A champion for law and order discusses Ferguson and more at the West Coast retreat.
Editor’s note: Below are the video and transcript to Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke Jr’s speech at the Freedom Center’s 2015 West Coast Retreat. The event was held March 6-8 in Palos Verdes, CA.
To see David Horowitz's introduction to Sheriff Clarke's speech, click here.
David Clarke: Thank you for that introduction, Mr. Horowitz. When a man of his accomplishments says some of the kind things that he did to me, I'm humbled by that stuff. I really am. I don't really see myself as a hero. I'm a public servant, God fearing, God loving, husband, just trying to make a difference in my hometown, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. That's how all this, this whole thing started in terms of me being elevated onto a national profile. Just with some strong stances inside Milwaukee County, that's all it was meant to be, and I was thrust into this national spotlight.
I didn't really want it; there's a heavy burden that goes along with that. David talked about it, in terms of the arrows that are slung at you, the criticism, and that stuff doesn't bother me at all. I tell people, hey, I've got big shoulders, pile it on, no problem. But it's dangerous in this end of the pool, as you know, for people who stand up and just give people information unvarnished, in an unvarnished fashion. That's the way I come at life, all right? I don't sugar coat things. I'm just going to give my point of view, and I realize in life, there are many points of view. I'm just one of those points of view. But unfortunately when dealing with the left, if you're not singing off the same sheet of music, as you folks already know, they don't want to hear you. And my position is you state your point of view; I'll state my point of view and let's have a discussion about it. I want to drill down into what you're telling me your position is, because most of their positions are just talking points. Yeah, there's no research involved. You know all this stuff. I'm preaching to the choir here today. But I'm just trying to give you a brief of how I got into this thing and how I see it.
All right, I'd like to peel back the layers of what the left says, because when you peel back the layers, there's nothing underneath it. There's nothing. And what I like to do, because I've formed my own opinions. Nobody told David Clarke what to think, what to feel, what to say, what to believe in, who to marry, what kind of food to eat -- you know that thing that the race hustlers like to say defines your blackness? But yet every time I look in the mirror in the morning, I see a black guy looking back at me. Okay, so I've done a lot of reading. I read a lot. I'm an avid reader. I've done some research on some of these issues and a lot of it is my upbringing.
All right, fortunately for me, I was born in a two-parent household, a loving mom and dad. We didn't have much. All right? We started out in the housing project in the City of Milwaukee. My dad went to work every day for 33 years, United States Postal Service; served in the United States Army, a segregated army by the way; fought in Korea. He was an Airborne Ranger. He had several combat jumps. He gave me my stake in America, and that's why I feel that everything that's out there that can be had, I'm entitled to as well. I know, that entitlement word, but I'm only entitled if I work hard, if I persevere, if I overcome obstacles, if I embrace education, and if I hold myself responsible for my actions. My attitude has always been in this country, and it was my dad's attitude. Like I said, he fought in a segregated army. He should've had a chip on his shoulder, but he didn't. He went and fought for his country in that segregated army because he knew at one point that this country would live up to its ideals, and his dream was that his kids could go on and grasp everything that America had to offer.
I was my dad's kid. Okay? That's why I mention my dad. I'm more so. He knew this was an unfair world. His attitude was, "Son, you have to be doubly prepared to deal with an unfair world, because this world is unfair to everybody." Ask somebody who's been diagnosed with cancer. All right? What's one of the most common things you hear? Why me? So when I look at obstacles that other people have to overcome, I don't look at my bumps in the road and say why me, because I have a tremendous belief in myself. It starts there. That's how it started for me. I believe in myself. If I don't believe in me, how can I expect anybody else to believe in me? So he knew his kids would have an opportunity to go on and experience their God-given potential. That's all my parents ever asked of this world, of this country. "Let my kids," my dad saying, "Let my kids reach their God-given potential." I don't know if I have yet, but I think I'm on the way anyway.
So anyway, I took this role if you will, this national role, to be just a messenger. All right? I'm not in this for anything else. I tell people everywhere I go, I say, I just want to be a foot soldier in this conservative movement, and I don't think the conservative ideals, conservative principles are the sole province of any political party. All right? Because when you talk about hard work, preparation, belief in oneself, or belief in God, and you take those concepts, those aren't Republic or Democrat. Those are human.
