Not About Ferguson

This is not about Ferguson. I really don’t know about Ferguson. I didn’t hear the 70 hours of testimony from 60 witnesses. I didn’t even watch the news as much as I should have. I know that Officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown. I know that racial inequities and injustices persist in America, that law enforcement has partly created its own problems in minority communities, that these things can and should be addressed in public policy, that composite statistics can help steer that policy, but as a general rule I’m reluctant to use an individual criminal case as a venue to redress social problems. I have friends both liberal and conservative who seem more eager than I am to take sides up front based on preconceived notions about race relations. But even if those preconceived notions are correct, not every white cop is a racist and not every young black man is a thug. With individual lives at stake, specific cases should not be prejudged on political grounds. At least that seems a good general rule.