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    Ferguson Tag

    The Black Lives Matter movement was born of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri. While the BLM founders started their organizing after the prior Trayvon Martin case, it was Brown and Ferguson which launched the BLM movement into the public spotlight through the protests and riots in Ferguson. Nothing was more associated with the BLM movement than the chant "hands up, don't shoot," based on the narrative that Brown had his hands raised and said 'don't shoot' when shot. That same chant drives protesters and rioters ripping up cities after the George Floyd killing.

    In July 2016 I documented a growing tactic in the anti-Israel movement, to blame Israel for domestic U.S. police shootings of blacks, such as Michael Brown in Ferguson. The tactic, meant to exploit preexisting racial tension and stoke anti-Semitism to turn people against Israel, had been many years in the making, as I wrote in Exposed: Years-long effort to blame Israel for U.S. police shootings of blacks:
    ... there has been a multi-year effort by left-wing and Islamist anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, and openly anti-Semitic activists to hijack racial tensions in the United States and redirect that anger towards Israel. That effort has been on overdrive since the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson and is accomplished through a combination of false and misleading statements regarding the militarization of domestic U.S. police departments and U.S. police training in Israel.

    We have thoroughly documented how anti-Israel activists have been falsely blaming Israel for U.S. police shootings of blacks in order to stoke and exploit racial tensions, Exposed: Years-long effort to blame Israel for U.S. police shootings of blacks. That effort went into overdrive during the Ferguson riots over the shooting death of Michael Brown, Intifada Missouri – Anti-Israel activists may push Ferguson over the edge:
    As much tension as there is, an underreported story is the active role of “pro-Palestinian” activists who have exploited the Ferguson riots and tension this summer and fall to push their anti-Israel agenda. That anti-Israeli agenda, which involves encouraging confrontation with police in solidarity with Palestinians, is helping provide the accelerant to an already volatile situation.
    Ferguson Palestine contingent We were among the first to call attention to this development, which was largely ignored by the the Jewish and pro-Israel communities which support many of the issues raised by the Black Lives Matter movement. Ferguson was a turning point, as leading anti-Israel U.S. professor Robin Kelley recently acknowledged:

    On August 9, 2014, Ferguson, MO, Police Officer Darren Wilson shot dead Michael Brown. Our first post about it was on August 11, 2014, as rioting broke out. We kept the coverage non-evaluative. We learned from prior cases, such as Trayvon Martin, not to accept at face value racial and other narratives being spun. We also learned from events such as the Boston Marathon and Newtown shootings that initial facts reported by the media often are wrong. We embedded this news reports of the looting: Within days, various supposed eyewitnesses would claim Brown was a passive victim -- an account we now know to be untrue -- as summarized in this MSNBC report we posted on August 13, 2014:

    For years we have been documenting the efforts by anti-Israel activists to stoke racial hatred of Israel through the concept of "intersectionality" - the notion that all revolutionary struggles, particularly against racism, are connected. The almost exclusive focus, however, is Israel.  Hence, Israel is falsely blamed for local police shootings of blacks in the U.S. based upon false and misleading claims I debunked in my post, Exposed: Years-long effort to blame Israel for U.S. police shootings of blacks. The movement to connect Ferguson-to-Palestine launched after the Michael Brown shooting, and has been a singular focus of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists ever since. Ferguson Palestine contingent

    At group calling itself Atlanta is Ready (#ATLisREADY), aligned with the Black Lives Matter movement, recently issued a set of demands to the Mayor of Atlanta, including:
    We demand a termination to APD’s involvement in the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE) program, that trains our officers in Apartheid Israel
    The Mayor rejected the demand, finding that counter-terrorism training benefits the Atlanta Police Department's ability to protect Americans: You could chalk this incident up to just some isolated ploy by local activists, but that would be a mistake. Rather, there has been a multi-year effort by left-wing and Islamist anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, and openly anti-Semitic activists to hijack racial tensions in the United States and redirect that anger towards Israel.

