CNN International anchor Rosemary Church wondered why the Ferguson police department isn’t using water cannons instead of indiscriminate tear gas on protesters and rioters — prompting an incredulous look from her co-anchor, who was clearly more aware of America’s history of race relations.
Church made the comments in the early hours of Tuesday morning, as police battled armed rioters with clouds of tear gas and volleys of rubber bullets and stun grenades.
“Why are they using this strategy?” she asked. “Why the use of tear gas, stun grenades? Why not perhaps use water cannon? At least it’s not going to have the same sort of effect. Or maybe something that targets this small group?”
That’s the Birmingham, Ala., fire department hosing down peaceful black protesters in 1963, something done repeatedly throughout the South during their struggle for equal rights.
Church was born in Ireland and grew up in Australia, perhaps missing some of the more-nuanced facets of American history. But still.