RUSH: Our affiliate in St. Louis, KMOX, has just reported that the Ferguson police chief, Tom Jackson, has told them at KMOX that the name of the officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown will not be released for the foreseeable future. I think there was a press conference that was scheduled for two o’clock this afternoon where they were gonna announce the name of the officer, and they have changed their minds.
They will not announce the name of the officer who shot Michael Brown for the foreseeable future, at least until he is either compelled to by a judge — this is the police chief — or if there are charges filed against the cop, in which case they will release the name. The police chief, Tom Jackson, “says this is due to death threats called into the police department and posted on social media. Jackson also says there are social media rumors swirling with a name of Ferguson police officer, but this is not the name of the officer involved.” The name that is circulating in social media is not accurate.
“Some commentators on online news stories are posting photos claiming that they are the children of the Ferguson police officer, and Jackson says they are not.” This will probably further exacerbate tensions in Ferguson and the entire St. Louis area. This kind of thing is just so sad when it happens, it’s so unnecessary, and it’s such a setback. It is such a tragedy. I don’t know, folks. I don’t quite know how to describe the feeling I have over this incident. It has nothing to do with the fact that I’m from Missouri, near St. Louis, two hours away is where I grew up.
It’s just that these kind of circumstances — I am perhaps a genuinely colorblind person. And I resent, as you know, politics of identity. Racial politics, group identity, victim politics, all this, I just despise it. We’re all human beings and we’re all Americans and we all ought to be treated and approached and dealt with that way. Instead, we are divided or we divide ourselves into groups. The Democrat Party has come along — which runs this town, by the way. They may not want to hear it. St. Louis is run by Democrats. So are a lot of other cities with these kinds of urban problems.
It’s just a shame that while all this is going on the president’s busy vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard, ’cause otherwise he’d be able to solve this. I mean, he was elected to make sure this kind of thing didn’t happen. It’s what they hoped. A lot of people voted for Obama thinking that his election, the election of the first black president, would bring an end to this. And, sadly, it has not. So we will keep a sharp eye on this.
The looting is going on. So much of it doesn’t — in one sense it’s understandable. You have people fanning the flames of this to keep it alive because the race business is profitable, and it makes people very powerful, and it keeps them in the public eye. That’s another sad element to this.
So we’ll just have to wait and see. The FBI is in. The attorney general, Eric Holder, is getting involved in this, which is — well, we’ll just wait and see. It’s just a tragedy.
RUSH: A couple of sound bites. I meant to get to these in the opening segment about what’s going on in Ferguson, Missouri. First up from Anderson Cooper 290. Wolf Blitzer was filling in last night. He spoke to the attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing the family of Michael Brown, the teenager shot and killed by the cop in Ferguson. Wolf Blitzer said, “Benjamin, I know earlier today you said that Michael’s parents deserve a fair, transparent, and efficient investigation. Are you satisfied with the way this case is being handled, at least so far?”
CRUMP: We think there’s a lot more to be desired. I’ve talked to many of my colleagues in the National Bar Association — even the president, Pamela Meanes, who lives here in St. Louis, Missouri — and what they believe over and over again is we need a complete, independent investigation by the Justice Department because there’s such distrust by the community to the local law enforcement. And this situation has just exacerbated that, Wolf.
RUSH: It may well be. May well be. You know what strikes me about this, folks? The real sad thing, aside from — well, in addition to — the fact that this young man was shot and killed, is that this sounds like any sound bite that we would play from the last 50 years. And so will the next sound bite sound exactly like any sound bite on any situation or story like this for the last 50 years.
There hasn’t been any change.
There hasn’t been any improvement.
This is not just a slap at Obama, although I don’t think that it’s irrelevant to point out that so many people voted with such hope for Barack Obama, specifically believing that things like this would no longer happen. (interruption) Well, if you doubt me, you’ve heard the term “postracial.” What do you think it means? Who invented it? Well, in the modern usage, the media invented the phrase “postracial” to describe what the election of Obama would be.
