The Thread For 8/14/14: How Ferguson's Racial Disaster Is The Real "Leading From Behind"
Screenshot from MSNBC
In modern day neoconservative and centrist talk, the phrase constantly used for their perspective of President Obama's foreign policy is "leading from behind." Anyone with any barring of facts, common sense and general rationality knows how unhinged the usage of that phrase is. It speaks more to how unstable those people are and how that phrase surely needs a proper example to represent it accurately.
That example has arrived in emphatic and unfortunate fashion with the latest American racial horror show in Ferguson, Missouri, thanks to its mayor exhibiting traits that would make Waldo look visible and a police chief whose behavior gives Clancy Wiggum of The Simpsons a sense of competence.
Mayor James Knowles hopefully isn't harboring any ideas on running for higher positions in the future, as he has acted like he doesn't know where his town is located on the map since the early aftermath of Michael Brown joining a list of murdered black American men.
Knowles doesn't have a Twitter account, looks to not even have a public Facebook page, and features a town website ill-equipped to handle even the slightest bumps in traffic. It's the combination of all the elements that give small towns and their mayors the terrible labels given to them from the big cities. And Knowles has played right into that image with his late public appearances days after his town's force brought in military tanks on protestors, reporters and the occasional looters like they were some American chapter of ISIS.
"That's why we have to be vigilant and I can't second-guess these officers," Ferguson said earlier on Thursday to defend the wannabe Army/Marines nature of his cops and how his police chief Thomas Jackson thinks his unit is doing a swell job.
With no leadership from Knowles, it has allowed Jackson to persist in "Operation: Protestor Unfreedom" and have the gumption to label the protest as town outsiders "causing unrest." He chose to make those comments on Hannity Wednesday night, picking the perfect outlet that would fully agree with that idiotic logic.
Jackson further showed how out of control he is of the situation, with mixed messages on his department enforcing a curfew surfacing and his unawareness that St. Louis police would be pulled out of the area today. How a police chief in a local town such as this not be cognizant of those details shows the unflappable mess that he has been placed in thanks to Knowles lack of sagacity (Oh, and did I forget to mention that Knowles posted on his private Facebook page last year that he didn't believe white flight existed in Ferguson's history, which it has).
If neither of these men in their local area can't provide a sense of direction for this aggrieved town, then where was Governor Jay Nixon or Senators Claire McCaskill or Roy Blunt before today? Rep. Lacy Clay can't be the only prominent elected official to speak out before reporters get arrested for being in a McDonalds. The minute Attorney General Eric Holder announced that an investigation would be placed on Brown's death, it should have been full carte blanche for these figures to be active instead of the dormancy they displayed, from local to state wide.
Real modern leaders would have daily press conferences from the inception of this tragedy. Real modern leaders would be active on social media in offering ways to facilitate and ameliorate the tense situation. Real modern leaders wouldn't be as invisible as carbon dioxide to the place it is suppose to serve in major moments like this.
How can the people of Ferguson, Missouri have any confidence in their leaders (if there was any to begin with in the first place) after this week? And how can those same people, especially Mayor Knowles and his clueless police chief Jackson, look themselves in the mirror and think that they can still be leaders for Ferguson, Missouri?
The real "leading from behind" tactic isn't having the sensible idea to not invade another country. The real "leading from behind" is when you leave your town in its most distress behind.