So as David mentioned, you know, I run as a Democrat. It's a Democrat county. My mom and dad weren't politically active, but like many people in their generation, black, voted Democrat. Those were different Democrats. All right? Truman Democrats, Jack Kennedy Democrats, Robert Kennedy Democrats, Scoop Jackson Democrats. My mom and dad voted for George W. Bush, twice. They also voted for Barack Obama, but they don't – well no, they don't play the straight-line anything. All right? They had hope like a lot of other people. I remember that conversation I had that day when Barack Obama was running for President of the United States. For someone in my mom and dad's generation, they came through Jim Crow. Okay? They came through a lot of the ugly past that this country started out with, and one thing they wanted to see before they died, they said this to me. They said, "We'd like to see a black man in the White House before we die." My mom and dad are in their 80s. I was not getting in the way of that, emotionally, for them. From what they've come through, okay? I was not gonna get in the way of that.
But anyway, when I grew up, they voted Democrat. We didn't talk politics around the house. They just weren't political people. All right? They admired people like Robert Kennedy, Jack Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, and so I'm in a very liberal county, Milwaukee County, and you have to run as a Democrat to get elected. It's the reality. I deal with life the way it is, not the way I wish it was. We haven't had a Republican sheriff in Milwaukee in 57 years, and I didn't want to buck that trend. I wanted to be in a position of leadership, so I had to use my head. I do not belong to the Democrat Party. I don't belong to any political party. I probably never will. Personally, I think that's part of the problem in Washington, the political parties. I really do. If you belong to a political party, that's your business. I should set some ground rule. I should've said that before I started.
I didn't come here to offend anybody, all right? If there's some things that I say that rub you the wrong way, you want to talk to me later, that's fine. We're not going to solve the world's problems here. I'm just going to share my views with you, and it's just my view. I don't believe I'm right on everything. It's just my view, and I can tell you how I came to that position and walk you through it, but the way I look at it, life's too short. So, if I say something that rubs you the wrong way, you know? Let it roll off your back like water off a duck's back. Life's just too short, okay? But when I made that comment about Republicans and Democrats, that's the ruling class, folks, in Washington, D.C. There is a difference between conservative and liberal. A big difference.
Some people might try to convince you there's a big difference between Republicans and Democrats, and there might be in terms of their platforms and some of the tenets in their belief system, but in Washington, D.C., they're the ruling class. We're just subjects. I truly believe that. So, I run as a Democrat. It's kind of an interesting story, and I'll share it with you. I don't share this with many people, and I mean that. There was a vacancy in the office of the sheriff. A scandal hit Milwaukee County. The previous sheriff left early to grab this pension back drop that they created, the County Board created, where people were walking away with hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars upon retirement, and once that scandal broke, the courts got involved. There were recall elections in Milwaukee County. For those of you, you may remember that led to the ascendency of Scott Walker to become County Executive. He was in the State Legislature at the time. The county executive, at the time, got recalled. So, the sheriff left. By state law, there cannot be a vacancy in the office of the sheriff, so the then Governor Scott McCallum, who followed Tommy Thompson, who went to Washington with the George W. Bush Administration, took applications to fill. There were only about 5 months left in the term, and there was an election coming up, but he had to fill it for those 5 months, and it's kind of unique, when I start looking back on all this stuff.
I was with the Milwaukee Police Department. I spent 24 years there. I was a command officer, commanded the Crimes Against Property Division, moved over to command the first district, which is the downtown district, and then I was the commanding officer of the Intelligence Division. I'm sitting in my office one day and I'm just thumbing through the local section of the news, and I see this little article in the regional briefs, and it said, "Governor to accept applications to fill sheriff vacancy." It just caught my eye. All right, I had prepared my career to lead a law enforcement agency. That's what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a chief executive of a law enforcement agency. I didn't want anything to do with an elected sheriff. I thought I would compete for chief's jobs, okay?