Obama supporters were out saying the same thing during the campaign. “We’re looking forward to a postracial, postpartisan country! We’re gonna end partisanship.” That “post” meant that after Obama, partisanship goes away. “Postracial” means “Racial strife in America is going to finally be in our past. The election of Barack Obama is gonna bring about an end to this because that election alone will make a statement that says this country has moved beyond the racial strife that has plagued us since our founding.”
And that’s the sad thing: Nothing’s changed. Despite this apparent historic election. This is the man who campaigned on the basis that he was the agency of this change, and he had this phrase “hope and change,” that people genuinely bought into. A lot of people. Millions of people voted for one reason: To end the racial strife that exists in this country. They believed!
They believed that the election of the first black president would facilitate this move to a postracial society, and it hasn’t happened — and, of course, it couldn’t happen. No single election is going to fix problems like this. An election of someone of a specific race is mere symbolism when stacked up against problems that are entrenched as deeply as this one is in this country, but yet so many people hoped.
And the recipient of that hope knew very well that millions of people were investing that hope in him, and he parlayed that. He used it. He told them they were right to make that investment. He told them that “hope and change” was real, that it was gonna happen. They were gonna get rid of all this horrible stuff in the past. No more Iraq wars, no more recessions, no more world hating us, no more rising sea levels.
You know the drill. No more hatred. People were gonna come together in a new commonality. He rode it all the way to victory, and it turned out that this president’s no different than any other in this regard, and may be somewhat worse. Here is another sound bite. It’s from CNN last night, Don Lemon on CNN Tonight (a different show, not Anderson Cooper 290).
He’s speaking with a CNN correspondent, Jason Carroll, about the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, and Lemon says, “Take us inside, if you will, Jason. Take us right there. Take us, if you will, to the crime scene. I understand that you went there today to the crime scene. What did you learn, Jason?”
CARROLL: I was speaking to a young man. He said, “I go to school, I obey the law, and yet when I come in and out of my community I’m constantly stopped by the police,” and this is a theme that I heard over and over again. And basically what everyone was telling me is that what happened to Michael Brown was really the tipping point for many members of this community, when this happened to him. That is why you heard so much anger which had been bubbling for quite some period of time. What I really got a sense of is this feeling of distrust between the police department and the community here.
RUSH: Well, I mean, we heard that during the OJ trial. We heard that during the Rodney King trial and event. We heard that back in 1967 with Watts. We’ve heard sound bites like this, complaints like this all of our lives. You take that sound bite from last night and you could put it back in 1967. It would sound right on the dime.
You take that sound bite, put it back in 1992/93 with Rodney King, same thing; you wouldn’t know. Nothing has changed. We have not gotten this postracial America we were promised after the election in 2008, and we’re not finished hearing this report. This report’s gonna happen over and over again, because the sad thing is that I think these situations have actually been exacerbated and made even more tense.
RUSH: These calls are about Ferguson, Missouri, and I want to take them now since they are very close in proximity from when we discussed it rather than an hour from now or whatever it would be when so much time has passed.
We’ll start in St. Louis with Susan. Great to have you, and welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hello, Rush. Thank you for having me on.
RUSH: You bet.
CALLER: First of all, I want to say, by no means am I condoning what happened with the shooting. I think this has gotten so pushed in front of the media, and it’s, you know, an isolated incident, to come back and now we have Trayvon Martin’s attorney over here. This rioting and everything, what you were just saying about President Obama and what you have said so many times about the entitlement. These rioters and these people that are inciting the riots and are loitering and robbing and stealing and pillaging their entire community in which they live, they live in this community, they are stealing from the community.
