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Will the Ferguson Protests Lead to a Republican Replay from the 1960s?

By       Message Thomas Farrell       (Page 1 of 8 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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Duluth, Minnesota (OpEdNews) November 30, 2014: After the grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer who fatally wounded Michael Brown, a robbery suspect, in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama went on television to urge calm protests in response to the expected decision.

Because of the lengthy delay in the grand jury reaching a decision, conservative fat cats no doubt had ample time to hire operatives to go to Ferguson and help stir up trouble there after the grand jury's decision was at long last announced.

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In any event, calm protests did not prevail in Ferguson. Instead, protesters there looted and burned local businesses. Fortunately, nobody was killed in Ferguson on Monday night, November 24, 2014 -- or elsewhere in the country where there were mostly calm protests of the expected decision. Since Monday night, mostly calm protests have continued in Ferguson and elsewhere in the country.

At OpEdNews and elsewhere in the media world, various commentators have weighed in regarding the grand jury's expected decision.

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Thus far, President Obama has not spoken publicly about the looting and burning of businesses in Ferguson after he had made his speech calling for calm. But his speech Monday evening did not produce calm protests in Ferguson.

But it would now be a mistake for President Obama to appear to condone the looting and burning of businesses in Ferguson. Instead, he must uphold the rule of law, not the breaking of laws that occurred in Ferguson. Thus he is duty-bound to endorse non-violent protests, as did the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK), in the 1950s and 1960s.

But President Obama probably should now speak publicly about the protests. Public silence about the protests is not a viable option for him.

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But speaking publicly about the protests will be a roll of the dice for him. After all, his speech Monday night calling for calm protests went unheeded in Ferguson. In addition, polls have shown his approval rating to be rather low recently.

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Thomas James Farrell is professor emeritus of writing studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He started teaching at UMD in Fall 1987, and he retired from UMD at the end of May 2009. He was born in 1944. He holds three degrees from Saint Louis University (SLU): B.A. in English, 1966; M.A.(T) in English 1968; Ph.D.in higher education, 1974. On May 16, 1969, the editors of the SLU student newspaper named him Man of the Year, an honor customarily conferred on an administrator or a faculty member, not on a graduate student -- nor on a woman up to that time. He is the proud author of the book (more...)
 

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