Protesters Declare They Are Ready For War As America’s Impoverished Inner Cities Threaten To Erupt

Ferguson Unrest - Photo by LoavesofbreadAre we about to witness a new round of racially-charged protests, riots and demonstrations all across the United States?  On Sunday night, a protest that had been organized to commemorate the one year anniversary of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri took a very violent turn.  An 18-year-old named Tyrone Harris that is being described as a “real close” friend of Michael Brown opened fire on police with a stolen handgun.  Police returned fire and Harris got hit.  He is now in the hospital and his prognosis is uncertain.  Of course this just raised tensions to an entirely new level, and at this point a state of emergency has been declared in Ferguson.

So what would cause an 18-year-old young man to pick up a gun and start firing at police?

This didn’t just happen in a vacuum.  An environment of violence and racial conflict is being purposely created, and the mainstream media and our politicians are continually fueling the fire.

On July 30th, the leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan, delivered a speech during which he stated that he was looking for “10,000 fearless men who say death is sweeter than continued life under tyranny”.  The following is an excerpt from that speech

“Death is sweeter than to continue to live and bury our children, while white folks give the killer hamburgers.

“Death is sweeter, than watching us slaughter each other, to the joy of a 400-year-old enemy. Yes, death is sweeter.

“The Quran teaches persecution is worse than slaughter. Then it says, ‘Retaliation is prescribed in matters of the slain.’ Retaliation is a prescription from God, to calm the breast of those whose children have been slain.

“So if the federal government will not intercede in our affairs, then we must rise up and kill those who kill us. Stalk them and kill them and let them feel the pain of death that we are feeling.

In the social media world, the ominous hashtags #fightback and #JusticeOrElse are being heavily promoted.  The implication is that African-Americans have a right to commit violence because of the injustices that have been committed against them in the past.

And on Sunday night, the “peaceful protesters” in Ferguson were repeating the following chant over and over: “Ready for what?! We’re ready for war!

When you understand the context, it becomes much clearer why some of these young people are doing what they are doing.

Instead of trying to cool things down on Monday, protesters continued to push the envelope.  Several very prominent activists, including Cornel West, were arrested when they crossed a barrier in front of a courthouse in St. Louis

Cornel West, and several prominent protesters including DeRay McKesson, 30, and Johnetta Elzie, 26, were arrested Monday afternoon during a protest outside the U.S. courthouse in St. Louis. The demonstration was part of a move by several clergy members to purposefully be detained by police.

Anger and violence are not what America needs.

If we could just learn to love one another and to treat one another with respect, things could be so much different in this country.

But instead, we are being set up for a race war.

Just consider the response to a recent incident that happened in Alabama

An Alabama police officer was pistol-whipped with his own gun during a traffic stop — and then mocked by cop critics online.

The plainclothes Birmingham detective was investigating a string of burglaries when he stopped a GMC Yukon and was attacked by the driver, authorities said.

This particular police officer has never been charged with doing anything wrong, but just because he is a cop he was mercilessly attacked online.  The following are just a couple of examples

“Pistol pimped his face n um chillen now,” Twitter user @TriggaMane666 posted with a picture of the wounded officer.

“Pistol whipped his ass to sleep,” a Facebook user wrote before deleting a post showing the officer face down on the sidewalk.

Anger and frustration are growing to frightening levels all over the nation, and the surging poverty that we are seeing in many areas is playing a significant role in all of this.

Despite what you may be hearing from the mainstream media, the truth is that the economy is not getting better.  In fact, in a whole bunch of different ways our economy is already in worse shape than it was during the depths of the last recession.

If you live in a nice neighborhood, you may not even be aware of what is going on in much of the rest of the country.  According to the Atlantic, the number of Americans living in high poverty areas has nearly doubled since the year 2000…

The number of people living in high-poverty areas—defined as census tracts where 40 percent or more of families have income levels below the federal poverty threshold—nearly doubled between 2000 and 2013, to 13.8 million from 7.2 million, according to a new analysis of census data by Paul Jargowsky, a public-policy professor at Rutgers University-Camden and a fellow at The Century Foundation. That’s the highest number of Americans living in high-poverty neighborhoods ever recorded.

The development is worrying, especially since the number of people living in high-poverty areas fell 25 percent, to 7.2 million from 9.6 million, between 1990 and 2000. Back then, concentrated poverty was declining in part because the economy was booming.

People living in highly concentrated areas of poverty can become very desperate, and desperate people do desperate things.

Don’t let the misleading economic numbers fool you.  As Paul Craig Roberts has pointed out, if honest numbers were being used our current unemployment rate would not be too far away from the unemployment rate at the height of the Great Depression…

In 1994 the Clinton regime stopped counting long-term discouraged workers as unemployed. Clinton wanted his economy to look better than Reagan’s, so he ceased counting the long-term discouraged workers that were part of Reagan’s unemployment rate. John Williams (shadowstats.com) continues to measure the long-term discouraged with the official methodology of that time, and when these unemployed are included, the US rate of unemployment as of July 2015 is 23%, several times higher than during the recession with which Fed chairman Paul Volcker greeted the Reagan presidency.

