A Missouri GOP official bemoaned in an interview published Monday that race had been injected into the conversation about the Ferguson, Mo., shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer.
“This is not just a tragedy for the African American community, this is a tragedy for the Missouri community as well as the community of what we call America,” Matt Wills, Missouri Republican Party executive director, told Breitbart News. “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.”
Wills’s comments came in the context of the Breitbart report that “liberal organizers” had established voter registration booths amid the ongoing Ferguson protests.
“If that’s not fanning the political flames, I don’t know what is,” Wills said. “I think it’s not only disgusting but completely inappropriate.”
Race has been a prominent topic since Officer Darren Wilson shot 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9. Wilson is white, and Brown was black. The Ferguson police force is almost entirely white, though it serves a community that is two-thirds black. The same goes for the Ferguson city council.
Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson said last week that race relations were “a top priority.”
And then there is the broader racial context. Mother Jones reported last week that research shows African-Americans are disproportionately affected in incidents of police violence. The ACLU has also reported that people of color are disproportionately involved in militarized police actions like the kind taken against Ferguson protests since the shooting.