Ferguson: The Civic Philosophy of Moving Parts


The new philosophy in my life is about moving parts. In my personal life. In my political approach. Reducing things to the simplest level possible. Smallest number of moving parts. And so, from this news story on CNN

“Ferguson is small — roughly 20,000 residents. It’s 67% black and 29% white.

Despite its demographics, its leadership was mostly white until tensions erupted three years ago.

Since then, some of its top officials have been replaced by a new generation of black leaders, including the police chief and city manager.

If [black city councilwoman Ella] Jones had won, she’d have been the city’s first black mayor, and added to the city’s effort to close the racial gap between residents and the city government.”

I said it at the time. Was excoriated then. I’ll say it again now. The answer lies in the hands of the blacks who represent 67% of Ferguson’s population. Turn out. And you can have whatever you want. If you don’t, then you get what you deserve. And no amount of burning police cars in other jurisdictions is going to change that.

Same thing can be said of Trump. And of Brexit. It can also be said of my own concept to address what many see as the disconnect between law enforcement and the communities they serve around the US: Citizen Design of Policing.

I tried to get the concept going in my then hometown of Carrboro, NC back in 2014. Not because Carrboro (pop: 15,000-ish) is a hotbed of racial division. It isn’t (although it has had one or two moments). I proposed exploring the concept there precisely because it is an oasis of relative calm. Try it out. See how it fits. Iron out the wrinkles. Then make it available to communities around the US which are more at risk.

I turned up. Next to no-one else did. Not on any kind of continuing or meaningful basis. Notwithstanding chasing from me. For all sorts of reasons. Good, bad and political. Net result. We have nada. It’s about turning up, people. It’s about reducing the moving parts to the smallest number …


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