“Stop Protesting and do something productive. But not voter registration. That would be outrageous.”
– Republicans to Ferguson, Missouri today.
Not a day has gone by when I have not been completely shocked by the behavior of people in leadership roles in response to continued demonstrations of the officer-involved shooting of Missouri teen, Michael Brown. As reported by Breitbart, the head of Missouri’s Republican party is currently freaking out that people in Ferguson are being registered to vote:
[…] Missouri RNC executive director Matt Wills expressed outrage about the reports.
“If that’s not fanning the political flames, I don’t know what is,” Wills said, “I think it’s not only disgusting but completely inappropriate.”
Wills explained that the shooting death of Michael Brown was a tragedy for everyone.
“This is not just a tragedy for the African American community this is a tragedy for the Missouri community as well as the community of what we call America,” he said. “Injecting race into this conversation and into this tragedy, not only is not helpful, but it doesn’t help a continued conversation of justice and peace.”
I’m not even sure how registering people to vote injects race into a conversation, but we can’t think of anything more helpful, especially when you’re talking about justice and peace.
Ferguson Missouri is 67% African-American, yet its Mayor and five of six members of City Council are white. 50 of 53 police officers are white. It’s a lot easier for a community to get justice and peace if the people who represent them in government are actually representative.
How did a majority minority community like Ferguson end up with mostly white elected officials, anyway? The Washington Post explains. As a result, Ferguson Missouri and its police department take orders from this guy, who, despite a nonpartisan ballot, is pretty obviously a Republican:
For many young people in Ferguson, the events of the past week have been a wake-up call. I cannot think of anything that’s more appropriate for these young citizens to participate in after the protests end than getting engaged in how their community is governed. Registering to vote is the first step. And hopefully not the last.
If you haven’t registered to vote in Ohio, you can start the process here.