When you pass Ferguson through a racial filter, a much more consistent picture emerges, both with respect to the unrest itself and to its place within a broader social context.
You’ve probably seen the statistics by now. Ferguson is about two-thirds black. It’s police force is nearly 100 percent white. Less than a third of its residents are white, but whites hold five of Ferguson’s six city council seats.
When the black community in a city like Ferguson loses faith in its police force, and the police respond by crushing the community’s civil and constitutional rights, it isn’t a stretch to say that the white ruling class has created de facto apartheid. Probably temporarily, perhaps without segregationist intent. But functionally, that’s what it is. They’ve also denied the people they serve the services to which they’re entitled. Ferguson’s police department commands a third of the city’s budget and they are using those resources to provide aggressive disservice to the people who finance that budget.