An unemployment rate of 23% gives economic recovery a new meaning. It has been eighty-five years since the Great Depression, and the US economy is in economic recovery with an unemployment rate close to that of the Great Depression.

But instead of telling us the truth, the mainstream media continues to put out lots of happy stories.

For instance, one of my readers just sent me this one: “4 signs the Des Moines economy is surging“.

I had to smile when I saw that.  You know, even though the U.S. economy has been collapsing, it is collapsing right now and there are all sorts of signs that our collapse is about to greatly accelerate, there are still lots of people out there that mock “the collapse crowd” and insist that everything is going to be just fine.

And of course the mainstream media continues to mock anyone that is seriously trying to prepare for the coming hard times.  The following is an excerpt from a recent Toronto Star article

Preppers anticipate various disasters by stockpiling food, honing wilderness survival skills and learning self-defence.

If a Katrina-like storm knocked out power in Toronto, you’d know the preppers by the lights in their windows, running on generators. And if things ever descend into chaos, they’ll grab their prepacked bags, loaded with essential survival equipment, and split, leaving the rest of us to fight over the last drops of gasoline and fresh water.

The mockers will continue to mock, and their jokes will continue to be very funny up until the moment when everything starts falling apart all around us.

But those that are wise understand what is happening, and they are preparing in advance.

Why I Wouldn’t Want To Be A Police Officer In America Today

Police - Public DomainCan you imagine going to work each day knowing that there are lots of people out there that would love to see you dead?  Despite what a lot of Americans may think, it takes real courage to be a police officer in this country today.  Every time you put on that uniform and walk out the front door, it might be the very last time that you ever see your spouse and family.  Yes, there is a whole lot of needless police brutality in the United States in 2015, and I am going to address that later in this article.  But most police officers are just regular people that are trying to do their jobs and serve their communities.  And on Wednesday, we got a reminder of just how dangerous those jobs can be.  At around midnight on Wednesday, two Ferguson police officers were ambushed.  A 32-year-old officer named Webster Groves was shot just beneath his right eye, and another 41-year-old officer was hit in the shoulder.  Sadly, this is probably only just the beginning.  Racial tensions continue to escalate, and we are on the verge of a great financial crisis which will cause economic conditions in our cities to deteriorate rapidly.  By the end of this decade, I fully expect civil unrest, rioting, looting and mindless violence to become commonplace in large cities all across America.  In such an environment, it will be extremely dangerous to be a police officer.

The good news for the two police officers that got shot in Ferguson is that it looks like they are going to be okay.

But the same cannot be said for many other police officers that have been ambushed over the past year.

According to CNN, the number of police officers that were shot to death increased by more than 50 percent in 2014…

The number of law enforcement officers shot to death in the line of duty is up by more than 50% this year, and the leading method of those shootings was ambush-style attack.

That’s according to the nonprofit Washington-based National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which released its findings Tuesday.

And like I said, this is probably only just the beginning.

Sadly, a whole lot more police are going to die before this is all over.

You can try to blame this latest incident in Ferguson on a “deranged individual” if you want, but I think that the reactions that we saw on social media to these police shootings say a whole lot about where we are as a country.

In the immediate aftermath of the shootings, a lot of people were actually celebrating.  The following is a sampling of comments  from Twitter

-#ChiefJackson steps down and two pigs get shot? Best day #Ferguson has had in years

-im glad 2 pigs wounded in #Ferguson lol

-#Ferguson kill the pigs

-serves those two pigs right, i hope organized public militancy continues #ferguson

-#Ferguson pigs shouldnt grab ppl; thugs deserved it. Wish it was #DarrenWilson. Sound familiar? #MichaelBrown #VonderittMyers #AntonioMartin

-Racist cops shot not gonna cry 4 pigs #Ferguson

-I heard two pigs in #Ferguson got shot? We’re they left on the ground bleeding out and dead like Mike Brown?

-hopefully they’ll be off the street for a long time. two less pigs out harassing & kidnapping people. #Ferguson

Could you imagine trying to be a police officer in Ferguson in this kind of environment?

And it isn’t as if we didn’t see this coming.  Just consider an excerpt from an article that I authored a while back entitled “It’s WAR On The Streets Of America“…

The mainstream media and many national leaders on the left end of the spectrum have been stirring up strife and division for months on end.  So now a toxic environment has been created which is inevitably going to lead to even more violence.  At some recent “protest marches”, we have heard demonstrators enthusiastically chant extremely threatening slogans such as this: “What do we want? Dead cops!”  And when news broke that Ismaaiyl Brinsley had brutally murdered two NYPD police officers, lots of very twisted people on Twitter were actually celebrating.