So, I see this and I said, "Wow. Why don't I seize this?" Remember, opportunity? That's all I ask this country to do is just present opportunities, all right? And I'll prepare myself, even on an unlevel playing field; I'll prepare myself to be able to compete. So, I started thinking about it, and I didn't have a lot of time, because the deadline was like about 5 days away. You know, they hand you this thick application, and when I got the application, I said, "I'll never get this done in 5 days," so I put it down. But see how it, this here, can defeat you if you let it? Remember I talked about overcoming obstacles? It was an obstacle in the way. You know, this 12-page application, where I had to actually go back and find records and stuff, because part of it was they wanted to know any time you left the country. My wife and my – my wife's here today – we go to Mexico every year, the Caribbean, somewhere on vacation, so we had to go back and find all those dates of when we went on -- and I'm looking at this, and I'm like, "I'll never get this done." See, again, getting in the way.
So, to make a long story short, or a long story shorter, I get the application done and they take interviews, and I already had a bound outline, Reform in a Law Enforcement Agency, because I wanted to do then as an executive was take over a struggling agency and bring it back. I didn't want an agency that's already finely tuned, running like a top, because I like to fix things. So, I go to the interview and everybody that talked to me that knew I was in the application, 11 people applied. Everyone that I talked to, "Oh, you'll never get it. You're not politically connected." I wasn't. They already have, there's two guys who were the odds-on favorites. You know what I kept saying to myself? Watch me. To myself. I whispered that every time I heard it. Watch me. Because remember I started out saying I believed in myself?
So, I get the appointment, and won the election, 5 months later, but during that process, the reason I bring it up, I'm interviewing with the Governor's chief legal counsel. He says, "We notice on your application," he says, "If you get the appointment, the question, what party will you run under." I put Republican. Okay, remember, I had no political connections, and he brings it up. He says, "Do you know what county you're in?" I said, "Yeah." I guess this shows my political naiveté, right? He said, "Whoever the Governor selects, he wants them to win in the fall," like I said, 5 months away. He said, "I want you to consider running as a Democrat." You know what my response was? I said, "No way. No way." He said, "Sleep on it." I said, "I don't need to sleep on it." I said, "No way." So, he said, "Well, just think about it." A week or two goes by, he calls up again, and he says, "Have you given it any thought?" And I calmed down by then, and I wanted to win. Obviously, the Governor wanted me to win. So I held my nose and I said, "I'll do it."
So, the Governor then, I had a meeting with the Governor and we had a news conference, and he announces me as the Sheriff of Milwaukee County, and somebody in the media says, "So, Sheriff, you know, we know you'll be running as a Republican," and I said, "No, I'll be running as a Democrat." You should've heard the gasps in the room. Right, a Republican Governor selects a guy who's going to run as a Democrat, and I had to ask the Governor's chief legal counsel several times, including that day of the news thing. "Are you sure the Governor's okay with this? Are you sure the Governor's okay with this?" He says, "Yeah, he's, he's already been briefed. He knows." So, anyway, that's how I get into this, you know, run as a Democrat thing, and then that, of course, in my first election and my second – I was elected four times – my opponent tried to run on, "He's not a real Democrat." I really couldn't argue.
I ran on my law enforcement experience. I ran on my education. I ran on my bio. That's what I ran on. Run. Politics. And our campaign theme was, Protection, not Politics. So that's how I handled that. Because I do know there's just certain things in life that transcend politics. There should be, and that's one them. Protection. Public safety should transcend politics, and that's the way I felt. So, I've been successful with that model. Yeah, I get Democrats to vote for me. The challenge for me is always in the primary. That's when they run somebody up against me, and so, you know how primaries work, right? That's where your die-hard, party people come out, but the people of Milwaukee County realize that when it comes to public safety, it transcends politics, and they liked my bio. They liked that I stand for something. They like my experience and they like my story.
