- - Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A race riot could erupt in Ferguson, Missouri, any day. To thwart it, President Barack Obama and Attorney-General Eric Holder should be utilizing tools like the federal Anti-Riot Act. Instead, they’re stoking the flames.

For Mr. Obama, riots could be a convenient distraction from two major furors: 1) Executive amnesty for illegal immigrants, and 2) Dr. Jonathan Gruber’s role as a paid flack to deceive the country about Obamacare.

The national media are primed and ready to help shift attention. Liberal outlets are “begging” for riots, according to Fox News’ Juan Williams. He writes that “television networks profit from coverage of riots. So do extremist voices, often from out of town.”

Mr. Williams doesn’t mention it, but riots also divert media from covering things that embarrass the president. Those are things that liberal media don’t want to cover anyway.

Rather than discouraging the out-of-town agitators who have stayed in Ferguson since August, Mr. Obama has shown sympathy for their cause. The agitators want a murder indictment of Ferguson policeman Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Michael Brown.

The grand jury reportedly heard testimony describing how the 6-foot-4, 292-pound Brown attacked Mr. Wilson, fractured his eye socket, tried to steal his gun, then charged at the officer again.

The mobs in Ferguson see it differently; they side with Brown’s father who insists the police officer be indicted for murder.

Agitators have released protest target lists of dozens of places in the St. Louis area, presuming that Mr. Wilson will not be indicted. An advance state of emergency has been declared by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, and he also activated the National Guard to prepare to respond to riots.

Much of the agitation has come from out-of-state troublemakers, including self-identified anarchists and Marxists. They’re the reason we have a federal Anti-Riot Act. But it has not been invoked. It has not been used to investigate the instigators. It has not even been used to sound a warning to them. Not even after more than 100 Ferguson businesses have already been looted.

“Rioting and looting are the tools of those without a voice,” said Rockit Ali, a masked Ferguson protest organizer, speaking to Reuters news service. “There is no revolution without violence.”

Ferguson protestors met with Mr. Obama last week in an unpublicized private White House meeting​, as reported by The New York Times​. Others in the meeting were not identified, but Al Sharpton said Mr. Obama told them to “stay the course.”

Mr. Obama should have read them the Anti-Riot Act (18 U.S. Code § 2101),  which makes it a crime to travel or to use interstate communications (including social media) “(1) to incite a riot; or (2) to organize, promote, encourage, participate in, or carry on a riot; or (3) to commit any act of violence in furtherance of a riot; or (4) to aid or abet any person in inciting or participating in or carrying on a riot or committing any act of violence in furtherance of a riot.”

The law also mandates speedy action by the attorney general and Department of Justice. The statute directs that “the Department shall proceed as speedily as possible with a prosecution of such person(s).” But they’ve had since August and done nothing against the rioters.

Instead, statements by Mr. Eric Holder have only been about investigating the police, protecting the rights of protesters and expressing sympathy to the Brown family.

Mr. Obama’s comments have also stoked racial tensions. Speaking at the United Nations, Mr. Obama incredibly equated the Ferguson shooting with world crises like ISIS’ head-chopping march through Syria and Iraq and the Arab-Israeli conflicts. Mr. Obama followed that with a speech to the Congressional Black Caucus where he complained that America’s law enforcement targets those “walking while black.”

Unmentioned were the FBI statistics showing why young black men draw police scrutiny: namely that they commit a hugely disproportionate number of all murders in America.

This week the FBI alerted law enforcement nationwide that the decision from the Missouri grand jury “will likely” set off extremist threats and even attacks on police and on federal agents.

But there was no FBI warning to the agitators flocking to Ferguson from across the country. No warning that the feds will investigate and punish violations of the Anti-Riot Act. Yet Mr. Nixon, a democrat, knows the problem is coming from across state lines; Nixon complains that the situation has been “attracting bad guys across the country.”

Law-breaking increases whenever laws are not enforced. That applies both to laws against rioting and laws against illegal immigration.

With a national firestorm expected when Mr. Obama proclaims executive amnesty for millions of illegals, the White House has set the stage for a huge and horrid distraction. As their credo goes, “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.”
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