Obama's Ferguson Critics Are Off Base
Criticism that he's too wishy-washy about shooting is misguided: pundits
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2014 11:58 AM CDT
President Obama speaks at the White House on Monday.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – In the wake of the Michael Brown shooting, President Obama has taken flak for not speaking more forcefully—or more personally—about it. (Eric Holder, for instance, has recounted his own troubles with police as a black man in America.) Well, the president's critics are wrong, writes Charles Lane at the Washington Post. The last thing we need is more "emotional rhetoric." Pundits are free to say what they want, but Obama "has actual responsibilities, of which the most pressing are to keep a highly dangerous situation from getting any worse and to supervise an impartial investigation of the horrific event that led up to it."

At the Root, David Swerdlick makes a similar case, arguing that the president's measured comments have been "exactly right" so far. "Although there are a lot of different voices that can underscore the racial injustice that surrounds Ferguson and the killing of Michael Brown, there’s only one person who can direct FBI resources and order the Justice Department to investigate a civil rights violation: Obama," he writes. "And I’d rather see someone who does understand black anger fulfilling that role rather than focusing on making speeches." Looking for a rebuttal? Maureen Dowd would love to see Obama flash some black anger. "Why should the president neutralize himself?" she asks in the New York Times. "Why doesn’t he do something bold and thrilling? Get his hands dirty? Stop going to Beverly Hills to raise money and go to St. Louis to raise consciousness?" Click for her full column, or Swerdlick's, or Lane's.

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Showing 3 of 278 comments
greenlantern1
Sep 2, 2014 11:45 AM CDT
I am a Caucasian! I used to be a Republican! Eric Holder is one of the reasons that I am proud that I voted for Obama! Our ONLY jailed attorney-general was Nixon's first, John Mitchell! Remember Nixon's "students"? Our ONLY VP, to plea bargain, was Spiro Agnew! Remember his "black panthers"? The Republican party is talking about LAW AND ORDER? INOPERATIVE!
TheJman
Aug 26, 2014 4:25 PM CDT
LOL...since when did Obama ever worry about his "actual responsibilities"?
Imhotep
Aug 26, 2014 7:03 AM CDT
The Blacks in Ferguson give the blacks across the nation a bad image. I'm sorry to see them getting any support and what little they do get from the nation are highlighted and perpetuated by the media. Even when the media mentions the teen that was shot they preface it with unarmed teen. Not teen that just robbed a store , bullied his way out and nearly beat to death a cop. Their behavior and actions should not be considered representative of the hard working and law abiding blacks in this country. It would be like saying the worst of the whites are representative of all whites. One of these days the blacks will accept the fact that there are good blacks and bad blacks just like whites do. When they support the bad element in their community their saying we are all the same.