The sick thing is that there are a lot of people out there that actually want to turn this into a full-blown war.  Some want a race war, some want a “war on cops”, and others just seem to want a general excuse for crime, looting and mayhem.

Unfortunately, if I am right, this is just a small preview of what we can expect in the years ahead.  Just like we have witnessed in Ferguson, I anticipate that we will eventually see a number of our larger cities burn.

And it never had to be this way.

Why can’t we all just love, respect and honor one another?

Yes, police brutality in the United States is wildly out of control.  In many areas of the nation, police officers are actually trained to bark orders, act like thugs and physically abuse people at the drop of a hat.  Our entire culture of policing needs to change.

I think that John W. Whitehead put it very aptly in one of his recent commentaries

For those of us who have managed to survive 2014 with our lives intact and our freedoms hanging by a thread, it has been a year of crackdowns, clampdowns, shutdowns, showdowns, shootdowns, standdowns, knockdowns, putdowns, breakdowns, lockdowns, takedowns, slowdowns, meltdowns, and never-ending letdowns.

We’ve been held up, stripped down, faked out, photographed, frisked, fracked, hacked, tracked, cracked, intercepted, accessed, spied on, zapped, mapped, searched, shot at, tasered, tortured, tackled, trussed up, tricked, lied to, labeled, libeled, leered at, shoved aside, saddled with debt not of our own making, sold a bill of goods about national security, tuned out by those representing us, tossed aside, and taken to the cleaners.

As I point out in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, we’ve had our freedoms turned inside out, our democratic structure flipped upside down, and our house of cards left in a shambles.

We’ve had our children burned by flashbang grenades, our dogs shot, and our old folks hospitalized after accidental” encounters with marauding SWAT teams. We’ve been told that as citizens we have no rights within 100 miles of our own border, now considered “Constitution-free zones.” We’ve had our faces filed in government databases, our biometrics crosschecked against criminal databanks, and our consumerist tendencies catalogued for future marketing overtures.

Now a large segment of our population either detests the police or is extremely fearful of ever dealing with them.

Is that a recipe for a healthy society?

Police brutality has become a permanent part of our culture, and that has got to change.  If it doesn’t, protests against the police are going to get worse and worse.

But what most protesters don’t seem to understand is that we actually need the police.

Without the police, our society would descend into utter chaos very rapidly.  Thanks to unchecked illegal immigration, there are approximately 1.4 million gang members roaming our cities now.  And the moral decay that we see all around us is getting worse with each passing year.  We are a nation that is absolutely teeming with addicts, sickos, perverts and psychopaths.  I don’t even want to imagine what our society would look like without police.

Like I said, most police officers are just average people that are trying to do their jobs and serve their communities.

Unfortunately for them, their jobs are becoming a lot more difficult and a lot more dangerous.

So what do you think?  Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…

Did They Want More Violence In Ferguson? 10 ‘Coincidences’ Too Glaring To Ignore

Ferguson Civil Unrest - Photo by LoavesofbreadWas it a conspiracy or was it incompetence?  Those appear to be the only two alternatives that we are left with after the horrific violence that we witnessed in Ferguson on Monday night.  The first round of Ferguson rioting back in August took everyone by surprise, but this time authorities had more than three months to prepare.  They had the ability to control precisely when the grand jury decision would be announced and how many cops and National Guard troops would be deployed on the streets.  But despite all this, the violence in Ferguson on Monday night was even worse than we witnessed back in August.  Either this was a case of almost unbelievable incompetence, or there was someone out there that actually wanted this to happen.  If someone out there is actually trying to provoke more violence in Ferguson, then the rioters are being played like a fiddle.  Most of them have no idea that they could potentially just be pawns in a game that is far larger than they ever imagined.  The only other alternative to explain what we just saw is incompetence on a level that is absolutely laughable.  Something definitely does not smell right about all of this, and let us hope that at some point the American people get the truth.  The following are 10 “coincidences” from Monday night in Ferguson that are too glaring to ignore…

#1 Federal, state and local law enforcement authorities had more than three months to prepare for the violence that would follow the announcement of the grand jury decision.  The mainstream media endlessly hyped this controversy and everyone knew that trouble would be brewing.  But despite an enormous amount of time to prepare, very little was actually done to prevent any violence from happening.

#2 Someone made the decision to make the public announcement about the grand jury decision in the evening.  Anyone involved in law enforcement knows that crowd control is far more difficult after dark.  This also ensured that instead of being tied up with work or school, a maximum number of protesters would be able to be involved in the violence.

#3 Fortunately for the mainstream media, the announcement of the grand jury decision was perfectly timed to provide the largest possible number of prime time viewers for the big news networks.

#4 Just like back in August, no law enforcement authorities of any kind responded while dozens of businesses were vandalized, looted and set of fire.

