Last night, the grand jury declined to indict police officer Darren Wilson on any charges related to the shooting of black teenager Michael Brown. Events surrounding the shooting have heightened racial tensions in Ferguson, MO, and across the country the protestors have held the case up as a high profile example of a racially biased justice and law enforcement system. Protestors took the streets in several major cities, and Ferguson descended into riots. On radio this morning, Glenn called for peace while also chastising those who would use the grand jury decision and the protests to further divide the country, including President Obama.
Glenn: Last night, we were all together for Thanksgiving. We were watching Godzilla. And halfway through, I said to my family, I'd rather live in this world. I'd rather live in the world where giant lizards are climbing out of the sea because I think I would understand this a little more. It would make sense to me. And nobody would be saying those big things that crushed Las Vegas would be good. We would all have some idea of what good and bad, right and wrong. Right now, the world is so screwed up. You don't know what up is and down is. You have no idea what good and bad, right and wrong is.
Last night, when Ferguson came out and we started setting things on fire, when you're watching Fox News and you're seeing one of their reporters just try to report the news and somebody in a Guy Fawkes mask comes up and they pull the camera down to the ground, you wonder and you worry about the reporters. You wonder and you worry and you start to think, if you're me, is this when they're starting to pull reporters out of their seats in the newsrooms? Is this the beginning of that?
Because I'm telling the press, you think when you put a sign on your back that says "press," that's always meant 'friend, don't bother me'. I'm telling you now, the rebels and the revolutionaries that want to be on the streets, they don't look at you as an ally or as a friend. That's why they're pulling your cameras down. This is the very beginning of what will happen to the press.
This is the very beginning of what will happen to our cities if we don't change course. If we don't do what Abraham Lincoln did right after the Gettysburg address, and that is, turn our faces to God at Thanksgiving. At Thanksgiving is when he did it. And it turned the war. We were losing everything up at to that point, but it turned the world. Because he said, we need to humble ourselves. Are we not a nation that needs to be humbled? My gosh, I don't even know what we stand for anymore, except for money and power and greed and corruption. That's not the America I know or love.
People out on the streets -- the president gives a speech last night -- Pat, do we have the audio of the president? Can we play a little of this?
PAT: Yeah, he was terrific. As usual.
GLENN: You know what went through my mind?
'And Barack knows we have to change our traditions'.
You know what we've changed our traditions to? It's Thanksgiving week where we don't have to worry about anything. We just worry about the upcoming food fest. We worry about, will we be able to make it to the mall and get the things we want to make? If we're struggling because of our finances -- which happens in every economy -- you're struggling and you worry about Christmas and what it will be like for the kids. Those are our traditions.
But Barack knows. Here we are -- if we all try to gather with our family, we now have to talk about politics. We now have to talk about what he's done. He's already -- he's just started to release the illegals. He's now started that this week. So we have to talk about that, and we have to talk about Ferguson, and we have to talk about what one senator is calling a race war. Perfect.
OBAMA: 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.
PAT: This week we're a nation of laws, last week, not so much. Not so much a nation of laws.
GLENN: That's the way it works.
STU: It's a flip of a coin. They happened to say he was innocent, but it could have gone either way. If you think that it's a complete BS decision, you're just as right as someone who looked at the facts.
PAT: That's how he presented it.
OBAMA: We need to recognize this is not just an issue for Ferguson. This is an issue for America. We have made enormous progress in race relations over the course for the past several decades. I've witnessed in that in my own life, and to deny that progress, I think, is to deny America's capacity for change.
But what is also true is that there are still problems. And communities of color aren't just making these problems up. Separating that from this particular decision, there are issues in which the law too often feels as if it's being applied in a discriminatory fashion.
PAT: Why would you say that in this case, when that is clearly not the situation here? Why would you even bring that up? That's not the case here.
GLENN: This is so unbelievably outrageous. This president -- first of all, I think this is the first time I've heard him say, hey, we've come a long way, and I'm evidence of it. I'm evidence of it. Have you heard him say that before?
PAT: I haven't.
GLENN: Neither have I.
By the way, this is the most time any president has had to prepare a speech, so this should have been the best speech, the most well-thought out, most eloquent speech of all -- this could have been his Gettysburg address.
There was no rush to a speech here. All of us knew what the verdict was going to be because all of us could see the evidence as it was presented. We didn't even have access to everything the grand jury had, but we had enough to know it's probably not going to prosecution.
Not because of some race thing. The president should have gotten up and said, look, this is the system. And, yes, despite what I did last week where I made myself emperor, we are a nation of laws. And because of that, we believe in the system. And it's never perfect. In this case however, it looks like the grand jury may have gotten this one right. Now, sometimes in the past it has been wrong. And he can even talk about some of the cases, the civil rights cases, where you had grand jury members who were on the grand jury who were clearly intimidated or part of the clan. But those cases happened in the 1960s. And I'm evidence that this nation is not a racist nation.
Now, here's the thing, if you look at the evidence that the grand jury apprehend, you will see that this guy, the cop. There are witnesses. Black witnesses, that said they saw him charge the cop and say, you're too much of a cat to do anything about it. You're too much of a "cat" to shoot me. (He didn't actually say cat). You'll have to figure it out. He was taunting the cop.
And why was he he taunting the cop? He was taunting the cop because the streets have turned. The same reason that Europe has a problem with no-go zones. We've created no-go zones. If you're of a specific race or religion, you're already in a no-go zone, America. There's no such thing as equal application of the law anymore. All men are created equal and endowed by their creators. The president could have, since he's a constitutional scholar, could have said all men are created equal. Which means you're born equal. You have an equal shot in America. But you have to do something about it. It depends on how you react to life. Not what happens in life, but how you react in life that sets the course of this nation.
