The Ferguson Protesters vs. the Liberal Left

The protests that began in Ferguson against a government and a legal system that systematically work to oppress minorities and the disadvantaged have continued, now inflamed by the decision not to indict the New York police officer who killed Eric Gardner by placing him in a chokehold (because he was suspected of selling cigarettes). It is no stretch to say that these protests go beyond those specific events, and reflect the protesters’ view that the police, the legal system, and government policies in general work against disadvantaged Americans.

On the other side, the liberal left depicts government as the benevolent supporter of minorities and the disadvantaged, looking out for their interests and improving their lives. Looking at the issues, we see the Ferguson protesters, who perceive government as working against the interests of minorities and the disadvantaged, versus the liberal left, who perceive government as working for the interests of minorities and the disadvantaged.

The odd thing about this dichotomy of viewpoints is that many people believe both of them. If those who sympathize with the Ferguson protesters believe government oppresses the disadvantaged, why would they favor the left-liberal ideology that calls for more of what oppresses them?

Randall G. Holcombe is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and DeVoe Moore Professor of Economics at Florida State University. His Independent books include Housing America (edited with Benjamin Powell); and Writing Off Ideas.
Posts by Randall G. Holcombe | Full Biography and Publications
Comments
  • Catalyst
  • MyGovCost.org
  • FDAReview.org
  • OnPower.org
  • elindependent.org