I get overwhelming black support in Milwaukee County, even with my conservative leanings. Yeah, they'll give me shots about it. "How come you're this? Why are you that?" But they always say, "But you know what, you're ours," so it transcend that. "Well, he's a conservative." They know I'm a conservative but they say, "Yeah, but, you know, he's a pretty good sheriff." I don't know how that would work with another office, but I get widespread support all across Milwaukee County. As a matter of fact, in this last election, white suburban conservatives got me reelected. And for all this crap that you hear all the time, all this crap you take about white conservatives are racist, they're this, they're – I ain't buyin' it. All right? I'm just not, because I haven't seen it. I'm not saying this is a perfect world, but I haven't seen it among conservatives. It's a bad rap you folks get, and you got to start fighting back. You got to start fighting these charges about your character, things like that. It's important to fight back.
So, I want to shift gears a little bit here now and talk about one of the more high profile things in the news going on since last August, Ferguson, Missouri. David mentioned it. Let me preface Ferguson, Missouri, by saying this. America did not witness it's finest hour in the days, weeks, and months that followed Ferguson, Missouri, and that tragic situation where Officer Darren Wilson had to defend his life, and that meant taking the life of one of Ferguson's citizens, Mike Brown. Police use of deadly force is rare in America. You wouldn't know that by listening to some of the blow hards out there, the newspaper, the mainstream media, the race hustlers. They make it seem like this stuff happens several times a day. It's rare. As a matter of fact, and if I get a chance, I'll go through some stats. I've done a lot of research. I've read a lot. I've read a lot of research on this, and I've looked at the data. Police use of deadly force is rare in America. As a matter of fact, contrary to what Bill de Blasio said, the conversation he had with his son, where he said he's warned his son on how to behave or how to act in interactions with the police, because he fears for his son's safety. When Bill de Blasio knows damn well his son faces more risk from gang members in New York then he does from the NYPD. He knows that.
Now, let me give you statistics here quickly. Between 2009 and 2012, deadly force use by police, 4 years, right? Sixty-one percent of the people killed in police interactions and use of deadly force, 61 percent are white males. Thirty-four percent are black males, so by almost a 2 to 1 margin, a white male is more likely to die at the hands of a police officer in a deadly force encounter than black males. That's not what we're hearing is it? Black lives matter. Ladies, cover your ears. Bullshit. Black lives matter. Not to that group. Not to the left. The only reason black lives matter to the left, is to secure election majorities at election time. That is the only reason that black lives matter. I find that pathetic, and I mentioned in one interview, it was on CNN. I said, "If black lives mattered to the left, they'd be protesting at every abortion clinic in the United States of America." If black lives really mattered.
So, let's get back to Ferguson. Ferguson hits and everybody in America that had an agenda flooded into Ferguson, Missouri. They converged on the city of Ferguson, Missouri like vultures on a roadside carcass. It was amazing, everyone with an agenda showed up to Ferguson, Missouri. I'd be willing to bet, if you took a map of Missouri and you just put a couple of major cities, just major ones and said, "Point to where Ferguson is near," I'd be willing bet 95 percent of people couldn't point to where Ferguson, Missouri was, but now, all of a sudden, this became Ground Zero, the epicenter of the police use of deadly force, and I couldn't believe this, and I sat back and watched, and I've sat back and listened too, sure, the race hustlers. Al Sharpton, charlatans like that, they're going to talk stupid. You can't do much about that, but when the President of the United States, Barack Obama, and when the Attorney General of the United States Department of Justice, Eric Holder, when Mayor de Blasio started to chime in with his incendiary rhetoric, that chapped my rear end, because those are some powerful people, and what they did, and they knew they did this, they seized on this opportunity to score some cheap political points with certain demographics in the United States. Those men are in too high of a responsible position to be doing that.
When the President of the United States speaks, and the attorney general, but more so the President, people listen. What Americans want to hear when a President opens his mouth, they want to hear that he's talking to me. He's talking to everybody. President Obama was not talking to everybody, and Eric Holder did the same thing. They were not talking to everybody, and I thought that was irresponsible to score some cheap political points, and to stoke and fan the flames of racial animosity. Now, look, is America perfect? No. Some ugly sins of the past, as it relates to slavery, as it relates to discrimination, as it relates to racism, when you look at Jim Crow that followed the Civil War where certain people tried to maintain the institution of slavery, but I'll tell you what. America's come a long way, and we are a better nation, and we are more inclusive, and now anybody who is willing to go out there and grab onto opportunity, because opportunity, whenever you hear someone say, "When opportunity comes knocking," opportunity does not knock. It's running down the street, and you better chase it down and tackle it. I truly believe that. You better go after it. It isn't knocking.
