blog piece.

    2. “UH, well yeah, our guy DID speak out and he did it before YOUR GUY!! IN YOUR FACE!!”

      Uh,no. Michael Fox killed, Aug 9
      Waldman’s why no libertarian voices, Aug 13.
      Rand Paul’s op-ed, Aug 14
      NO libertarian “voices” for 5 days, (Reason reported well all along)

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..-ferguson/

      http://time.com/3111474/rand-paul-ferguson-police

      10,000 NYC parents marched on Albany, defending school choice, mostly black. Libertarians were not there. Libertarians did not even report on it. Reason claims school choice is a “libertarian idea.”

      Reason publishes excuse, Aug 13. Rand and Amash do not represent Ferguson, and are not members of the Libertarian Party. That was embarrassing. Here’s what Waldman wrote:

      Libertarians are, after all, supposed to be having their moment, as a cover story in last week’s New York Times Magazine put it. The foundation of libertarianism is skepticism toward government and a belief in individual freedom….So you might have thought that libertarians would be all over the media raising pointed questions about the misuse of police power.

      If history repeats, at least 3 readers will claim this is anti-libertarian … thus proving my point. This is shameful, when we libertarians were marching for civil rights in the 60s.

      Tribalism. Not just for Democrats and Republicans any more.

      1. Arrgghh. Michael BROWN! (blush)

      2. What is there to “excuse”? Ferguson is politically motivated, fabricated outrage and orchestrated violence over a simple encounter between a policeman and a violent criminal, with no evidence that race played any role.

        School choice is slightly less bad than what we have, but it’s still a lousy system and it is certainly not a libertarian system.

        Sorry, but neither Ferguson nor school choice are libertarian issues. Stop accepting the framing of the discussion from Democrats and start using your head.

        1. Sorry, but neither Ferguson nor school choice are libertarian issue

          No shit.:-)

          Then again

          and a violent criminal,

          YEAH. Innocent until proven guilty is a statist plot by the Masons and the Illuminati.

  10. “If a third of all white men ? just look at this room and take one-third ? went to prison during their lifetime. Imagine that.”

    OK, and what, from her viewpoint, is the reason for this? And what if anything should the President of the United States do about it.

    She’s not talking about pardoning nonviolent offenders and getting them out of prison – she’s talking about people who were in prison in their lifetime.

    Keeping people out of prison in the first place is fairly ambitious. You know what would be easier? Shortening excessive sentences so that the now ex-prisoners can rehabilitate themselves.

    But I doubt she’d do that – the only time she’ll issue pardons is at 11:59 AM on January 20, 2021, and then only to friends of her and her husband.

    1. “No, once they’re convicted, even of a nonviolent crime, leave them to rot – *I’m* waiting for a better society so that they won’t go to prison in the first place!”

    2. Keeping people out of prison in the first place is fairly ambitious. You know what would be easier?

      Repealing all victimless crime laws would be both the easiest and the most effective.

    3. “If a third of all white men ? just look at this room and take one-third ? went to prison during their lifetime. Imagine that.”

      Imagine if a third of all white men did things that could get them imprisoned.

      1. Yeah, did she just go full racist?

        1. She’s just one of those progressives who assumes that all racial disparities in prison statistics are due to white racism.

      2. Prof Silverglate would like a word with you. Don’t give them ideas.

  11. Damn, is that a Hillary pic? Or is that for the Meryl Streep biopic?

    1. WDATPDIM?

    2. She looks like an even dumpier Angela Merkel.

  12. focus-group tested or focus group-tested?

    1. And, yes. I’m only here for the alt-text.

  13. If a third of all white men ? just look at this room and take one-third ? went to prison during their lifetime.

    Why would I “feel” anything? If they commit crimes, they should go to prison, period. I consider the notion that I should feel solidarity with criminals just because they share my skin color to be racist in the extreme.

    Imagine what we would feel and what we would do if white drivers were three times as likely to be searched by police during a traffic stop as black drivers instead of the other way around.

    I would tell other “white people” that any racial disparities are something we are responsible for ourselves by attempting to set ourselves apart and that we should stop being such racists and integrate into a colorblind mainstream society.

