Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Things I'll Say About Ferguson (Wednesday LINKS)

I'm not going to delve into the Ferguson decision or the protests in response

I will say that these events cannot be viewed in isolation and, rightly or wrongly, carry with them the history of people like Sheriff Willis McCall of Florida and many other "officers of the law" who used their unique right of lethal force to kill unarmed black men.

I will say that our system of law and order is foreign to those who feel targeted by it and that this is a dangerous norm to promote.  Our laws rest on a very delicate agreement amongst the governed that we accept them, so long as they are applied equally and fairly.  If that agreement is determined to have been breached, all the tanks and tear gas in the world won't fix it.

I will say that those of us in positions of safety and privilege would do well to use that perch to advocate for things like police body cameras instead of shaking our fingers at activity happening hundreds of miles away.

I will say that we are barely a generation away from institutionalized oppression of black men and women, which makes any comment about a "post-racial society" seem uniquely dense and ignorant.

I will also say that other than those comments listed above, when it comes to issues like these, I choose to listen more than I speak.  


Amanda Yeager with the Howard County Times writes about Ken Ulman's legacy, including a quote from yours truly.  An interesting item of note about Ken is that unlike other exiting executives, we have a fairly good idea about what his legacy is going to be before he leaves.  Most elected leaders, like famous artists, are not appreciated until there work has time to develop in their absence.  I don't think that will happen with Ken.

Blair Ames with the Times writes that the newly elected members of the Board of Education seek "collaboration".  With all due respect, this article is filled with the platitudes that you expect from newly elected officials.  "Listen", "teamwork", "make thoughtful decisions".  This isn't a fault of the reporter or those he interviewed, but BoE politics continue to be some of the nastiest in our County and I don't see anything in the results that would change that.

CA finished the loop around Lake Kitt, writes Luke Lavoie with the Flier.  Lest this seem like a presumed result, it is worth remembering that back in 2012, Gregg Schwind and I had to fight to get this moved up on the capital projects timeline.  This was the number one request I would hear from residents of Columbia and it is about time they were fulfilled.

Governor O'Malley has officially opened the door to fracking, writes John Wagner with The Washington Post.  This came as a bit of a surprise, but I presume O'Malley saw an opportunity to impose his own restrictions on the practice by setting things up now as opposed to letting Gov-elect Hogan do things his way.  It is yet to be seen what Larry Hogan's policy planks are when it comes to environmental protection, but I can't say I'm optimistic.

Featured Blog Post of the Day: Julia dusts off one of my favorite posts of all-time, reminding me of just how alive the blogosphere felt in 2011.  We've gone a bit thin since then.  Feels like the scene in A Christmas Carol where you see Tiny Tim's crutch leaning against the wall.

On that happy note - Have a great Wednesday doing what you love!  And enjoy the holiday!