But now, anybody who's willing to work hard, overcome obstacles and those virtues I talked about that were instilled in me, you can do all right for yourself in America. Will there be hurdles? Sure. So, anyway, that ugly wound of slavery was starting to heal, but there are certain people who don't want that wound to heal, and so they pick at it, and that's your race hustlers, to keep it open, and to use that for their own self-serving purposes. Well, guess what I did? I made my peace with America a long time ago. I forgave. I didn't say forgot. It's important we don't forget, but I forgave America for that sin. You know why? First of all, because the God that I pray to every day tells me I need to have forgiveness in my heart. Was it easy? No. As a black guy, no, it wasn't easy at all, because look at the ridicule I get, right? And here's another reason. God sent his son down here. His son hung on a cross, unjustly killed, crucified, right? What did he say? What were his last words? He looked up to heaven and he said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." He did that as an example to me, and I shouldn't forgive? I thought, "This is crazy."
So, I forgave America, but here's another reason why I forgave America for the past, for the slavery, because I knew if I didn't get rid of that emotional baggage that you hear so much, especially in the black community. That's emotional baggage. I knew if I didn't get rid of that baggage, I would not be able to fully participate in everything that this country has to offer, because up here, that thing would always get in the way. They're discriminating. Well, they're racist. Yeah, I know. Keep moving. That's what I say. Keep charge. Keep charge in the head. Overcome that stuff. So, think about how we've come as a nation. We've gone from Frederick Douglass, people like, Ida B. Wells, an abolitionist, right? And you get into more modern times, you get into Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., how the hell did we end up with Al Sharpton taking this, taking control of this journey?
We went from pioneers like that in the Civil Rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Now you know who they hold up as symbols of the new Civil Rights Movement? Criminals. Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Travon Martin. How do we go from Rosa Parks to Mike Brown as symbols of the Civil Rights Movement? The reason why they do, is because we've gotten better at this, and there are very few symbols left anymore. I didn't say there are none. So, we go from heroes like Rosa Parks to criminal behavior, and that's the symbol of the Civil Rights Movement? That is a slap in the face to those folks who endured worse than I ever will, worse than Mike Brown ever would, or Eric Garner. Now, I'm not saying these are bad people, but they were engaged in behavior that made them co-conspirators in their own demise.
Getting back to Ferguson, when a law enforcement officer gives you a lawful command, you just got to do it. I said lawful command. You got to do it. It's not going to be settled on the street. They have a process for that. The cop doesn't have the final say, but he's got the say then, within the law. Mike Brown didn't think so. Eric Garner didn't think so. Eric Garner was told, "You're under arrest. Put your hands behind your back." All he had to do was turn around and do this, and Eric Garner would be telling his story today about how he is being hassled on the street by NYPD. Mike Brown would be alive today. When that officer, Darren Wilson told him, "Get out of the street." Get out of the street. Is that a huge deal? No, but guess what? They have a pedestrian ordinance in just about every city for a reason. The streets were made for cars. If you're driving a car, you shouldn't have to dodge pedestrian traffic, so just get up out of the street. Why is that a huge deal? Even if you want to mumble under your breath, "Oh, that SOB cop." Okay, just get out of the street.
But Mike Brown didn't have any respect for authority. This is one of the philosophies that our young men growing up today, young men of color, are saddled with. They have no respect for authority, and it doesn't start with the police. We've used the police, this whole Ferguson thing, to mask a lot of things. To mask ineffective parenting, right? To mask failed liberal government policies that have led to the creation and sustainment of the American ghetto, where you need more assertive policing just to keep people from killing each other, because you don't have the informal social controls that exist in many of your neighborhoods, where a lot of this stuff takes care of itself and resolves itself. They don't have that in these central cities. It's a very chaotic environment, so we sent the police in there not to oppress, not to abuse people, to maintain order.
