Chad’s Morning Brief: Eric Holder Says He Understands Why People Mistrust the Police, Rand Paul & Race, and Other Top Stories
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of August 21, 2014. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at KFYO.com or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.
Holder in Ferguson
According to the AP, Attorney General Eric Holder told a crowd that he understands why so many don’t trust the police.
Attorney General Eric Holder sought Wednesday to reassure the people of Ferguson about the investigation into Michael Brown’s death and said he understands why many black Americans do not trust police, recalling how he was repeatedly stopped by officers who seemed to target him because of his race.
Holder made the remarks during a visit to the St. Louis suburb that has endured more than a week of unrest fueled by the fatal shooting of the black 18-year-old by a white officer. The Obama administration intended the trip to underscore its commitment to civil rights in general and the Ferguson case in particular.
The attorney general described how he was stopped twice on the New Jersey Turnpike and accused of speeding. Police searched his car, going through the trunk and looking under the seats.
“I remember how humiliating that was and how angry I was and the impact it had on me,” Holder said during a meeting with about 50 community leaders at the Florissant campus of St. Louis Community College.
Holder also met with federal officials investigating Michael Brown’s Aug. 9 death and with Brown’s parents.
While living in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, Holder was once running to catch a movie with his cousin when a squad car rolled up and flashed its lights at the pair. The officer yelled, “Where are you going? Hold it!” Holder recalled.
His cousin “started mouthing off,” and Holder urged him to be quiet.
“We negotiate the whole thing, and we walk to our movie. At the time that he stopped me, I was a federal prosecutor. I wasn’t a kid,” he said.
Holder also met briefly with Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, who has been in charge of security in the community for nearly a week. The National Guard has also been called in to help keep the peace.
Asked whether he had confidence in the local investigation of the police officer, Johnson said Holder’s presence “is a guarantee on that.”
So instead of telling the crowd about all the good experiences he has had with law enforcement, Eric Holder decides to tell people that he gets their anger. Great.
Rand Paul and Race
POLITICO on Wednesday made the case that Republicans need Rand Paul because of his outreach to the black community.
In his Washington Post column Monday, former George W. Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson insists that Rand Paul—the Kentucky senator, and my former boss—is “no Jack Kemp” when it comes to Republican minority outreach.
Gerson’s reasons? Lingering confusion about where Paul stands on the Civil Rights Act. The senator’s allegedly troubling libertarian philosophy. Paul’s preference for smaller federal budgets. The fact that Paul used to employ a former radio shock-jock who said stupid and offensive things about Abraham Lincoln (that aide was me).
This is the worst sort of navel-gazing.
Kemp was known for reaching out to African Americans more than any other Republican of his generation.
There is no Republican doing this more today than Rand Paul.
Not even close.
Racially explosive events of the type we’re seeing in Ferguson, Missouri, have historically elicited a knee-jerk response from conservatives—that African Americans have no real foundation for their grievances and are largely imagining oppression and racism.
When black Americans have felt targeted or threatened by heavy-handed police or policies, Republican politicians have dismissed their worries, emphasizing a more colorblind society. Commentators on the right regularly exhibit faith in our justice system and institutions, while preaching that there probably is something wrong with individuals who run afoul of the law.
Many conservatives had more sympathy in 1992 for the Los Angeles Police Department than they did for Rodney King. In 2012, conservatives rallied to make gunman George Zimmerman a hero and the late Trayvon Martin a villain.
Some of these are complex situations. Some, like the King beating, really aren’t.
Still, the last thing anyone expects when these controversies arise is for conservative Republicans to even consider the side of African Americans, much less take it.
Rand Paul is a revolutionary exception.
In Ferguson, true to form, many conservatives’ first impulse has been to give police the benefit of the doubt and to criticize the protesters. It is true that well-intentioned police officers have probably been overly villainized and also that protesters committing violence have tainted what is mostly an understandable public reaction to the shooting of Michael Brown.
Paul gives the police credit and looters criticism as well. But he zeroes in on the larger, systemic problem of the militarization of law enforcement and takes a real political risk in the process.
The author of this piece is attempting to make Rand Paul look like a hero because he is nice to the black community and because he talks about the militarization of the police. The truth is, the Republican party isn’t a racist party. Democrats have attempted to make it appear that way, but the GOP accepts white people, black people, and everyone else.
As far as the militarization of the police goes, well in some circumstances I believe it’s fine for the police to wear armor. For instance, when you are dealing with a crowd that has burned down and looted stores.
You can read the whole story by clicking on the link above.
Other Top Stories:
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