#5 According to Ferguson Mayor James Knowles, National Guard troops were purposely held back from intervening in the rioting that was unleashed when the grand jury decision was made known to the public…

In a press conference, he called the delay “deeply concerning” and said the Guard troops were available but were not deployed when city officials asked.

The troops had been readied last week by Gov. Jay Nixon as the grand jury announcement neared. But as gunshots rang out in the night and looters torched buildings, they were nowhere to be seen.

#6 It is being reported that the heavily armed National Guard troops were limited to “keeping the peace at a courthouse, patrolling the outskirts of town and preventing disturbances in other suburbs” as horrific violence raged in the heart of Ferguson on Monday night.

#7 Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder has accused Missouri Governor Jay Nixon of holding back the National Guard troops because of pressure from the Obama administration.  On Monday night, he angrily made the following statement to Fox News…

“Is the reason that the National Guard was not in there because the Obama Administration and the Holder Justice Department leaned on you to keep them out? I cannot imagine any other reason why the governor who mobilized the National Guard would not have them in there to stop this.”

#8 The Washington Post has documented that Attorney General Eric Holder had been in direct contact with Governor Nixon and had expressed “frustration” with the fact that the National Guard had been activated…

A top aide to Holder called the governor’s office earlier this week to express Holder’s displeasure and “frustration,” according to a Justice Department official.

“Instead of de-escalating the situation, the governor escalated it,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the subject. “He sent the wrong message. The tone of the press conference was counterproductive.”

#9 Firefighters in Ferguson did not immediately respond to calls to put out the multiple fires that were set by protesters.  As a result, many businesses essentially burned to the ground.  But this did make for some amazing television footage.

#10 In the worst of the “war zones”, journalists with cameras and microphones were crawling all over the place while there were hardly any police to be seen at all.  How is it possible that law enforcement could have failed so badly?  Could it be possible that this was orchestrated on purpose?

Sadly, as I have written about previously, the civil unrest that we are witnessing in Ferguson is just a small preview of what is coming to America.

The anger and frustration that are seething under the surface in this country have reached a boiling point.  Instead of coming together, we are seemingly more divided than ever.  Americans have been trained to hate one another, fear one another and blame one another.  I fear that we are not too far away from actually becoming ungovernable.

And when the next major wave of the economic crisis strikes and we start experiencing real suffering in this nation, the temper tantrums that we are going to witness in our major cities are going to make what is happening in Ferguson right now look like a Sunday picnic.

So buckle up and hold on, because it is going to be a really bumpy ride from here on out.

Ferguson is not the end – it is just the beginning of a horrible new chapter in American history.

Uh Oh: Police Shoot And Kill Another Young Black Male In The St. Louis Area

crime criminal murder reprint blood effect finger - Public DomainOn Tuesday, police in north St. Louis shot and killed a 23-year-old African-American male that was suspected of robbing a convenience store.  It is being reported that he was brandishing a knife and kept coming toward the police even after they ordered him to stop and drop the knife multiple times.  So it sounds like the police may have been justified in shooting this suspect, but is that really going to matter?  Within moments of the shooting, there were reports that crowds were already gathering at the scene.  Needless to say, this could inflame the riots that have been going on for more than a week in nearby Ferguson.  The protesters over in Ferguson aren’t going to care if the police followed proper protocol or not.  All they are going to care about is the fact that the police have shot and killed another young black male.

This shooting happened just a few miles from where Michael Brown as shot and killed.  The following is how CNN described this latest shooting…

“The suspect, who right now is described as a 23-year-old African-American, was acting erratically — walking back and forth up and down the street,” St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson told reporters.

“As officers arrived, the suspect turned towards the officers and started to walk towards them clutching his waistband. He then pulled out a knife … and told the officers, ‘Shoot me now. Kill me now,'” the chief said.

Responding officers told the man, repeatedly, to stop and drop his knife, Dotson said. He continued to approach, coming within about four feet of one of the officers, Dotson said, adding that both officers then fired their weapons, striking the suspect.

According to the St. Louis police chief, the suspect was involved in an incident earlier in the day at a convenience store, where he is accused of walking out with two energy drinks and a package of pastries without paying.

If I was a police officer and someone continued to advance toward me with a knife after multiple warnings to stop, I would have done something to protect myself as well.

But at this point, no amount of logic or reason is going to matter to the protesters in Ferguson.  In fact, a “crowd of about 150″ rapidly gathered at the scene of this shooting and many in the crowd began to express fury at the police officers for what had just happened…

A crowd of about 150 gathered at the scene of the shooting in the moments after the incident, many of whom expressed anger that cops had not used other means of restraint.

“You don’t need to shoot if you’ve got a Taser and he’s got a knife,” one bystander said.

“You just kill, kill, kill because you got a gun,” another said. “They could’ve tased him. He was by himself.”

