A Nation Under The Law

Obama last night: 

First and foremost, we are a nation built on the rule of law.  And so we need to accept that this decision was the grand jury’s to make. There are Americans who agree with it, and there are Americans who are deeply disappointed, even angry.  It’s an understandable reaction.  But I join Michael’s parents in asking anyone who protests this decision to do so peacefully. Let me repeat Michael’s father’s words:  “Hurting others or destroying property is not the answer.  No matter what the grand jury decides, I do not want my son’s death to be in vain. I want it to lead to incredible change, positive change, change that makes the St. Louis region better for everyone.”  Michael Brown’s parents have lost more than anyone. We should be honoring their wishes.   

The point isn’t even that laws exist. The point is that if the system doesn’t serve people, if the system doesn’t make us better, if the system doesn’t fix us or help us or keep us safe, then the system is bullshit and the system needs to go.

And the system in St. Louis Count hasn’t been serving people for a good long time. If you needed evidence of that, look at the orchestrated prime-time grand jury announcement, the way they set it up so that everybody would see and hear: There will be no justice for you. There will not even be a QUESTION if you should receive justice. There will not even be a trial. Hours of build-up, and then the lights went on and everybody heard.

We will spend far more time talking about the behavior of protesters than we ever will the behavior of police. We will talk about whether a young black man should be shot for supposedly robbing a convenience store, whether a young white man should be kicked off the football team for videotaping himself and his buds gang raping a girl, and we will decide yes to the former and no to the latter.

Because we are a nation built on the rule of law.