    Facts don't matter in the Black Lives Matter movement. Trayvon Martin's shooting planted the seeds for the movement. Contrary to popular myth, Trayvon was not unlawfully shot and killed by George Zimmerman. The trial evidence was overwhelming that Trayvon attacked Zimmerman with a punch to the nose and when shot was on top of Zimmerman beating him Mixed Martial Arts style, having smashed his head into concrete. Moreover, the racial narrative was false, a perception caused by a deceptive NBC audio edit and false interpretation of audio in which Zimmerman supposedly uttered a racial slur, and amplified by activists and family lawyers. Michael Brown's death directly launched the movement and took it national. Brown, however, wasn't shot "hands up, don't shoot" but because he sucker punched a cop sitting in his vehicle and tried to steal the cop's gun. [Ferguson PO Darren Wilson injuries caused when Michael Brown sucker punched him while trying to grab gun] [Ferguson PO Darren Wilson injuries caused when Michael Brown sucker punched him while trying to grab gun] These seminal events of the Black Lives Matter narrative were lies.

    Missouri woman Peggy Hubbard has had enough. Following an incident in St. Louis involving a young black man and the police, she made a video message for #BlackLivesMatter and it has gone viral. Dave Urbanski of The Blaze:
    Black mother Peggy Hubbard notes on her Facebook page that she’s from St. Louis. And even though she now lives north of the area’s racial turmoil, watching and listening to Hubbard’s profane-but-precise video takedown of Black Lives Matter protesters is to witness a woman who loves her hometown and hates the choices some people are making there. First Hubbard contrasted how the Black Lives Matter contingent reacted when a 9-year-old girl was fatally shot doing homework on her mother’s bed and the next night when an 18-year-old was fatally shot by police who said he pointed a gun at them. Then she asked, “Last night, who do you think they protested for? The thug. The criminal.” Then Hubbard let loose.

    It's hard to believe that we started talking about Ferguson almost a year ago. For better, worse, or neutral, what happened in that town between teenager Michael Brown and police officer Darren Wilson has changed the way this country regards the ever-evolving relationship between citizens and the police. August 11th marks the 1 year anniversary of the day this quiet corner of the greater Saint Louis area exploded into chaos and violence, and city officials, local residents, and even those of us who watched from afar are concerned that renewed protests will once again overtake the streets.

    One of the dominant theories of our time is that police officers are waging a Terminator-like war against unarmed young black men, killing them with a ruthlessness and determination evocative of a genocide, all the while escaping legal sanction. The Washington Post, certainly not a paper to shy away from fanning the flames of discord, seems to have stumbled upon some actual data on the subject.  Their reporting of this data is, as one might have expected, far richer in anecdote than analysis, but nevertheless the snippets of data that slip through are perhaps noteworthy. We start with a data point showing 385 police killings of suspects so far this year. Of these 385 killings, only about 25% involved a black suspect.  While it is certainly true that this 25% is disproportionate to the 13% or so of the US population that is black, it is also true that black suspects are disproportionately represented among those arrested for violent crime in general.

    It looks like two members of the St. Louis Chapter of the New Black Panthers who planned multiple terrorist bombings around Ferguson, MO last year have been gifted a sweetheart plea deal from Obama's Department of Justice, based upon reports by Fox News/Associated Press and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Today Olajuwon Ali Davis (on left in the featured picture above) and Brandon Orlando Baldwin (aka Brandon Muhammad, on right in picture), both 22,  changed their plea of "not guilty" to accept a plea arrangement in which they will each serve 7 years in Federal prison. That means both men will be back on the street and free to continue terrorizing innocent people while still under the age of 30. If convicted of the charges initially brought against them they would each have faced decades in prison. The men were originally charged with plotting to kill Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch and then-Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson, and planning to blow up a Ferguson police station, police vehicles, and other area targets including (according to law enforcement sources) the famous St. Louis Gateway Arch monument. Their plan for the Arch was to plant a bomb on the observation deck.

