Vox has a comprehensive collection of information, as of Saturday morning (when I started writing this post). For some really really deep background, read this. I’m afraid this isn’t over by a long shot, because given the lack of professionalism exhibited thus far (though hard cases might call it an excess of professionalism, either ironically or sincerely), I suspect the local and county police are doctoring evidence and the St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch is playing white resentment politics.
Some unwelcome bits of information have been confirmed.
Brown is the guy in the store hold-up pictures. He pushed the store clerk. This has been acknowledged by the attorney for Brown’s buddy. Obviously that does not justify his execution.
There was use of Molotov cocktails. Last night there was more looting, as well as residents acting to prevent looting.
It should be understood that in any sort of popular uprising or mass protest, this sort of thing is going to happen. There is seldom any perfectly clean mobilization. What matters is how the good guys and gals comport themselves, in terms of organization: what sort of unified face do they present to the world.
I’ve been glued to MSNBC and the Internet and so far, I don’t see much organization, only spontaneous acts of virtue. We see individual elected officials getting interviewed, but no collective statement beyond a demand for justice, and at least going by what I’ve seen, no collective action. Like Rahm Emanuel said, a crisis is a terrible thing to waste.
There have been some stirrings in Washington, DC. There was a prescient bill introduced by Alan Grayson to curb the transfer of military equipment to state and local governments. It was overwhelmingly rejected, by Democrats as well as Republicans, including the African-American member who represents Ferguson. Oy. That was in June; perhaps some members of Congress will reconsider. There is also some talk of hearings. I suggested an agenda, usefully amended by commenters.
It’s not the beginning of the end, it’s the end of the beginning.