They are stealing from the people that employ them, and they are burning down their own communities because they feel so angry and they are entitled to this. They have a right to go crash through windows and steal. They have a right to crash through more windows and steal phones. And then they’re putting it on Facebook. They’re putting it Twitter, on Craigslist. They’re proud of what they’re doing. They’re proud of themselves. Two weeks ago or a week ago, the big news here in St. Louis was a grandmother who was gunned down in the road with random bullets, a drive-by shooting. She was walking back with her grandchildren. The NAACP didn’t come then. It was a shooting against —
RUSH: The NAACP has yet to show up in Chicago, either.
CALLER: Right. They’re just here. I was so appalled yesterday because they showed the mother of this child. When it first happened, Saturday, the news was there, everyone’s so upset because this boy was left in the road for four hours. Well, they couldn’t get to him. They couldn’t process the crime scene because people were rioting then. The police came in and were trying to do their job, and they wouldn’t let them. It’s a matter of respect. Until people respect themselves, and what they’re doing, and want to work to better themselves, it’s not going to change, no matter who’s in the White House.
RUSH: Well, do you believe the old adage that behavior is learned?
RUSH: You do?
CALLER: Yes, I do. And this is a learned behavior. Yesterday on my way home I was listening to the KMOX person there —
RUSH: That’s good. That’s good. KMOX is a great station.
CALLER: Exactly. And I was listening to the speech from, I believe it was the lawyer that is now representing them, the family of Michael Brown, and they were talking about the angry black man. And I’m like, you’re angry? I’m like, I get angry, too. I get angry sometimes a lot.
RUSH: Here’s the thing, though. The reason I asked you if you believe in learned behavior, because there are two ways to look at this. Pick any left-wing, well-known person in the world that you know, have ’em sitting here next to me, just get whoever you want to name and I could tell you what they would say to me in explaining this. They would say it’s justified because this is the tradition that they have known since this country was founded, and they’d trace it all the way back to slavery. They would say that this is one of the original sins of this country, and we’re just gonna have to understand the rage. We’re gonna have to understand it, that this kind of thing is, what do you expect. That would be the liberal argument here, because —
RUSH: — the country is flawed inherently, which is what leads to this, and therefore there is an excuse. There is an excuse that they accept to explain this.
CALLER: And I think that’s terrible. That’s disrespectful. I think these people deserve more than that. Than excuses? And they deserve more. You know, don’t make excuses for your poor choices, for your poor judgment calls —
RUSH: They don’t think they have any other choices.
CALLER: They do have choices. They choose to go and improve their lives, and no one is going to make that happen until they decide to make that happen.
RUSH: They don’t think it’s possible.
CALLER: It is possible.
RUSH: That’s what happens when you put people in a group and then call them victims.
CALLER: And they’re not victims. They’re victims of themselves.
RUSH: Doesn’t matter. They think — (crosstalk)
CALLER: They’re victims of Obama.
RUSH: Wait a second. Al Sharpton tells ’em they’re victims. Jesse Jackson’s told ’em his whole life they’re victims. The Trayvon Martin attorney is telling them they’re victims and the Trayvon Martin story tells ’em they’re victims. That’s why I asked you about learned behavior.
CALLER: It is a very learned behavior. It is a cycle that has continued for generations.
RUSH: Precisely. This is why I — you know, I know a lot of people, “Come on, Rush, can’t you do any better than talk about Obama?” No, no, no. Don’t say that to me. We had a presidential race in 2008 where we were assured that if we elected the right guy, this kind of stuff wasn’t gonna be happening anymore, or it would happen much, much less because we were gonna go post-racial and we were finally gonna make a statement that we’re no longer racist ’cause we had the ability in this country to elect, with a majority white population, a black president. It was supposed to say something. And look, it hasn’t made anybody happier. It hasn’t made anybody less victimized. It hasn’t changed anybody’s outlook on their future at all.
CALLER: No. And I think it’s created a lot more social distress and unrest among these black communities, because their lives are not better. What has happened has not improved their lives, and they’re still stuck in the same cycle.