Now, can some cops be overbearing, rude? Yeah. But we have a process for that. Do what the officer tells you to do, and file a complaint. That's the process. You don't attack a police officer on the street or resist arrest because you think you're being hassled. You folks know this. This is what I would've wanted to hear out of Barack Obama, instead of what I did hear. He said, "Our police officers are poorly trained, and they have a fear of people that don't look like them," and I was disgusted when I heard that.
And Eric Holder, "We're gonna end racial profiling once and for all," he said. He went down to Ferguson, Missouri and started making comments that communicated to me he already had his mind made up. "This is a racist police organization." That might be some aspect of it. I don't know. He went and visited with the Mike Brown family. It's not a bad thing in and of itself. He shouldn't have done that, because he was going to be looking at this thing later, and that might color his judgment. He didn't meet with Darren Wilson. Why not? Well, we know why not. I'm just asking that rhetorically. So, I'm listening to this, and, you know, these men and women in this profession, they put on this uniform every day. They go out in their communities to make it a better place. They put their best foot forward, 99.9 percent of them do. They put their best foot forward to make it a better place for who? Law abiding black people. The overwhelming majority of people living in these ghettos are good, law-abiding black people just trying to get through life without getting gunshots, without having their kids shot and killed, without drug dealers controlling the streets. That's what the cop does. Think of what would happen in these American ghettos if the police pulled back. Okay? And that's what my comment was to Bill de Blasio. I said, "You should have to experience New York City for just 48 hours with no police."
I said, "That city would disintegrate into utter chaos." That's what the police do, just maintain order. They're given a task. They go out, they follow orders. If there's some things we have a problem with them engaging in, let's have a discussion about that. Let's not indict the entire agency as being racist. They're enforcing the pedestrian ordinance down there, and there was a story in the New York Times the other day. They talked about how walking the street in Ferguson is this big crime. Well, no, it's not, but the cops didn't pass that ordinance. They go to the city council and say, "Rescind this ordinance," but the cops are told to go out there and enforce the law, and do it judiciously and use wise discretion. They don't always do it, but we have a process if they don't do it the way we want it done. It's called a court system, so if you get a citation, guess what? You can't just blow it off, because it's going to turn into a warrant. Then when you get arrested on the warrant, you can't complain, "Well, hey, they're putting me in jail for this traffic violation." No, because you didn't accept your responsibility and go to court and challenge it or pay it. You can't do nothing with it. But this is not what we're hearing from folks involved in this discussion about what your role is as a citizen in these black communities, because there's responsibility that goes along with all this freedom we have here. Again, you folks know this.
So, here's what I'm worried about. Barack Obama said, "We need to transform American policing." No, we don't. American policing is one of the few things left in America that's right. We don't need to transform American policing. We do not need to turn the justice system on its head because some people didn't like the decision that the grand jury made in Missouri. The grand jury got it right under the rule of law. Not under mob rule. Not under emotional rhetoric, but under the rule of law, and that's what we, as cops, ask for. Just judge us under the rule of law. We operate in a very dynamic environment where things can go to crap in a hurry, and when it does, there's going to be an investigation. It needs to be transparent. It needs to be up front, but then when all the evidence is in, and all the reports are read and the interviews are done, the gauge, the standard to apply to it is the rule of law.
That's why most of these police shootings are ruled justifiable, because under the rule of law, they are justified. They just are. It might be unsettling to some people, but then what you're talking about is getting rid of the rule of law, and I don't want to do that. I don't want to do that, not for the cops. I don't want to do it for you, because when the rule of law goes away for you, you're not going to like this country. Trust me, because we're already seeing some remnants of it. All right? How our Constitution is being trampled. The rule of law doesn't matter. Yes it does. In a democratic state, in an orderly society where freedom rings and liberties abound, the rule of law matters.
