So much ink has been spilt and so many electrons spun over Ferguson that additional comment seemed heretofore unnecessary. Given the place our society accords attorneys, however, I cannot but respond to childishness masquerading as thoughtfulness by a Yale student who sees his future in law.
While his is an interesting column, it represents fundamentally sloppy thinking, and so is surprising from a law school student who is being trained – one hopes – in critical thinking above all else.
First: Yes, the cops are overmilitarized and often out of control. Publications from National Review to the Nation have argued this – and they are correct.
But context matters. Under which party have cops become overmilitarized, under whose policies has the police state grown? The same party for which – undoubtedly – the columnist votes and whose policies he supports.
He is, of course, free to support any party he desires. But to support the party of rising totalitarianism and near-constant violations of the 1st (speech codes) 2nd (enough said), 4th (NSA/PRISM, FISA, etc), 9th and 10th (just covering the Bill of Rights here) Amendments, to say nothing of Article 1 (the regulatory state is totally at-odds with the first sentence of Article 1), or of Article 2 (Obamacare delays and this amnesty both violate the powers of the president as defined in Article 2, as did his unilateral refusal to support DOMA and his DREAM fiat), while making a rather tendentious case re: the 3rd Amendment, is ridiculous.
His case is made all the more specious by his insistence in winding race into the Boston Massacre and our founding, when doing so advances only his prejudice, not his argument: his use of Crispus Attucks is nothing more than a “look at me!” moment.
If one wants to attack the rising police state, better not to be a supporter of it at the same time; attacking AND voting for it concurrently is childish, at best, and testament to an inability to think critically, at worst. One would argue that the lack of critical thinking by lawyers in Congress got us into the debt/war/poverty/crony/tax/underfunded pension messes in which we find ourselves today. We certainly don’t need MORE of it, which is what this column and, evidently, this student’s elite education provide us today.
Second: One constantly is fascinated by those informing the great unwashed (how the elites see those of us paying their way and inventing and supporting their world) that a verdict of GJ finding is “wrong.” This is definitionally absurd.
Our system of justice is based on the concept that a jury of peers reviews the evidence and arrives at the only answer our system provides. Philosophically, neither a verdict nor a GJ finding CAN be “wrong.” It may not fit one’s prejudice (which is what Ferguson is all about – prejudging the actions of the cop, the victim, and the GJ), but it CAN not be “wrong.” The ONLY way for a finding to be “wrong” is a prejudicial eye-of-the-beholder idea that if said finding does not comport with one’s prejudices it cannot be “right.” Following this logic leads only to one conclusion, and that is totalitarianism: The Rule of Man.
One OUGHT to be asking why, in a nation of laws, under the Rule of Law, a law school student would be supporting the destruction of the law in support of his own prejudices. He CAN not know what occurred within the confines of the GJ hearings; ergo his conclusion represents ONLY his prejudice – nothing more and nothing less. His inclusion of an accusation no one who heard the evidence has made – that the cops “murdered” Brown, is just adolescent baiting – and he knows it. Or should.
It is unfortunate, but not surprising, that his editors chose to run his piece – at all. In a society in which so many are incapable of critical thought, foisting onto the readership the immature argument of a student demonstrably incapable of same, from one of America’s elite law schools, serves no one on either side of any issue, let alone one freighted with as much baggage as Ferguson.
Rather, it only prolongs the agony of those under attack by the police state he fantasizes he abhors at the same time he votes to enlarge it.