RUSH: Look, I know what you’re saying. What you’re saying is very close to the point — and I’ve tried to make it many times, and I really tried to zone in on it when I made that speech at CPAC, when I defined the people in what I considered to be my first address to the nation, what we as conservatives are, who we as conservatives are. And it’s the truth. We don’t see people as members of groups, and we don’t want to. We don’t want to be forced to, we don’t want to have to. We don’t want to be told the first thing we have to notice about something is what makes ’em different.
We don’t want to be told that what makes America great is its diversity and that’s defined by skin color. We don’t want to believe that. We’re all human beings! We’re all people! And I can speak for every conservative I know: We want the best for everybody, and we want this kind of stuff brought to a screeching halt. This isn’t good for anybody. The problem is incidents like this are good for some people. That’s the problem.
We all know who we’re talking about here. There are some people who do not want these kinds of incidents to ever go away because that means a problem solved, and if the problem solved then there’s no need for these people anymore, and that’s just a crying shame.
The route out of poverty or disadvantage, the route out is hard work. The route out is self-belief. The route out is self-respect, all these things, but these are learned behaviors as well. And when you mention things like that, when I mention things like this, liberals and Democrats get very snarky and say, “Well, that’s easy for you to say.”
I say, “Why is it easy for me to say? What’s wrong with what I’m saying? Will you stop trying to characterize? You know, what’s wrong with what I’m saying? What’s wrong with having some self-respect? What’s wrong with loving yourself? What’s wrong for realizing you live in America, the land of great, free opportunity. What’s wrong with everybody realizing that?”
We’ve all got obstacles we have to overcome, some worse than others, but people from every group in this country have shown it can be done, it’s possible. I think what we’re dealing with here ultimately is what’s been called the soft bigotry of low expectations. We as conservatives want the best for everybody, and we have the expectation that it’s possible, and that’s not pie-in-the-sky. We believe it because we’re Americans. And in America that’s possible, and that’s why, by the way, so many of us are so distressed with the election of Obama, because Obama does not see America that way.
Obama sees an America where only 1% have a chance, and the game’s rigged for the other 99%. It’s not true! The soft bigotry of low expectations. When you tell people from the youngest age that the deck is stacked against ’em and that they don’t have a chance because the game’s rigged, because the power structure is such that people like them will never be admitted, then you are…
It’s a sad thing to tell people you don’t expect them to amount to anything. That’s horrible! It’s an absolute… It’s a near crime. We all ought to have the highest expectations of ourselves and each other. That is far more rooted in reality. I just cringe at the modern definition of “reality” as doom and gloom and pessimism, because that’s easy. Anybody can be a pessimist. You don’t have to work at it.
Anybody can be negative. The problem is that we have way too many people that profit personally and exploit low expectations and doom and misery rather than using the power they’ve acquired to try to inspire. We, as conservatives, try to inspire on the basis of human characters and expectations and traits, not surface characters like skin color, sexual gender or orientation or any of these things that end up dividing us.
The very people that claim to be able to unite us because they are the ones that have all the tolerance have the least tolerance and the lowest expectations, and in no way know how to unify anybody. There isn’t any profit in it. There is profit in promising it. There is profit in suggesting that you can do it or that you’re going to try, but there’s no profit in actually accomplishing it.
That’s why incidents like this trouble me because they happen and they’re going to continue to happen. No matter how perfect or how good everything gets, human behavior is such that we’re gonna have all kinds of examples of it, the good and the bad in any population or circumstance. No matter how advanced, educated, or what have you. But it’s just the whole notion that I’ve got to loot because it’s the only way I can pay back the discrimination.
I’ve got to loot because it’s the only way I can show how angry I am at the way I’m treated. I’ve got to do this and do that because it’s the only way I can get noticed.” It’s just sad, to me, and it’s pointless and doesn’t do anybody any good, and it never accomplishes anything in the end. Anyway, Susan, I appreciate the call. I really do. I understand your frustration. I feel it myself.