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Juan Williams’ Wide-Angled View of Ferguson, MO

Posted by Larry Doyle on August 20, 2014 9:21 AM |

I am compelled to digress today from our standard navigation of the economic landscape to touch upon the troubling situation playing out in Ferguson, MO.

I hope those who read this commentary and my blog would come away thinking the only side I come down upon in any situation is that of the truth. Over and above that pursuit, I hope people would also believe I have a real contempt for corruption and a real love for my fellow man.

The troubles in Ferguson are clearly very fluid and a cauldron for those who feel disenfranchised. Similarly, there are some folks who would use the loss of a young man’s life to further incite violence for violence sake.

Might America be able to use the unrest in Ferguson to have an intelligent conversation on the issues involved? I certainly hope so.

As much as many people might like to point at one reason or another as the sole or primary cause of the ongoing tragedy and trouble in Ferguson, I would hope that cooler and calmer heads can prevail and we can all take a much wider-angled view. What do I see as some of the issues that should be addressed?

Correlations between single parent families and a host of social ills; the all encompassing relations between races; correlation between education and employment opportunities; reasons why people have strong sense of disenfranchisement and animus toward local and federal government (could it be a sense that real corruption within our government is finally catching up with us? you think? I do!!); personal responsibilities.

This list is certainly not comprehensive but it is a start. Is our nation able to have the necessary honest conversation? If not now, when?

To that end, I applaud Juan Williams for doing just that in this morning’s Wall Street Journal. I have cut out his editorial entitled Ferguson and America’s Racial Fears to share with my own children and would encourage others to do the same. I welcome providing the link here and a few of  Williams’ words of wisdom:

Yes, the death of Michael Brown is a tragedy. Yes, the use of excessive and in this case lethal force by police must be fully investigated. And yes, the increased use of military equipment by local police forces is a frightening threat to American democracy and the constitutionally protected right to peaceful protest. Fear cannot justify police in tanks and carrying military weapons facing down people who want to protest the shooting of an unarmed man.

But please, let’s hit pause on the political spin and bitter exchange of racial fears. If we are to stop angry clashes between police and poor black men, it is time to admit that thuggish behavior creates legitimate fear in every community. Close to half of black men drop out of high school. High unemployment and high rates of out-of-wedlock birth leave too many of them without guidance. Given this reality, the violent behavior of young black men and the police response have become a window on racial fears.

The imbalance in economic and political power among racial groups as well as the long and difficult history of racism in the U.S. amplifies these fears on all sides. After Hurricane Katrina there was black fear that a conservative administration did not respond quickly because most of those in need were black. And white police responded by shutting off escape routes out of fear of black looters. History tells us it was government ineptitude, not racism, that led to the slow response, and the reports of looting were overblown by white paranoia. Despite today’s increased racial diversity, these racial fears persist across America.

I would suggest that all the protest groups in Ferguson stay on the case and peacefully demand justice. Then they should drive to big cities like Chicago and Baltimore. There they should hold protests against the forces feeding the racial fear of young black men among white people, black people and everyone else—the drug dealers, the gang bangers, the corrupt unions defending bad schools, and the musicians and actors who glorify criminal behavior among black men.

Far too many in our nation would like to point the finger at selected individuals or groups as the core of the problem.

When will America have an adult dialogue and dismiss the destructive political correctness that impedes the needed conversation so we can fully pursue and embrace the truth in all its colors and from all its corners?

Navigate accordingly.

Larry Doyle

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  • “We think US authorities should pay closer attention to burning internal problems, including those related to ethnicity and race that still exist in the United States. Try to solve them via legal constitutional practices rather than unjustified and inadequate violence,” Dolgov said.

    “What is happening in Missouri right now should have a sobering effect on US society and authorities. They are systematic problems. They are by no means limited to one particular city or state,” the commissioner added.

    Dolgov pointed out the regularity of such confrontations and warned of a possible increase in the frequency of the conflicts. At the same time, US authorities are failing to create a dialogue with US citizens, as they rely too heavily on the use of brutal force, according to Dolgov.

    The Russian official also mentioned the way the Missouri authorities treated the media. Since the beginning of the protests, 11 members of the press have been detained while attempting to cover the events in Ferguson.

    Dolgov said the police actions stemmed from a desire to avoid showing Americans images the US government deemed negative. This policy contradicts Washington’s promotion of freedom of speech that now appears to have been violated in the Unites States itself.”

    US Should Pay More Attention to Internal Race-Related Issues: Russian Diplomat

  • Barry


  • Jacob romaine

    Larry, I know I’m posting under the wrong article here but let’s be real if I post under a article from 2011 you’ll never read it. The article was about title loans and “how they rip people off”. Let me start out by saying that thanks to people like you title loan companies are highly regulated. This is not a good thing government intervention in business is not helpful the majority of the time. You completely skip the part where these companies lose money because people destroy the car or bring it in horrible condition months later. This would be you not caring about the business owners or employees at all, in your opion why should they make money right? Do you realize they have overhead? Second lets talk about interest rates. Larry can you define an interest rate? I’ll do it for the two people who make read this, it’s an evaluation of risk. Basically people who get title loans have bad credit. They don’t have other options because they have made poor decisions somewhere along the way. I’m not calling them bad people, I’m saying they are risky. These risky people haven much more likely hood to cause damage, not pay at all, or not pay on time. Let’s talk about the time factor here. Time value of money Larry, do you remember this simple concept from undergrad? Seems you forgot that title loan companies miss out and are forced to wait by most states while people destroy these cars. You said the blue book values of the car that got repossessed was 2000, how much do you think the company got for it? Do u think it was 2000… No I’m here to tell you that you’d be hard pressed to find someone to pay you 1000 for a 7 year old sunfire. I can tell you don’t know what one is because you referred to it as sporty, nope it’s a teenage girls car. Think of this simple fact if title loan companies are making so much money why doesn’t everyone do it? If that was the case competition, something else Larry should have learned in Econ 101, would lower interest rates. But it hasn’t… So what conclusion does that lead us to draw? All title loan companies are bad and want to hurt people and anyone who gets into the business must be the same? No Larry you have forgotten the rules of compatition and capitalism. The reason small business suffer is because of people like you. You never had to get a title loan to keep your lights on have you. The way banks have tightened up lending today there isn’t much the average person can do to obtain a loan. The other side of this argument has no voice does it. Very easy to use an uneducated way of looking at the situation to get some brownie points from readers who also know nothing of this business, which is exactly what your article was. Look back at your article, the women you mentioned, what did she do to get herself into the situation? Is it the fault of the title loan company? If it is why would people still go there, why did someone refer her? Not all people have bad experiences at these places. In fact lower income Americans need these institutions now more then ever. If you take that away you are turning off the power for a family in the winter, or allowing the bank to forclose on their house. Those companies most certainly don’t care about people and your not attacking them since… Well since when Larry?

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