On Sunday, police charged 20-year old Jeffrey Williams with shooting two Ferguson police officers. The officers are alive and recovering. There is cause for rejoicing, unless you're attorney and radio show host Lizz Brown, who thought that was a sideshow to be quickly dismissed.
Appearing with Jose Diaz-Balart on MSNBC’s The Rundown on Monday, Brown glossed over it: “I think that the arrest is fine. But the challenge, Jose, is the conversation that we’re having about what's going on in Ferguson...we spent less than 24 hours discussing the resignation [of the Ferguson Police Chief], and the importance, and the significance, and ramification of that.”
Yes. The most tragic thing about the shootings, it seems, is that they obstructed her ability to use the Department of Justice (DOJ) report to guide the masses to race:
“The most important issue to confront...our nation on race in decades....people in Ferguson, African-American people all over the country, have been terrorized -- and using the word ‘terrorized’ is not an overstatement -- given results of the DOJ report coming out of Ferguson, and the 20 other DOJ reports that have come out of 20 other police departments in this nation.”
Not surprisingly, Díaz-Balart, who has a history of being more of an advocate than an objective news reporter, did nothing to challenge this over-the-top assessment.
As she got increasingly off topic, Brown’s arguments grew more and more unhinged.
“[W]e have to understand...[t]he political history that has gotten us to this place. Ferguson has been disconnected from politics for generations. We have people that have fled to North County generations ago for the express purpose of disconnecting from the political process....[T]hey wanted to live an individualist type of a life, not a collective life, so they move there hoping they would not have to be part of the political process. Unfortunately...you can't escape politics and here we are, generations later, with Mike Brown lying dead on the ground.”
That’s right, folks: Michael Brown died because of American individualism! It had nothing to do with his personal life decisions; the people of Ferguson just didn’t have a communal way of life.
Díaz-Balart jumped in, noting that the cure to this breakdown of the rule of law is not the containment of our impulses through self-government, but “people connect[ing] back [to politics].”
In any case, a leftist guest somehow managed to transform a conversation about the arrest of a would be cop-killer into an indictment of an individualistic society. She came to the right place; only a MSNBC host could allow such tripe to go unchallenged.
The transcript of the exchange is below.
10:39:09 AM to 10:42:40 AM
JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART: Let’s first get your reaction to the arrest and charges against Williams.
LIZ BROWN (Radio Host/Attorney): Well, I think that the arrest is fine but the challenge José is the conversation that we’re having about what's going on in Ferguson. The challenge is, as always, how this conversation, what direction this conversation takes. Prior to the arrest of this individual, we had a discussion about that this was somehow connected to what was going on on the ground with demonstrators and with protesters. That's problematic, given the fact that we have had very little time to actually discuss the most important thing, and that's the DOJ report.
BROWN: The fact of the matter is is that that less than 24 hours after the resignation of the police chief of Ferguson, there was this shooting. And as a result of these shootings we spent less than 24 hours discussing the resignation, and the importance,
BROWN: and the significance, and ramification of that. The challenge always is is how to we tell the story accurately and in a way that moves the most important issue to confront this, our nation on race in decades. The fact of the matter is is that people in Ferguson, African-American people all over the country, have been terrorized, and using the word "terrorized" is not an overstatement, given results of the DOJ report coming out of Ferguson, and the 20 other DOJ reports that have come out of 20 other police departments in this nation.
DÍAZ-BALART: And Liz city elections are coming up in just about three weeks.
BROWN: That's correct.
DÍAZ-BALART: How much will this be a test for protesters? And just folks that really want to see change?
BROWN: Well I think that it’s an opportunity, but José, we can-we have to understand the history that has gotten us to this place. The political history that has gotten us to this place. Ferguson is part of North County in St. Louis, or surrounding St. Louis that has been disconnected from politics for generations. We have people that have fled to, that have, that fled to North County generations ago for the express purpose of disconnecting from the political process. Also they wanted to live an individualist type of a life ....not a collective life, so they move there hoping they would not have to be part of the political process. Unfortunately the facts of the matter is that you can't escape politics and here we are, generations later, with Mike Brown lying dead on the ground. So...
DÍAZ-BALART:...There is nothing worse for a rule of law country than when people disconnect from politics.
BROWN: Absolutely. Absolutely.
DÍAZ-BALART: It really does create all kinds of problems that we see for generations, and probably for generations to come –
DÍAZ-BALART: Unless people connect back. Right Liz?
BROWN: Absolutely. And it’s going to be a process. I think that there may be danger in placing too much emphasis on results of these particular elections, given the fact they were decades in the making.