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Ferguson, Missouri: rioting against racism, encouraging murder

Although this blog is about my year living in Israel, this entry is focused on what has been going on in Ferguson, Missouri. They are related. They are related because the outrage in Ferguson is allegedly about racist violence. So why is the response…racist violence? And why are people who should know better trying to prove their own bona fides by justifying the racist violent response? Or even any violent response?

It is very much like those who denounce Israel for being an “Apartheid State” insisting that peace will only be achieved by creating a Palestinian State where no Jews can work, live or breathe.

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I feel like I am watching the same awful and absurd movie in a different language. What’s worse, most others watching the same movies don’t or won’t recognize either their absurdity or their awfulness.

When I was in law school, back in the mid-to late 1980s, we had a workshop one day entitled “‘Isms’ in the Classroom.”

Yes, we were already (or still? Or maybe just again) into sessions about feelings, even at august U.S. law schools.

The workshops were intended to address different sorts of negative attitudes and how to deal with them, given the disparity in power between the professors and the students, as well as between the majority and the minorities.

The title of one of the workshops I attended: Racism in the Classroom.

I’ve never forgotten something that happened during that workshop.  I recall the incident very clearly, almost as if I am watching a close-up scene in a movie, the kind where the camera pans over a large room filled with people, then slowly focuses in on just a few, while every one else goes out of focus.

I was sitting one row over to the right and just behind a first-year classmate who was complaining about a particular criminal law professor and his use of a racially charged slur in class. The professor was using the offensive term in order to explain to students how the legal defense of “provocation” works.

If someone used a racial epithet or other seriously offensive charge against a person and that person responded with some sort of physical assault, the person charged with the assault could claim he was provoked, in certain circumstances, and a successful showing of that provocation could mitigate the defendant’s culpability.

So the professor, in providing a scenario in which the provocation defense could later be invoked, used the racial epithet repeatedly.

My classmate was infuriated by the professor’s use of the term.

I understood what my classmate was saying, and I also understood why the professor used the term in the example – in context, the term is precisely what could move a judge or jury to come to a finding of provocation.

But still, it is such an offensive term, couldn’t the professor have figured out another way to get the point across?

Anyway, I was sitting there, just off to the side of the complaining law student. I was nodding my head in sympathy, when all of a sudden, I felt as though I’d been kicked in the stomach.

“I mean,” my classmate said, “the words just seemed to trip so comfortably off his tongue.

“There are so many more Jewish students than blacks here, he should have used the word ‘kike,'” he spat out.

“What?” I was flabbergasted. I asked him why, if he found the racial slur unacceptable, how could he possibly think it reasonable to use a slur against a different minority group? Or, really, anyone?

And, you know what? the words just seemed to trip so comfortably off his tongue.

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Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the JewishPress.com. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com

17 COMMENTS

  1. Al Sharpton a convicted Tax Cheat to the tune of 4.5 million dollars headed up this firestorm so that he can shield himself from the racists that are making him pay his taxes he owes. Eric Holder the US attorney General who sent illegal weapons to Mexico and to enforce the law hear is resigning in disgrace and also heads up this farce. Simple facts are Gang member who just robbed retail outlet assaults arresting Officer wresting for his firearm when weapon was discharged twice. Officer attempted to subdue suspect and was being charged at which time suspect met his end. Moral of the story do not try to take away the firearm of the officer during an arrest it rarely ends well. This criminal was not only bold but quite stupid as well!

  2. Ms. Marcus. That photo wasn't taken in Ferguson, it was from a protest in Seattle, WA. It's very hard to see on the sign, but "Seattle" is written on the right hand side after "Stand up!." Police officers on bicycles wouldn't stand a chance in Ferguson now. When something like this happens, it's an excuse for other organizations to spread hate against one group of people disguised as concern for the group they've supposedly victimized, taking advantage of the media coverage to get increased attention.

  3. For over fifty years liberals have subscribed to a Manichaean worldview that casts poor uneducated rural Southern Blacks as angels and poor uneducated rural Southern whites as demons. Never have two peoples so similar been treated so disparately by the so-called advocates of "equality."

    As far as liberals are concerned, poor uneducated Blacks are profound left wing intellectuals whose substandard English is an act of revolutionary defiance while the almost identical dialect of poor Southern whites is a sign of ignorance and hatefulness. Poor white religious enthusiasm and fundamentalism is made the brunt of fun and superiority while the exact same Xian enthusiasm and fundamentalism among Blacks is branded a quaint "non-western" culture which all must respect in the name of "multiculturalism" (Missionary Baptists are multicultral?…REALLY???). In fact, most "anti-Xian" liberals seem to not consider Black Xians to be "real Xians" at all.

    And I suppose while traditional Southern dishes are "soul food" when eaten by Blacks, those same identical foods must be "the food of fascism" in a poor "redneck" home. And do people really believe that Clem's squirrel rifle is the only example of human predation upon sweet little animals. I'm sure ancient Africans never hunted; they just went the the supermarket whenever they were hungry.

    As a descendant of Southern Unionists who fought for the Union during the Civil War and whose family has been Republican since Lincoln, I have no respect whatsoever for liberals. All they have ever wanted to do was to replace one bigotry for another and one hagiography for another. Until liberals actually learn that people are people…that they are not avatars of "social justice" or "reaction"…they will never do anything but make things worse.

    After all–how many people have noticed that the "left wing" offers the "oppressed" the same fanatical nationalism, the same justification of unjustifiable behavior, and the same ethnic self-worship that the "right wing" has offered Europeans for all this time? So long as the "Left" is the "Right" for "minorities," liberals lose all right to criticism the "Right" at all.

  4. What i noticed was one riot (in Ferguson, of course), some scuffling, fake blood being thrown on the police commissioner in the Big Apple, and a lot of peaceful (although annoying to drivers) protesting. The vast majority of the protesters were peaceful (in numerous cities).

    That being said, the riot itself is evidence that there are troublemakers out there. I wouldn't be surprised if they turned out to be teenage boys (or even twentysomething men). That's pretty much the age of idiocy, one's adolescent years.

  5. It is truly deplorable that a jew who passed so many trial in his existence because of who he is all through history until he won his true freedom through zionism could fail to appreciate their anger when a moron killed unarmed man with nine bullets? Einstein said “human stupidity knows no bounds’.very very lamentable piece of rubbish.

  6. That photo was taken in Seattle, WA. Also The kid who was murdered never reached for the officers firearm or charged at him. The kid was well over 150 feet away the autopsy determined. Not saying mike brown was a outstanding citizen neither but death was uncalled for

  7. Interesting that you ignore his blood inside the police car and outside the police car door which happened when he tried to grab the officers gun. Yes he was 150' away and at a full charge, that he got shot through the top of his head. If you have your hands up your head is not down.

  8. Why are you blaming the victims and ignoring the obvious tragedy? Jews have nothing to do with this – so stop hating us! Another black young man was murdered by white, anglo law enforcement, and the perpetrator is found innocent. Can't we hurt without your condemnation? It's not necessary to kick us while we are down. We respect your pain as a people. Can't we just get the same amount of respect?

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