American contrasts: Post-Ferguson |

American contrasts: Post-Ferguson

We saw the best and the worst in Americans following Monday’s announcement that a Ferguson, Mo., grand jury found no probable cause to charge white police Officer Darren Wilson in the August shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.

After an exhaustive review, the jurors determined Mr. Brown to be the aggressor; Officer Wilson’s deadly force response was appropriate.

Among the best responses was President Barack Obama’s statement on live television that, despite our differences and despite a climate of mistrust that often still exists between police and minorities, the rule of law is sacrosanct.

Among the worst was the rampage of gunfire, looting and fire-setting of Ferguson by its own residents.

Among the best was Stacy Washington, a St. Louis radio talk-show host and member of the Project 21 black leadership network, who said the black community “must begin to look at improving” itself “instead of blaming groups of others for endemic problems that plague the black community.”

Among the worst was Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, who called the grand jury’s decision “a slap in the face” and “a miscarriage of justice” that underscores “an unwritten rule that black lives hold no value.”

But as President Obama also reminded Monday night, America has made enormous progress in race relations. And there is more to be made. Post-Ferguson, constructively narrowing that contrast is an opportunity beckoning all.

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