“They’re trying to shoot us down,” a third onlooker said.

Many in the crowd began chanting “Hands up, don’t shoot,” and “No justice, no peace,” the chants that have been a hallmark of the protests in Ferguson over the past 10 days.

Of course the big fear is that this incident is going to add fuel to the fire of the protesters over in Ferguson.  If you want to get an idea of the kind of rage and anger these protesters are feeling, just check out this YouTube video.  But please be aware that it contains some very strong language.

And as I pointed out the other day, all of this anger and frustration did not suddenly come out of a vacuum.  The truth is that anger, frustration and desperation have been steadily building in impoverished communities all over the nation for years.  The shooting of Michael Brown was just a “trigger event” which caused an eruption of rage in Ferguson.

In the end, it isn’t going to matter to the protesters in Ferguson whether today’s shooting was justified or not.  It isn’t even going to really matter whether the shooting of Michael Brown was justified or not.  The events of the past 10 days have unleashed a volcano of rage that is not going to be easily extinguished.

So we can probably expect to see even more violence, more rioting and more looting in Ferguson.  On some nights, the police in Ferguson have not even tried to stop the looting.  It would be very interesting to find out precisely who gave them those instructions.

As the eyes of the nation (and the entire world) are glued on the unrest in Ferguson, there is a significant amount of danger that these riots could start spreading to other cities.

If that happens, it will only be a matter of time before the federal government cracks down hard.

And if the federal government gets involved, that could be really, really bad.

A U.S. Army document that was released just a few months ago outlines how the Army would respond to “full scale riots” inside the United States.  As Paul Joseph Watson has detailed, this includes potentially using “lethal force” against “unarmed civilians”…

A document released by the U.S. Army details preparations for “full scale riots” within the United States during which troops may be forced to engage in a “lethal response” to deal with unruly crowds of demonstrators.

The appearance of the document amidst growing unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, with the National Guard now being called in to deal with the disorder, is an ominous coincidence.

The 132-page document, titled U.S. Army Techniques Publication 3-39.33: Civil Disturbances (PDF), was written in April 2014 and recently obtained by Public Intelligence.

The document makes it clear that the techniques detailed therein are to be applied both outside and inside the “continental United States (CONUS)” in the event of “unruly and violent crowds” where it is “necessary to quell riots and restore public order.”

The training manual outlines scenarios under which, “Civil unrest may range from simple, nonviolent protests that address specific issues, to events that turn into full-scale riots.”

The most shocking aspect of the document is the fact that it describes the deployment of a “lethal response” directed against “unarmed civilians,” including “sniper response” and “small arms direct fire.”

Under the heading “sniper response,” the document states, “Ensure that target leaders or troublemakers are targeted,” in addition to a passage which states, “Exploit the psychological effect of an attack.”

You can see the document for yourself right here.

The governor of Missouri has already called in the National Guard.

If that fails, we could potentially see the Obama administration bring in the U.S. military.

Let us hope and pray that does not happen.

Let us hope and pray for peace in Ferguson.

Unfortunately, I am fully convinced that this is just the very start of the chaos that is coming to the streets of America in the years ahead.

Why so much anger in Ferguson? 10 facts about the massive economic gap between white America and black America

U.S. Map Money - Public DomainWhen people feel like they don’t have anything else to lose, they are likely to do just about anything.  Many in the mainstream media seem absolutely mystified as to why there is so much anger in Ferguson, but as I pointed out yesterday, all of this anger did not erupt out of a vacuum.  Economic conditions in Ferguson, and for African-Americans as a whole, have been deteriorating for years.  Sadly, many white Americans are totally oblivious to any of this.  Many of them have absolutely no idea that the unemployment rate for black Americans is more than twice as high as it is for white Americans or that the average white household has 22 times as much wealth as the average black household.  But these are things that black communities are acutely aware of.  Many African-Americans that live in poor neighborhoods deeply resent the fact that most of the people that live in the “good neighborhoods” are white while most of the people that live in “bad neighborhoods” are people of color.  In fact, in America today a black child is nearly four times as likely to live in an impoverished neighborhood as a white child is.  And when you throw endless police brutality and growing racial division in America into the mix, it is easy to understand why so many black Americans are so angry and frustrated these days.

Things didn’t have to turn out this way.  If we had all learned how to love one another and not judge one another by skin color, we could have had the kind of society that Martin Luther King once dreamed about

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we’re free at last!”

But instead we have allowed ourselves to become increasingly divided.  And I am sure that fact will once again be reflected in the comments following this article.  There is so much anger and hatred in America today, and people seem to love to express their anger and hatred on the Internet.

