The Bonfire of the Vanities in Ferguson, Mo.

Timothy Birdnow

Does anybody remember the novel Bonfire of the Vanities?  In that 1987 novel by Tom Wolfe a "master of the universe" junk bond trader accidentally gets off the highway in "the hood" and runs over a black thug (among some thugs trying to get him to stop his car so that he could be robbed). Civil Rights activists - eager for the publicity their "struggle for justice" would bring - jump on this case, and the media runs with it (claiming the kid was an honor student since the school said he had not been in any real trouble and showed up fairly regularly for class). The street preachers and the media stir the ghetto citizenry up, leading to a huge national incident which destroys the hubris-filled main character. Everyone gets into the act not out of a desire for justice but for their own personal goals and ambitions, their vanities.

This Mike Brown incident in Ferguson, Mo. is shaping up to be a real Bonfire.

Here is an article by Mary Anne Marcella at American Thinker that is nibbling on the edges of this issue. It is well worth reading. http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/08/twitter_spotlights_the_...

I warn everyone; the Democrats are in bad shape going into the midterms, and they need an issue to turn out their core constituents. The DOJ pushed the prosecution of George Zimmerman to help turn out black vote (even though the police said the evidence exonerated Zimmerman, and a jury of his peers agreed) and they need another such incident now. This particular one is tailor-made for them.

It should be pointed out that the black community is not happy politically, since St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley (longtime boss of St. Louis County) lost in the recent primary election. Dooley, who is black and whose stronghold was in the north county area in which Ferguson is situated, lost to a white challenger http://www.stevestenger.com/about-steve/ after ten years as chief of the suburban county outside of St. Louis. (For those who do not know the City of St. Louis is not in St. Louis county but is a free city, a county unto itself.) This is a huge blow to black power in the region, and I suspect the race hustlers in the area are fully aware of that - and fully prepared to blow this thing sky high.

I grew up not far from the city of Ferguson and know it well. A once well-to-do community with Victorian neighborhoods and beautiful old buildings, Ferguson was the railhead for the "rural" folks of St. Louis County who commuted downtown for work. Now Ferguson Station is part of "Oldtown Ferguson" a strip reminiscent of a country town with restaurants, a wine garden, a microbrewery (a very good one, and I know the owner), and some delightful shops. Ferguson sits just up the road from the University of Missouri St. Louis (UMSL) and gets the entertainment traffic from the campus, which is situated primarily in a residential area.

Ferguson police are in a pickle; Ferguson is truly a mixed-race and mixed-class community, exactly what the Left has always demanded. It is surrounded by some high crime all black communities - Berkeley, Kinloch, Delwood, Normandy. The criminal element is always passing through Ferguson, and there is danger that crime will get out of control, which would kill the community. Ferguson's survival depends on keeping the inhabitants of the nicer homes in place, and keeping the businesses flourishing. Areas as nice as Ferguson have been swallowed before, and the afore-mentioned communities were all once quite decent but are now part of "the hood", beneficiaries of liberal housing policy that moved the criminal element out from north St. Louis city in an effort to integrate communities. Ferguson actually did well in terms of integrating, largely because they had no big swaths of open land for building housing projects and had so many historic buildings that they were able to avoid the onslaught of Section 8 housing. My own hometown of Bellefontaine Neighbors was not so lucky, and is now a very high crime area.

And Ferguson is a crossroads for every criminal, since it sits in the gap, running along New Florissant Road, a major thoroughfare, as well as having good road frontage along the outer belt highway 270. Bad people pass through Ferguson, and many are enchanted by the monied college professors, the antique shoppers, the restaurant goers who carelessly walk to their cars.

The police have to balance all of this, protecting the safety and security of the tourists and monied residents while avoiding trampling the rights of the decent but poorer citizens who may live in Ferguson or simply be passing through.

I don't have any insider information about Mike Brown; he may well have been a good kid who wandered into a bad situation. I have yet to hear the name of the police officer who shot him. Reports say Brown was put inside a police car where he allegedly grabbed the cop's gun. The firearm was discharged in the scuffle, then the kid got out and ran for it. The officer fired several times, striking Brown more than once.

That, at least, is the official story.

It may be the police were on edge. I drove through Ferguson on Friday and passed about 8 cop cars with one car stopped and a man sitting on the ground, obviously in the process of being arrested. That was Friday; the shooting occurred on Saturday.

As most of you know, I am not a "support your local police whatever" type, having been quite critical of the police on numerous occasions. canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/62229

But I also know that any killing of a black youth by police brings howls of rage and protest, and the media immediately assumes the very worst of the police.

At this point I do not even know if the cop who did the shooting is white, black, Latino, or Asian. But the immediate reaction is that it is an example of white racism.

Even if this turns out to be a case of a "white Hispanic" the Democrats, the race hustlers, and the other gutter rats who make their living from rage and hatred will ride this thing for the next3 months. I fully expect Jesse Jackson to show up, as well as Al Sharpton. The only way they won't will be if the officer in question is black.

Ferguson has wisely refrained from discussion of the facts, but has asked St. Louis County to investigate. The F.B.I. may be called in. Eric Holder has been apprised of the situation as well, meaning that another "Justice Bus" may be on it's way chock full of protesters.

The GOP has the power to impeach Holder - they should.

At any rate, this is a serious situation, one that will likely grow more tense in days to come.


Read more from Tim and friends at The Aviary www.tbirdnow.mee.nu

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Comment by Thomas Nunn on August 13, 2014 at 10:33am

One of the biggest, if not the biggest, problem I see is that people have no respect for "Authority",

and an "Adversarial feeling" develops in people when "anyone" tries to exercise their authority.

Law enforcement isn't appreciated for the purpose of it's existence, but rather condemned for existing.

Comment by Mike Richmond on August 12, 2014 at 5:21pm

Funny you should mention "Bonfire of the Vanities." Having read that excellent book many years ago, I immediately thought of it as soon as early news reports portrayed Mike Brown in glowing terms of perfection. We all recall what an angel Travon Martin was in the early days of that incident...before we all learned of his drug use and school drop-out propensities. I'm willing to bet the same will happen in this case.

Comment by Carolyn Hamilton on August 12, 2014 at 12:51pm

This is complete B.S. 


Between two nights of unrest, a community forum hosted by the local NAACP chapter Monday night drew hundreds to a sweltering church in Ferguson, the nearly 70 percent black St. Louis County suburb where an unarmed 18-year-old, Michael Brown, was shot multiple times by a police officer.

Unrest is like saying the TERRORISTS are militants...When are we going to stop dancing around these issues and treat everyone alike,  with the same laws? The race baiting out of the Democrats should be illegal.. Why hasn't someone passed a law?  These slobs that looted and burned, should be in prison for years and years. Why is it, the majority of a race, ones that don't work, are on welfare, ignorant of laws, schooling, but only know how to manipulate the Police and welfare system.  While I watched many of the videos of these slobs looting, it made me sick.. Those people should be made, MADE to work, WHILE INCARCERATED, to build and repair what they have ruined. Back in the day when the rule of law meant something, these people would have been shot.

Comment by Janis Eisenstark on August 12, 2014 at 11:57am
This reminds me of "First they came for the Jews.. ". I have been having a discussion about the tactic of arresting someone for resisting arrest and the correlations with the mental health industry.
Comment by Clinnon on August 12, 2014 at 11:28am

Comment by Debrajoe Smith-Beatty on August 12, 2014 at 11:23am

The Demo have demonstrated they have no ethics and will use anything. Look at Obama, that is nothing.

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