Now, how we react to it, because all men are created equal, but we don't have equal outcomes and we obviously don't respond the same way. So now is your moment of choosing. How will you respond to what life has dealt to you. And I'm specifically talking about the Brown family, and the Brown family has so far behaved admirably. They're hanging out a little too much with Al Sharpton for my taste, but they're saying peace on the streets.
Now, let me ask you, besides the Brown family, how have you been affected exactly? How have the Palestinian activists been affected in Ferguson?
I'm sorry. How have the communists, how has Occupy Wall Street personally been affected? There's something in our law called standing.
I can't bring a lawsuit against someone I don't have a standing. If someone sells somebody a car and it's a piece of crap, I can't go and sue the car dealer or the car maker. I don't have any standing. I didn't buy the car. I don't have the car. It didn't affect me. Where is your standing?
Well, all men, all men -- really? Show me the evidence that any wrong has been done here. Because the grand jury just deliberated and said it didn't. Now, that doesn't mean grand juries get it right all the time, but show me the actual evidence in this case that shows you, you should be burning down a city.
The President of the United States by not being outraged, by lecturing us -- and that's what he did. White America, black America, conservative America, liberal America, he got on last night and he lectured us.
See, you don't understand. I understand. They're not making this up. They're burning down our city for a reason. What reason? What reason, Mr. President? Mr. African-American president, what reason? You were elected twice. You were elected the first time by offering hope of change. Real change.
The second time you were elected out of fear-mongering, out of spite, out of divisions. But you still were elected, Mr. President. So tell me how racist this country is. Tell me -- tell me how racist it is.
Were you elected by only Hispanics? Were you elected by only black people? Were you? Were there any Jews? Were there any Mormons that voted for you? Were there any Catholics that voted for you? Were there any evangelicals that voted for you? Were there any black people that voted against you? Were there any Native Americans that voted against you? Who voted for you, Mr. President? Because right now you're supposed to represent all of us.
See, this is the biggest problem with our nation right now. We have no healing time because our parties have figured out, if we continue to divide, we can continue to grab power. So there's no healing power. There's no time where the president becomes everyone's president. They tried to do this under George W. Bush, but a tragedy lead us all together. A tragedy brought us all together. You know what, I didn't vote for that guy, but I don't care. He's my president. And it lasted for a while. Do we really need a tragedy to do it? That's the wrong way.
Tragedies lead progressive presidents like Woodrow Wilson and FDR to round people up. I would suggest with a progressive president, and that would include someone like Newt Gingrich or John McCain, I would suggest we avoid tragedies because you never know what those guys will do.
At least we didn't know what the two big progressive presidents were going to do during World War I and World War II. God help us all if we have a progressive president and it's World War III, which brings me to Chuck Hagel, but we'll wait.
Anything you guys want to add before we take a quick break?
STU: Let me add this: The stupid idiot that I am, I sat there and watched the president make the speech and thought, I wonder if this time he'll come out and say something uniting. I wonder if he'll come out and say, sure, there are injustices, but this isn't one of them.
PAT: And he probably had more access than the grand jury did to all the evidence. He knows what happened here. He knows.
STU: Well, Eric Holder was involved in this investigation. He was on the ground constantly. The prosecutor mentioned --
PAT: Well, he knows there was a witness who said that Michael Brown ran at the cop with his head down like a football player. And even though there were three bangs -- three shots rang out, he just kept coming. He didn't have his hands up. He didn't have his hands in the air. He was running headlong this officer -- he already scuffled with him in his car and beaten him there and two shots went off there. He had all this evidence. He knows this isn't one of those cases like during the civil rights era, there were absolutely miscarriages of justice. This wasn't one of them. He never said that.
GLENN: Do me a favor, Pat. See if you can find the Francis Fox Piven where she was saying, where are all the riots in the streets? Where are the riots in the streets?
This is all this is. I want you to know, America. They're trying to ignite an American Spring. That's all they're trying to do. If we can get the American people to riot, if we can just get them to stop being who the American people truly are. Don't you see?
Everything about what they're trying to do to us is to rip us away from the good, peaceful, charitable, kind people we truly are. That's not how we always are. But historically America always rights itself. It always leans back towards decency, courage, and kindness and charity. We always right ourselves.
For the love of Pete, look at our history and see who we truly are. Don't see just the mistakes. See the good things. All they're trying to do is separate us from the good things. This is a prime example early on of why we must reconnect with God. We must reconnect with ourselves. We must reconnect with history. We must know who they are because they're trying do separate us from our history. They're trying to separate us from the goodness in our heart by making us angry. They want us -- they want us to rise up.
We must rise up with hearts full of reconciliation. Go ahead, brother. Strike me down. To quote 'Star Wars', you will only make me more powerful. Strike me down. Strike me across the face. I will turn the other cheek.
You tell me, which would have more power, which would the American people stand up for right now, if people were locked arms, singing hymns walking down the streets of Ferguson, would the American people -- because the case is not on their side, the facts are not on their side, it would really be hard to get the American people to stand with them.
However, if they were all standing together shoulder-to-shoulder marching like Martin Luther King and singing hymns and talking about the real problems in our country, do you think maybe a few people would listen to them more than the people burning businesses down.
Front page image courtesy of the AP.