    Anybody remember VonDerrit Myers? That's him, on the right side of the picture above. Heck, I couldn't quite place the name, and I actually posted about his untimely demise at the hands of law enforcement way back in October 2014, shortly after the Mike Brown kerfuffle in the same St. Louis area. (See: St. Louis Shooting Victim Vonderrit Myers Tests Positive for Gunshot Residue.) VonDerrit was one of those "cops shoot unarmed black child" stories that that had cities on edge. Then his mom had to concede that her son was armed, "but only with a sandwich." It didn't take long for the lab results to come back, however, and confirm that if VonDerrit's mom was correct, then her son's sandwiches were made of fired gunpowder--because that's what they found all over his deceased hands. The police forensics report would also supplement the gun powder residue (GPR) results with three recovered 9mm bullets fired from the S&W handgun found in the deceased VonDerrit's possession. Of course the police all along had reported that they fired on VonDerrit only after he had fired his own gun at them. Fortunately, the police were more timely and accurate in their fire, and so the loss was not as great as it might otherwise have been.

    The Baltimore riots are raging, which means that the parade of talking heads, activists, and local flacks has begun in force. Last night, Sean Hannity spoke to Adam J. Jackson, a Maryland activist and CEO of Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, about whether or not what's happening in Baltimore is a movement anyone with a brain should be involved in. Jackson quickly got to his talking points, and made a valiant attempt at ignoring the issue at hand:
    “Is this the type of protest you want to be a part of?” Hannity asked Jackson, as footage of burning looting debris played in the background.

    I would imagine the toughest thing about doing business with Al Sharpton is asking him for a lost receipt, but the National Legal and Policy Center is asking NASCAR to end its relationship with him over Ferguson. Alana Goodman of the Washington Free Beacon has the story:
    Watchdog Calls on NASCAR to End Funding to Al Sharpton A government watchdog group is calling on NASCAR to cut ties with Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network in response to the cable news host’s comments about police in the wake of the shooting of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and the questionable financial activities at his nonprofit groups. The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) asked NASCAR to “end its financial support of Al Sharpton and his organization” in a letter to CEO Brian France on Monday. NASCAR has previously been a sponsor of NAN’s annual conference, a key fundraising event for Sharpton’s group, according to the NLPC. “The cold-blooded murder of two New York City police officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, followed weeks of Sharpton’s vilification of law enforcement personnel. Now two police officers have been gunned down in Ferguson, Missouri,” wrote NLPC president Peter Flaherty in the letter. “Mr. France, police lives matter. You can demonstrate your support for law enforcement by ending your support for Sharpton without delay.”
    Sharpton has been a regular presence in Ferguson. He even held a press conference after the grand jury decision in November.

    Race Together. If you find those words gracing your morning cup of joe, it's because Starbucks launched a new initiative yesterday. CEO Howard Schultz is encouraging baristas (or 'Partners' as Starbucks calls their employees) to initiate conversations about race with their customers. Citing Ferguson and New York, Schultz decided to join the race conversation, “we at Starbucks should be willing to talk about these issues in America," Schultz said. "Not to point fingers or to place blame, and not because we have answers, but because staying silent is not who we are." After holding forums in select cities like Oakland, St. Louis, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City, partners began voluntarily writing 'Race Together' on cups, according to a statement released Monday. Now, Starbucks is taking the campaign nationwide. Special 'Race Together' stickers will be provided to baristas, who may place the provocative stickers on beverages, as a way to engage customers in friendly discourse about race. "It is an opportunity to begin to re-examine how we can create a more empathetic and inclusive society – one conversation at a time," Schultz said. Schultz's efforts seem noble, but might be viewed as more legitimate were his reasons for entering the contentious race arena not predicated on blatant falsehoods and astroturfed race hustling. To be fair, conservative ideology has bled into the turbulent world of corporate advocacy, though with marked distinction and with significantly less prevalence. Chick-fil-a President and CEO, Dan Cathy, got a chance to tussle with the gay rights mafia (which must be separated from advocacy groups working in earnest) a few years ago when his sentiments on same sex marriage made their way into the public. Enduring intense public backlash, Cathy later said Chick-fil-a had no place in culture wars.
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