For white Americans (myself included), I think that it would be good for us to put ourselves in the shoes of the people of Ferguson for a few moments.  For years, the economy of Ferguson has been declining.  The following is how Brookings summarized the current economic situation

The city’s unemployment rate rose from less than 5 percent in 2000 to over 13 percent in 2010-12. For those residents who were employed, inflation-adjusted average earnings fell by one-third. The number of households using federal Housing Choice Vouchers climbed from roughly 300 in 2000 to more than 800 by the end of the decade.

Amid these changes, poverty skyrocketed. Between 2000 and 2010-2012, Ferguson’s poor population doubled. By the end of that period, roughly one in four residents lived below the federal poverty line ($23,492 for a family of four in 2012), and 44 percent fell below twice that level.

And as the New York Times recently detailed, racial tensions have been rising in the city for a very long time

As African-Americans moved into the city and whites moved out, real estate agents and city leaders, in a pattern familiar elsewhere in the country, conspired to keep blacks out of the suburbs through the use of zoning ordinances and restrictive covenants. But by the 1970s, some of those barriers had started to fall, and whites moved even farther away from the city. These days, Ferguson is like many of the suburbs around St. Louis, inner-ring towns that accommodated white flight decades ago but that are now largely black. And yet they retain a white power structure.

Although about two-thirds of Ferguson residents are black, its mayor and five of its six City Council members are white. Only three of the town’s 53 police officers are black.

So it is understandable why a lot of Ferguson residents are so angry and so frustrated.

However, there is absolutely no excuse for the looting and the property destruction that have taken place.

Alternatively, there is absolutely no excuse for how brutally the (mostly white) police have handled peaceful protesters and the media.  The police have been using smoke bombs, tear gas, flash bang grenades, rubber bullets and LRAD sound cannons against protesters that are not even armed.  Meanwhile, the police have been doing next to nothing to stop criminals from looting stores and businesses all over Ferguson.  It has pretty much been a textbook case of what not to do during a period of civil unrest.

Hopefully cooler heads will prevail and things will calm down in Ferguson soon.

But that doesn’t mean that the underlying problems will have been fixed.  The truth is that I believe that this is just a preview of what is coming to America in the years ahead.  And much of the anger and frustration that is bubbling just under the surface in our communities has an economic element to it.  The following are 10 startling facts about the massive economic gap between white America and black America that we see in our country today…

#1 For decades, the unemployment rate for black Americans has consistently been more than twice as high as the unemployment rate for white Americans.  In July 2014, the official unemployment rate for white Americans was 5.3 percent.  Meanwhile, the official unemployment rate for black Americans was 11.4 percent.

#2 A report released earlier this year discovered that the “underemployment rate” for African-American workers was 20.5 percent.  But for white Americans it was only 11.8 percent.

#3 A study released back in 2012 found that the average white household has 22 times as much wealth as the average black household.

#4 African-American households make up only about 13 percent of the population, but they receive more than 26 percent of the food stamp benefits.

#5 One study discovered that 82 percent of white students graduate from high school but only 63.5 percent of black students do.

#6 Pew Research found that the income gap between white Americans and black Americans has continued to grow ever since the late 1960s

The difference in median household incomes between whites and blacks has grown from about $19,000 in 1967 to roughly $27,000 in 2011 (as measured in 2012 dollars).

#7 In the United States today, 12 percent of white children live in areas of concentrated poverty, but 45 percent of African-American children do.

#8 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 19.9 percent of white children live in single parent homes.  But for black children, the number is an astounding 52.1 percent.

#9 Since 1960, the percentage of white American adults that are married has declined from 74 percent to 55 percent.  But for African-Americans the decline has been even more dramatic.  Since 1960, the percentage of black American adults that are married has declined from 61 percent to 31 percent.

#10 In the United States, the incarceration rate for black men is more than six times higher than it is for white men.

So how do we solve these problems?  People have been debating this for years, but nothing ever seems to actually get accomplished.

Meanwhile, the middle class continues to collapse and things continue to get even tougher for African-American communities.  The following is an excerpt from a recent piece that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote for Time magazine entitled “The Coming Race War Won’t Be About Race“…

Dystopian books and movies like Snowpiercer, The Giver, Divergent, Hunger Games, and Elysium have been the rage for the past few years. Not just because they express teen frustration at authority figures. That would explain some of the popularity among younger audiences, but not among twentysomethings and even older adults. The real reason we flock to see Donald Sutherland’s porcelain portrayal in Hunger Games of a cold, ruthless president of the U.S. dedicated to preserving the rich while grinding his heel into the necks of the poor is that it rings true in a society in which the One Percent gets richer while our middle class is collapsing.

That’s not hyperbole; statistics prove this to be true. According to a 2012 Pew Research Center report, just half of U.S. households are middle-income, a drop of 11 percent since the 1970s; median middle-class income has dropped by 5 percent in the last ten years, total wealth is down 28 percent. Fewer people (just 23 percent) think they will have enough money to retire. Most damning of all: fewer Americans than ever believe in the American Dream mantra that hard work will get them ahead.

