Thursday, August 21, 2014
Blackgammon: Eric Holder Plays the Game in Ferguson
Backgammon, on the surface, is a pretty straight forward game. You roll the dice and move your pieces. But beneath that seeming openness are hidden strategies that may only reveal themselves later.
Today, Eric Holder traveled in person to Ferguson, Missouri, where the Aug. 9 shooting of black teen& Michael Brown by white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson during an altercation has sparked massive violence, looting, protests and media coverage.
Holder's version of the game was revealed as he made his moves today in Ferguson.Ostensibly he was there to oversee the massive Federal investigation of the Brown shooting with the goal of trying to arraign Officer Darren Williams on civil rights charges should the St. Louis County Grand jury fail to charge him with murder ala' George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case in Florida. But this was essentially a campaign stop at government expense.
Read his remarks here and note the parts I've emphasized:
"I am the Attorney General of the United States, but I am also a black man," Holder told Ferguson residents at a community meeting. "I can remember being stopped on the New Jersey turnpike on two occasions and accused of speeding. Pulled over. ... 'Let me search your car' ... Go through the trunk of my car, look under the seats and all this kind of stuff. I remember how humiliating that was and how angry I was and the impact it had on me."
"The eyes of the nation and the world are watching Ferguson right now," Holder told a group of community leaders assembled at a local community college. "The world is watching because the issues raised by the shooting of Michael Brown predate this incident. This is something that has a history to it, and the history simmers beneath the surface in more communities than just Ferguson."
Let's translate this, shall we?
"See Y'all, I'm black just like you are and that comes first before anything. So I understand your totally justified rage and anger against the white power structure. It's them that are on trial, not just a police officer although he'll do as a symbol of everything you feel whitey and the police have done to you over the years.That white power structure, you know, those white Republican Tea Partyers have always oppressed you,and this is just the latest outrage. I understand that, and that police officer looks just like them so they're going to try to protect him. But since we're in charge, we're going to do our very best to see that you get what you want. Because remember, I'm black and I look like you and so does the president, so you all need to vote Democrat in November to make sure we stay in charge."
It gets even better.
Holder arrived as a local grand jury began hearing evidence to determine whether Wilson should be charged in the fatal shooting.
The Justice Department is conducting a parallel investigation into possible civil rights violations related to the shooting. In an extraordinary move, he also ordered a federal autopsy — the third forensic examination of the body, which was hit at least six times by gunfire.
Before a briefing on the investigation at local FBI headquarters, Holder said the Justice Department had assembled "very experienced" prosecutors and agents to pursue the federal civil rights inquiry.
"Our investigation is different," Holder said in a meeting room surrounded by top local federal officials, including FBI Agent in Charge William Woods and U. S. Attorney Rich Callahan.
"We're looking for possible violations of federal civil rights statutes," the attorney general said.
Holder also met with Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, who is coordinating law enforcement response to the protests. Asked whether he had confidence in the local investigation led by the St. Louis County prosecuting attorney, Johnson said: "General Holder, by being here, is a guarantee on that."
Johnson said he understood that the protests that have wracked Ferguson are not just about the shooting of Michael Brown.
"The community does not feel there is a connection," he said. "And that has to change."
You thought this was about the law? Hah! It's about community.
Normally, federal investigations for civil rights violations occur after a criminal trial or if a grand jury fails to indict someone and there's reason to believe they were biased and/or didn't look at all the evidence for bigoted reasons.You know, after there appears to be actual evidence someone's civil rights might have been violated.
That's not the way Eric Holder and the Obama Justice Department do things. They don't drag their feet, unless it's in response to congress asking about Benghazi, Fast and Furious, IRS-Gate, something like that. But AG Holder has hit the ground running, with forty plus FBI agents, a team of federal prosecutors and auxiliary personnel, and even a third autopsy, all of which the taxpayers are footing the bill for..before there's even any evidence that Brown's civil rights might have been violated, or that the state and county investigations and the grand jury are going to quash things. Of course, that's the whole point.
By conducting a high profile investigation like this, Holder is signalling to his audience that the police, the grand jury and the local prosecutor are all racist, but that he and the Justice Department can be depended on to address black grievance and get them the lynching they want. Just imagine if Whitey takes over after November is the implicit message. He's also signalling the same thing to the Grand Jury, putting pressure on them to prove they aren't racist by coming up with an indictment, a murder charge or at least manslaughter for the policeman. Think back - the Attorney General did exactly the same thing in the Trayvon Martin Case, leaning on the Grand Jury to come up with a ridiculous charge because of the politics involved. But the difference was that in the Florida case, Holder was a few months late to the game. George Zimmerman had already been released without being charged and it took Al Sharpton and the New Black Panthers to start the fire.
This one is too important for that. Holder's job here is to play racial politics and to gin up as big a black turnout as he can to try and keep the Senate in Democrat hands, so that the various scandals don't get any worse, gridlock continues for another two years and President Obama's de facto amnesty for illegal aliens continues to be viable without undue interference from the likes of congress.
Holder's mission has absolutely nothing to do with justice, or with law and order. If he was at all concerned about that, he'd at least wait and see what the grand jury comes out with before getting involved.But this is strictly about politics.
Holder's game of blackgammon is all about the politics. And it's going to be emphasized by an organized 'Day of Rage' in Washington DC put on by the New Black Panther Party and a number of their political soul mates.Thanks to Holder's 'separate investigation' even to the extent of getting a third autopsy, it doesn't matter if Darren Wilson isn't charged or if he's charged, tried and gets acquitted, the grievance mongers can still use it to get out the vote. Real justice is blocked, and Holder is setting himself up to win either way.
Backgammon players will recognize the strategy of blocking of the opponent's side of the board and then bumping one of his pieces so it remains stuck and there's no way to bear off (remove from the board) any of his pieces no matter what, unless he rolls a very large double number on the dice. And meanwhile, the other player who's doing the blocking has a number of turns to bear off his pieces or get them in position to do so.
That's exactly what Eric Holder is trying to do, cynically using the black pieces. Blackgammon is a highly appropriate name for it.