Malaka Of The Week: Jay Nixon

Malakatude often involves making a bad situation worse by taking foolish decisions that will inflame an already tense situation. That is what Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has done by calling out the National Guard in Ferguson and that is why he is malaka of the week.

As of this writing, it is unclear how the grand jury will dispose of the case against Officer Darren Wilson. Many of us think there’s sufficient evidence for an indictment, but grand juries operate in secrecy so nobody knows for sure what will come down or when an announcement will be made. By publicly assuming the worst, Governor Nixon has given the impression that he knows what’s going to happen. Wrong. He’s making an “educated” guess, which has put people in Ferguson and elsewhere on edge and is encouraging right wing extremist groups to stir the pot:

Ku Klux Klan leaders have handed out fliers in Ferguson that threaten “lethal force” against protesters, businesses have boarded up their storefronts, and local gun retailers say sales have skyrocketed. Law enforcement officials have warned of groups of “outside agitators” who could descend on the city after the announcement and incite violence..”These people are afraid,” said Steve King, the owner of Metro Shooting Supplies in nearby Bridgeton. King says his store typically sells 30 to 40 firearms a week. This week, it has sold 250. “One hundred percent of them are buying because of Ferguson.”

Being prepared for the worst is a good idea but whipping up hysteria is not. We’re all bracing for a bad outcome, but ramping up the process so visibly is the political equivalent of pouring fire on gasoline.

I assume Governor Nixon thought that he’d deter violent protests with an overwhelming show of force. Wrong again. All this has done is rub salt in the wounds of an incredibly raw situation. I hope things don’t go South, but if there’s no indictment all of this build-up and hype is likely to result in violence.

I hope I’m wrong about this but this has the potential of making the earlier unrest in Ferguson look like a weenie roast. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that this won’t turn into the son of the 1992 riots in South Central L.A. Governor Nixon’s job is not only to preserve order, it is to keep his cool and urge his citizenry to do likewise. Instead, Nixon has made things even more tense than they already were and that is why Jay Nixon is malaka of the week.

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