Ferguson Residents are Registering to Vote, Republicans Furious

There are a lot of injustices occurring in Ferguson, Missouri currently: an unarmed black man was killed with his hands up, protesters have been attacked with tear gas and rubber bullets, and journalists have been arrested for trying to cover the events. Even state Republicans are furious!

Alas, it’s none of the aforementioned problems that prompted the head of Missouri Republicans to call the situation “disgusting.” He saved that charged descriptor for a series of voter registration drives taking place in Ferguson.

What’s the problem, exactly? According to some Republicans, this is a case of political opportunism. How DARE people pursue their protected right to register to vote? And how dare “liberals” (although it’s not clear that registration efforts have been partisan) enable the black community to vote?

“If that’s not fanning the political flames, I don’t know what is,” said Matt Wills, the Executive Director of the Missouri Republicans. “I think it’s not only disgusting but completely inappropriate.”

Actually, it seems entirely appropriate. With conservative pundits decrying “rioting” by locals, wouldn’t permitting Ferguson residents to vote for the change they want to see be a preferable, more “civil” approach?

Democracy is (theoretically, anyway) designed to provide people with the type of leaders they want. Currently, the majority of people in Ferguson are displeased with a violent, unsympathetic police force and a mayor who denied the existence of racial tension in his clearly divided town. Voting would enable Ferguson citizens to change the people in power without force.

In the last election, just 12% of eligible voters turned out to vote in Ferguson. This low participation is undoubtedly a large part of the reason that almost all of Ferguson’s elected officials and police officers are Caucasian in a town where 60% of the population is African American.

Wills elaborated, “Injecting race into this conversation and into this tragedy, not only is not helpful, but it doesn’t help a continued conversation of justice and peace.” Ignore, for a moment, the fact that the problem in Ferguson is very fundamentally about race. The fact that Wills is calling out people who register voters for “injecting race” into the community just shows how terrified he is of African Americans exercising their right to vote.

Indeed, African American voter suppression in Missouri is real. Disenfranchisement is a large part of why these tensions exist within the Ferguson community to begin with, so the supposed “opportunism” Missouri Republicans are alleging seems more accurately a potential solution.

There’s hardly a bad reason to register to vote. If the people of Ferguson are more motivated than ever to take back control of their community through democratic means, more power to them.

159 comments

Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 months ago

thanks for the article.

Shirley Plowman
Shirley P.1 years ago

The actions and communications that Republicans in Ferguson speak loud and clear. They want to retain the "way it is" now in Ferguson but that is now all over per the recent actions in that town. So good that we citizens can work towards righting the wrongs by voting --- putting into office those who share the needs of the whole community and not just the part of the community which is white only. Seems the Republicans have kept control there by very negative ways, and being 2014, that needs to end now. Do vote, everyone in Ferguson, please.

ERIKA SOMLAI
ERIKA SOMLAI1 years ago

noted

Nyack Clancy
Nyack Clancy1 years ago

Thank you

Deborah W.
Deborah W.1 years ago

Mid-terms historically produce low turnout. This single incident, since it received nationwide attention, should encourage ALL eligible voters to get out and vote.

Any eligible yet unregistered voters still have time to haul their ass out and get involved ... or quite whining. Same goes for all registered but disinterested voters. The world is what we've allowed it to become.


Regus S.
Regus Slantei1 years ago

Once again we can celebrate the fact that David F. is so clueless that he can't help showing it off to the rest of us:

"Giggles is so lock minded with the state media never lying, he cannot even see the articles title as blatant propaganda."

OK David, where is the lie?!!! Well??!! The story's title merely and correctly paraphrases the direct quote used within the story from an upset and angry-sounding [R] leader about the voter registration. So where's the propaganda?

Yet you have the gall to use your own made-up lies to re-spew your own weak brand of propaganda about the so-called "state media" and how it lies. I hope you are including FoxNews in your "state media" bin. There is no bigger liar of a news network around. A recent study by a media watchdog group concluded 60% of their so-called facts were LIES!!! They can't even get it half right....and that's why all you FoxNews zombies don't even come up to the level of half-assed. Half-assed would be a major intellectual promotion for you idiots.

Robert Hamm
Robert Hamm1 years ago

There is no state media David. Every time you use that phrase you prove what a fringe thinker you are.

ALL media is owned by coprorations……not the government.

David F.
David F.1 years ago

Giggles is so lock minded with the state media never lying, he cannot even see the articles title as blatant propaganda.

john james Parr
john james Parr1 years ago

Good Article,,, causing great debate...thank you

Robert Hamm
Robert Hamm1 years ago

……..and you never have a problem also using every crisis to spew hatred of liberals john……… if your brain was as big as yout hate and your mought you would be a genius. Instead you are just a noise box spewing hate.