I wish that I could be more optimistic about the future of this country.

I wish that I could believe that we won’t see a tremendous amount of chaos in the streets of America in the years ahead.

Unfortunately, the truth is that what is happening in Ferguson right now is just the tip of the iceberg.  Once we hit the next major wave of our ongoing economic collapse, unemployment and economic despair in our major cities are going to grow rapidly.  This will fuel more anger, more frustration, more protests, more looting and more rioting.

It has been said that desperate people do desperate things.  And in the years ahead, ordinary Americans are going to become increasingly desperate.

I hope that you are getting ready for that.

Why Were The Police In Ferguson Told Not To Stop The Rampant Looting On Friday Night?

Ferguson Looting - Posted by Michael Calhoun On TwitterOn Friday night, the city of Ferguson, Missouri was absolutely packed with militarized police.  But when the looting started, they did nothing about it.  In fact, news reports indicate that the police were lined up just blocks from where the looting was happening but did not make any attempt to stop it.  When I first read the news reports that I am about to share with you, I could hardly believe them.  I had to read them more than once just to be sure that I was understanding what I was reading.  According to eyewitnesses, police vehicles were seen driving by some of the stores while they were being looted and they did not respond.  If the police are not even going to lift a finger to stop rampant theft, then what in the world are they there for?  Why don’t they just pack up and leave the streets completely?  If they are just there to confront protesters and arrest journalists, all they are accomplishing is inflaming the situation.  And is this what we can expect when civil unrest spreads to more cities throughout America?  Will we not be able to depend on the police to protect our homes and our businesses?

What I am about to share with you are excerpts from mainstream news reports about how the police did nothing to stop the looting.  To me, this stand down by the police is one of the most disturbing aspects of the Ferguson riots so far.

This first excerpt is from USA Today

During the night, buildings burned, windows shattered, and chaos ensued as protesters stood in the street criticizing police. Officers threatened to arrest protesters who came near their trucks. Yet authorities did not attempt to stop any looting as citizens moved to protect local businesses from sporadic thefts.

This next excerpt is from the local Fox affiliate in St. Louis

Police presence is in question after St. Louis County and Missouri State Highway Patrol officers left the scene in Ferguson once looters began attacking businesses overnight.

Protesters believe the media has started to confuse the difference between themselves and the looters. Fights have begun on the streets as well as social media with some believing this has become similar to a game of chess.

And this last excerpt is from Fox News

A reporter from the station tweeted that police cars were seen driving past some of the stores being looted and did not respond. It rained in Ferguson Friday night and protesters could be seen outside until 6 a.m.

Two store owners, standing outside their business holding guns, told Fox2Now.com that when they called 911, they were sent from one police agency to another, and got no response.

One of the owners, with a large black gun resting on his shoulder, told the station that police were lined up blocks from the looting, and did not engage looters making off with large boxes from these stores.

There’s no police,” he said. “We trusted the police to keep it peaceful; they didn’t do their job.”

Why did the police in Ferguson refuse to do their jobs?

Who told them to stand down?

Someone in the mainstream media needs to start asking some of these hard questions.

As the streets of Ferguson have descended into anarchy, business owners have been forced to take matters into their own hands.

The following are two photos of a Wal-Mart in Ferguson that were posted by the Economic Policy Journal.  In this first photo, you can see that Wal-Mart employees have stacked rows of shopping carts across the front entrance in order to keep looters from getting in…

Wal-Mart in Ferguson 1 - Photo from Alex Wroblewski on Twitter

This next photo shows that dozens of cases of bottled water have been stacked just inside the front entrance in an attempt to deter looters…

Wal-Mart in Ferguson 2 - Photo from Alex Wroblewski on Twitter

Other business owners are taking even stronger measures to protect their property.

Every night now, business owners can be seen all around Ferguson standing out in front of their businesses holding guns.  You can see some examples of this in this article.

And unsurprisingly, gun sales are going through the roof in Ferguson at the moment…

Guns and ammo are selling at a feverish pace in and around St. Louis as violent clashes continue between protesters and police in nearby Ferguson, Missouri.

People are coming in with fear in their eyes and they’re saying they need something to protect their house,” said Steven King, owner of Metro Shooting Supplies, a gun shop in the St. Louis suburb of Bridgeton. “They’re scared to death.”

As I have written about previously, I believe that what is going on in Ferguson is a perfect example of how rapidly the streets of America can descend into chaos.

And I also believe that what we are watching is just a preview of what is coming to America in the years ahead.

Watch what is happening very carefully, because there is a lesson in all of this.

When chaos reigns, the police are not going to be there to rescue you.

In a crisis situation, you and your family are not going to be a priority for the authorities.  So you are going to need to come up with your own plan to ensure the safety of yourself and your loved ones.

If you think that I am being overly dramatic, you must not have been paying attention to what has been going on in America in recent years.

