While I can appreciate Missouri’s Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder (R) (pictured) not agreeing with Ferguson Mayor James Knowles’ foolish claims that “there is not a racial divide in the city of Ferguson,” I’m weary of anyone who uses phrases like “Anglo-American civilization.” Repeatedly at that with a selective interpretation of history, that when used, (indirectly or not) makes the ugly insinuation that those protesting in the streets of Ferguson are outliers.
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In the wake of crisis in Ferguson, Kinder has been on a bit of media tour to critique his superior, Democratic Governor Jay Nixon. One of those stops included Tuesday’s edition of “Ronan Daily,” where Kinder explained to Ronan Farrow why he feels the city should restore its curfew. Kinder said, “I don’t understand an argument for not reinstating it. I don’t understand that. I’m not trying to be overtly political. I am saying, the people of Ferguson, the people of the state of Missouri are crying out for leadership.”
He is indeed being overly political, but politicians will do what politicians will do. However, wrong is wrong and it’s absolutely incorrect for Kinder to assert, “We do not do justice in America in the streets, though.”
Kinder is White and 60 years old. That makes him old enough to remember a time in American history, when disenfranchised people had to take to the streets in order to get the government to recognize their rights and humanity.
When did this happen?
Say, the 1960s…or any period between August 9th and today.
Kinder’s pro-Anglo bit carried on:
“We have legal processes that are set in motion, that are designed after centuries of Anglo-American jurisprudence tradition. They’re designed to protect the rights and liberties of everyone involved — that includes the Brown family, for justice for them and for the community. It also includes the officer who has not yet been charge. Our constitutional and our Bill of Rights protections have to be followed here, and we do not do justice in the streets.”
Unfortunately, this went unchallenged by Farrow. The same goes for Kinder’s claims that, “That’s one of the great advances of Anglo-American civilization, is that that we do not have politicized trials. We let the justice system work it out.” Why not gussy up this fallacy further, Kinder? Just tell us Jesus ghostwrote the Constitution while you’re at it.
For someone who recently claims that he experienced racism due to his mother having something called “Black Mother-it is,” it’s a shame Farrow didn’t challenge — even subtly — Kinder’s description of America solely through the prism of Anglo Americans. I don’t know what “Black Mother-itis” is exactly, but perhaps it’s contagious and something that precluded Farrow from pushing back on Kinder’s White lies about this joyous Anglo-American civilization yesterday.
Not for the sake of creating one of those typically useless cable news TV fights, but for the simple fact that Kinder’s idea of America is both ahistorical and exclusive to Whites. Kinder needs to understand that the people out protesting for justice on the streets of Ferguson are being just as American as anyone who participated in the Boston Tea Party. You know, because Kinder is a stickler for all things Anglo. He also needs to understand that this Anglo-American utopia he speaks of also has a long history of slavery, genocide, rape, and yes, mistreatment of people of color.
Then again, Kinder only knows the America he sees. Yet, he and others like him are being reminded that they are not the only people here. Nor are they the only people worthy of being heard. Different means of expression do not make our words any less important. Kinder’s remarks are the very sort of speech that contributes to the racial divide in Ferguson, across the state of Missouri and elsewhere in the nation.
mighty White Anglo-American to think otherwise.
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