The re-election of a local mayor is rarely news beyond the fact that it happened.
But Ferguson, Missouri, is not Anytown, USA, it was the epicenter of progressive riots and media hype in the wake of the killing of Michael Brown by a while police officer after Brown attacked the officer and take his gun.
Now the re-election of Mayor James Knowles III has upset NBC News, one of the outlets that hyped the riots and the #BlackLivesMatter movement that came out of it.
Ferguson is a majority black city, but residents who voted clearly didn’t seem to mind having a white mayor. Knowles, who is white, won handily, 56 percent to 44 percent over City Council member Ella Jones, who is black.
NBC News was not happy with the outcome, making the election about race by titling their coverage, “Ferguson, Missouri, Declines to Elect First Black Mayor.”
NBC News lamented the outcome, noting, “Jones, 62, would have become the first black mayor in the city’s 122 years had she been elected.”
“The fear now, with Knowles’ winning a third three-year term,” NBC News says, “is that residents, activists and protesters — already doubtful that anything will ever change — could harden their attitudes.” The story, however, cites no residents, activists or protesters expressing this sentiment or anything at all as reporters Ron Allen and Alex Johnson quote no one in the story.
Allen and Johnson use Brown as a descriptor for Knowles, describing the Mayor as someone “who rode out weeks of unrest after Brown, an unarmed teenager, was shot and killed by Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson.”
Investigators found Brown, 18, after robbing a convenience store, was walking in the street when Wilson told him and a friend to walk on the sidewalk. Brown then attacked Wilson, reaching into his car to grab the officer’s gun. Brown was shot in the hand during that altercation, then began to run away, only to turn and charge back toward Wilson when he was killed.
Brown, whose shooting was deemed justified by both local officials and the Justice Department under former Attorney General Eric Holder, became a progressive hero after his friend falsely claimed he was surrendering to police and was executed with his hand up. Forensic evidence and eyewitness testimony proved this story to be a false, but the “hands up, don’t shoot” myth had caught on in the media and is still embraced by many activists and journalists.
Race-obsessed media coverage has become the norm in Ferguson since Brown’s death. In February 2016, after City Council elections, the LA Times wrote, “Now, Ferguson has passed a new milestone on its journey to reform: On Tuesday night, the City Council became majority black for the first time,” in a story entitled, “Ferguson officials, now mostly black like the city, still face federal suit over police reforms.”
Tuesday’s election results indicate voters in Ferguson aren’t as interested in the skin color of their leaders as the media is.