President Obama will be meeting today with AG Eric Holder and community and civil rights leaders about Ferguson and the state of policing in black communities.
President Barack Obama will discuss the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, Monday with his Cabinet, civil rights leaders, law enforcement officials and others.
The White House says Obama’s Cabinet meeting will focus on his administration’s review of federal programs that provide military-style equipment to law enforcement agencies.
The White House says the president will also meet with young civil rights leaders to discuss the challenges posed by “mistrust between law enforcement and communities of color.” He’ll then meet with government and law enforcement officials, as well as other community leaders, to discuss how to strengthen neighborhoods.
The question for the assembled is “Will this actually accomplish anything?” This is definitely an Obama-style response to the issue, but will a community organizer approach actually accomplish any of the stated goals?
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no Ta-Nehisi Coates or Jamelle Bouie or Jelani Cobb when it comes to eloquently defining the struggle over the last 400 years and how Ferguson is yet another chapter in our story, and I’m certainly far from somebody like Goldie Taylor (who is crowdfunding a documentary on her hometown of East St. Louis called #89BLOCKS) when it comes to community activism. I’m an IT guy who gets to grouse on the internets and occasionally somebody pays attention.
But it seems to me that the first thing we need to do is get the mindset out of our police departments that they are conducting counterterror operations in hostile, foreign territory. Ferguson, Missouri is not Fallujah, The whole thing, the training, the surplus military gear given to police departments, the us vs them mentality where cops think the people they are sworn to protect and serve are The Enemy, that needs to be ripped out from these departments.
That brings us back to the President and today’s meetings. It’s a good start and any solution to the completely valid mistrust of police by the black community must involve police and the black community, but what else can and must be done to stop the bad cops (and not all cops are the problem, mind you, but the ones that are constitute a deadly lethal issue)?
Where are we going on this?