Conflict brings out the worst in people, including the words they choose. As tense as the events in Ferguson, Missouri, have been this past week over the death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, some of the most jarring moments occurred away from the action in the form of divisive commentary from politicians, journalists and TV personalities. Brown, 18, was fatally shot by a police officer on Saturday.
Here are some of the more controversial remarks made over the past week of protests:
Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa appeared on Newsmax TV on Wednesday to talk about the protests and to offer his two cents about the Congressional Black Caucus’ call for the Department of Justice to investigate a pattern of racial profiling by Ferguson police.
On “this idea of racial profiling … I’ve seen the video,” King said. “It looks to me like you don’t need to bother with that particular factor because they all appear to be of a single origin, I should say, a continental origin might be the way to phrase that.”
King continued: “I just reject race-based politics, identity politics. I think we’re all God’s children. We all should be held to the same standards and the same level of behavior.”
Continue Reading Below
‘Many, Many African-Americans’
TV personality Bill O’Reilly offered some advice for Brown's parents during his Fox News segment on Tuesday.
“Do we as a society -- what do we do?” O’Reilly started. “Do we weigh in as the boy’s father -- and if it were my son, I probably would have said same thing, but he’s obviously talking through an emotional prism. His son is dead. He believes, probably -- I know he believes -- that it was an injustice, that it was done for nothing, it was a murder. And many, many African-Americans believe that without knowing the facts. Do we criticize them, or do we remain silent?”
‘Not A Target’
Despite several well-documented reports of journalists in Ferguson being arrested or having tear gas shot at them by police for unspecified or ridiculous reasons, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson denied that the media had been singled out.
"The media's not a target," Jackson said Thursday. When pressed further about specific incidents of reporter arrests, Jackson simply repeated, “I don’t know.”
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough had some choice words for Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery after Lowery posted video of his interaction with police in a Ferguson McDonald's.
“I’ve been in places where police officers said, ‘all right you know what, this is cordoned off, you guys need to move along.’ You know what I do? I go, ‘yes, sir, or yes, ma'am.’ I don't sit there and have a debate and film the police officer unless I want to get on TV and have people talk about me the next day,” Scarborough said on Thursday’s “Morning Joe. “I am sure I am just the worst person in the world for saying this. Next time a police officer tells you that you've got to move along because you've got riots outside, well, you probably should move along.”
Lowery was not pleased with Scarborough for his comments, and replied that he has “little patience for talking heads.” Lowery even invited Scarborough to “come down to Ferguson and get out of 30 Rock where he’s sitting sipping his Starbucks smugly.”
Missouri State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadel had this to say to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon: “F--- You.”
“You don’t know s--- bc you never communicate. F--- you, Governor!” the state senator tweeted Thursday in response to a tweet from Nixon that read, “Situation in Ferguson does not represent who we are. Must keep the peace, while safeguarding rights of citizens and the press.”
— MariaChappelleNadal (@MariaChappelleN) August 14, 2014