Today, our society is becoming increasingly divided.  A whole host of opinion polls and surveys show that anger and frustration in this country have reached all-time highs.  The civil unrest in Ferguson didn’t just come out of a vacuum.  The truth is that pressure has been building under the surface in the U.S. for years.  And it isn’t going to take much for more Fergusons to erupt all around the nation.

So what do you think?

Why were the police in Ferguson told not to stop the rampant looting on Friday night?

And what do you think is coming next for America?

Please share your thoughts by posting a comment below…

Ferguson Is A Perfect Example Of How Quickly The Streets Of America Can Descend Into Chaos

Ferguson RiotsRioting, looting, burning down stores and shooting police officers – is this about to become the “new normal” in America?  What we just witnessed happen in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri is a prime example of how quickly the streets of America can descend into chaos.  There is so much anger and frustration in this country, especially among our young people, that all it takes is a “trigger event” to spark a wildfire.  In this case, it was the shooting of an unarmed black teen by a police officer.  According to the police, 18-year-old Michael Brown got into a physical altercation with an officer and was subsequently shot.  Word spread quickly throughout the community, and protests were rapidly organized.  But the protests didn’t stay peaceful.  People started chanting “kill the police” and throwing rocks and bottles.  Store windows were smashed, the looting began, and people went absolutely crazy.  And it wasn’t just a few people that were doing the looting.  Huge mobs of people looted stores all over Ferguson.  At one point an ATM was even dragged out of a QuikTrip gas station and a while after that the store was set on fire.  But this is what happens when things descend into chaos.  The owners of those stores didn’t have anything to do with the shooting of Michael Brown, but the violence got directed at them anyway.  And someday when we see similar scenes erupt in major cities all over the nation, it won’t matter what your political beliefs are.  You just better not be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Ferguson is a little town just outside of St. Louis with a population of about 21,000 people.  You wouldn’t think that it would be possible to see such massive rioting in such a small community.  But that is precisely what happened.  On Monday, millions of Americans were absolutely mesmerized by the images coming out of Ferguson.  The following is how one news source described what happened…

Brian Schellman, with the St. Louis County Police Department, said close to 300 police officers from at least 15 different departments were called to Ferguson when angry mobs began smashing windows, setting fires and looting businesses in the area.

Schellman said a St. Louis County officer injured his knee while at a Foot Locker store during the rioting. He said another officer was injured when he had a brick thrown at him.

Throughout the evening, numerous cop cars sustained damage and Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said someone in a yellow pickup truck fired shots at officers while circling a WalMart parking lot.  Chief Jackson said he got into a cop car to give chase to the truck but the truck got away.

Police said shots were also fired at a police helicopter in the area.

But words do not really accurately convey the level of craziness that was unleashed.  I would encourage you to watch some of the videos on YouTube of the rioting and looting that were going on in Ferguson.  The video posted below is just one example…

Sadly, this violence might continue for a while.

Just check out what one very angry 30-year-old man told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

DeAndre Smith, 30, of Ferguson was happy to justify the looting when a reporter asked him about it Monday morning.

“This is exactly what is supposed to be happening when an injustice is happening in your community,” he said, adding: “You have kids getting killed for nothing.”

Smith, who moved to St. Louis from New York in December, said there could be more to come.

I don’t think it’s over honestly,” he said. “I just think they got a taste of what fighting back means.”

Of course this is not the first time that we have seen this kind of thing happen.  Earlier this year, all it took was a snow storm for people in Atlanta to start behaving like crazed lunatics.  And late last year we saw rioting and looting all over the nation when a technical glitch caused the EBT system to go down for a short while.

Even though the economy has somewhat stabilized (at least for the moment), levels of anger and frustration have continued to grow in this country.  We have been taught to hate one another and to blame one another for our problems, and so now the U.S. is more divided than at any other point in recent memory.  For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled “America The Divided: Everyone Knows We Have Problems But There Is Very Little Agreement On Solutions“.

We live at a time when things are so tense that even a small spark can light an absolutely huge fire.  America has become a tinderbox.  Next time it might not be a racially-charged shooting.  Next time it might be an Ebola outbreak that sparks looting and panic.  Or it might be some sort of financial collapse.  We just don’t know.

But what we do know is that there are lots and lots of people that are willing to riot and loot and commit unspeakable crimes given the right circumstances.

Decades of social decay have gotten us to the point where the thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted every single day is wearing dangerously thin.

The truth is that it is not going to take much to push this nation over the edge.

If this kind of rioting can take place in a community with just over 20,000 people, what would a full-blown riot look like in a city with millions of people?

That is a very sobering thing to think about.

Once upon a time in America, you could leave your doors unlocked at night and you could let your kids play in the streets without ever having to worry.

But now we are a sick, decaying nation that has millions of people ready to riot and loot at the drop of a hat.

Is there any hope for us?

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