    If white offenders received prison sentences ten percent longer than black offenders for the same crimes. Imagine that.

    I’d be happy about that, because it would go some ways towards mitigating the effects of the disproportionately high crime rates.

    That is the reality in the lives of so many of our fellow Americans in so many of the communities in which they live.

    True. And letting violent criminals out on the street sooner in the name of “racial equality” isn’t going to help the communities on which those criminals are let loose.

  14. Reason reported well on the Ferguson atrocity from the start.

    But libertarian “voices” said NOTHING for five days … starting AFTER the Post blog asked where we were.. For an issue of such immense magnitude, is there really any difference between libertarian politicians and Hillary?

    1. Ferguson is a non-issue by itself, it has no “magnitude”: it’s a typical killing of a civilian by police. We have too many of them, but they are not a big risk to anybody.

      The only reason Ferguson has become a big national issue is because some people are using it to advance their careers and get donations. The objectively right thing to do is for people to STFU about it until the courts have done their job.

      I’m sorry that political realities forced Paul to speak out.

      Hillary, of course, is just a shrewd politician, figuring out when she could score maximum political benefit with little political risk.

      1. AdamZ|9.1.14 @ 12:07PM|#
        Ferguson is a non-issue by itself, it has no “magnitude”: it’s a typical killing of a civilian by police. We have too many of them, but they are not a big risk to anybody.

        1) Tell that to the kid’s parents
        2) You miss the entire point (the media opportunity)

        The only reason Ferguson has become a big national issue is because some people are using it to advance their careers and get donations.

        Sorry, no vast liberal conspiracy. It was the media which sensationalized it, THEN the opportunists jumped in.

        I’m sorry that political realities forced Paul to speak out.

        libertarians have sucked at politics for over 40 years that I know of.

        The media created a political OPPORTUNITY for libertarians to address any number of related issues … but we blew it … just as we blew the 1,000-parent march on Albany to support school choice.

        An open-door created by the media — even if a totally phony issue (not the case here) — creates an audience to be addressed

  15. Hillary saying saying that there is racial disparity in the criminal justice system is intellectually dishonest at worst, naive at best.

    Let’s look at New York City murders. 70% of them are committed by blacks and 25% by Hispanics. That’s a disparity for the victims, I don’t know about for the persons doing the murdering and receiving the penalties.

    Police focus on high crime zones, places where there is a concentration of crime. If this crime zone is 99% black, my guess is that 99% of people stopped will be black people, gee. Is that unequal enforcement? Should they wait to find some of the 1% white people to stop? Why can’t everyone stop lying, stop the political correctness fear of telling the truth and CONFRONT THE CRIMINALS not say that they are being treated unfairly.

  16. JOBS END POVERTY AND STOP CRIME – VISION THE INNER CITY LAND RUSH OF 2015

    Hillary Cinton is a political hack who has never had an original idea. As usual she offers no constructive solutions to the dialog.

    Racial injustice in law enforcement? That’s not the truth. Crime is being disproportionatley committed in minority communitiues; police focus their efforts there.

    Is there a problem with police militarization – and should more black officers be used in black communities. Yes. Is there a problem with excessive speed cameras? yes. But who are the people responsible for such aggressive implementation of these devices. Are not the mayors and city councils predominantly black in virtually all of these large cities?

    Is there a lack of opportunity in these communities that foments crime. Yes. Have either the Democrats or the Republicans effectively done anything about it. No.

    The way forward is simple:

    (1) Establish RULE OF LAW in the inner cities, and

    (2) Get investors to come in and build the factories and other businesses by offering “compelling” reasons to be there (huge tax incentives, total property tax forgiveness, business friendliness, cutting regulation, streamlining process, greenlighting projects on a fast track basis).

    But business will not come until rule of law is firmly established. And the incentives have to make chosing the inner city a no brainer.

    GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY AND TURN INDUSTRY LOOSE! VISION THE LAND RUSH OF 2015!

  17. The delay in her public announcements will all be forgotten by the time the primary season comes around.

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