So, right now, as I'm fighting this 21st Century Task Force that the President put together -- and it's nothing more than an attempt to federalize local policing. We don't want that in America. Okay? It doesn't work in a republic, a national police force. It doesn't work. That's a police state. We don't want it. It's a very local issue. It's a states' rights issue, and that's why we need to fight this, any attempt by the federal government. Here's one of the things that came out of this 21st Century Task Force. There are multiple times in the recommendation section that suggest the use and/or oversight of the federal government in dealing with local police agencies. Not in my agency it's not. I will resist any federal attempt. Why? Not because I'm the king. I'm the elected representative of you, and if you don't like what I'm doing you can get rid of me. Okay? You have control over my agency, not the federal government. Leave us alone.
So, that's my mission right now, to continue to go out and defend the honor, the character, the integrity, the sacrifice of the American police officer. All right? Because our trust that we need with our communities is being undermined by some very powerful people, anarchists. I didn't even mention that. We're being undermined, and there's an attempt being made in the United States of America to emasculate the American law enforcement officer, to make us social workers. I'm not downing social workers. It doesn't work in a police environment. That's why they call it a police force. Okay? It just doesn't work.
So, be very afraid of that, and help me fight this fight to keep the federal government out of what is a states' rights issue. If you want to just fight it from that standpoint, it's a constitutional issue. Local public safety is left to the states, not the federal government, and right now Eric Holder just nabbed his 16th law enforcement agency, a federal takeover, with that report from Ferguson. That report from Ferguson was a joke. There was no objectivity. They took numbers and manipulated them to fit their narrative. Yeah, I don't doubt that 90 percent of the citations handed out are given to black individuals. The city's nearly 70 percent black. What do you think it's going to be? Ninety percent of citations given to Asians? I mean, think about this. That's a misapplication of data. That's what that report did. If I were Ferguson, they can do what they want. I'd fight that. I'd fight it on the states' rights issue, and I would tell the federal government, "We don't care what you hand down in terms of what you demand that we do. We're not doing it. We'll run this city. The people of Ferguson will decide, and if they don't like what's going on, they can get involved in elections locally and can change this stuff." That's how we do it in a republic, all right? We don't have this ever-expanding government. You don't hear the State of Missouri talking about taking over the Ferguson Police Department, and they would probably have some right to do so. No, you have the federal government.
So, help me with that fight. Our justice system is not perfect. It's not perfect, because it's run by human beings, but guess what? It is the best system of justice in the entire world. We do not need to overturn our system of justice because of two grand jury decisions, two, that some people found unsettling. We don't need to do that. I didn't hear anybody talking about overturning our system of justice when O.J. Simpson was acquitted. You want to talk about a miscarriage of justice? But guess what. It's our justice system, and the jury said no, and didn't like it, but guess what? We got to accept it. You don't have to like it, but the same thing goes for Officer Darren Wilson. There are people who may not like that decision, and the New York grand jury, they might not like it. It's just one of those where you say, "Well, missed that one," and I'm not saying they did. I think they got it right, both of them, because if you read the reports coming out of the grand jury, and I don't mean all the reports, their report, you couldn't come to any other conclusion. Not under the rule of law could you come to any other conclusion.
Now, this is a great nation. This will continue to be a great nation. I'm hearing a lot, and I'll close with this because I could sit up here and talk all day, and I was only given 40 minutes or so, but, you know, to an elected official, that's just a suggestion. When they give you a time limit, that's just a suggestion. But I'll close with this. You know, there's a lot of despair right now in this country, with what's going on and with the White House and the federal government, and a lot of people are afraid for our country. I'm not. Here's why. This is a resilient nation. We have a tendency to look at the here and now and think this is the worst it's ever been. This isn't even close. This country overcame the British, the British rule. It overcame the Constitution Convention, where we almost didn't have a Constitution. This country overcame the Civil War that almost tore this country apart. Could you imagine living at that point in time, then you probably could say, "Hey, we're done." America overcame that. We've overcome two world wars. We overcame Jimmy Carter. All right?
We will overcome this. We will. You've got to stay engaged. You've got to keep fighting. You can't give up. That's my point. And a lot of people I'm hearing, I'm not happy with this new Congress, by the way. All right? But you've just got to keep at it, because this country belongs to you and I. It does not belong to Washington. It does not belong to the federal bureaucracy. It does not belong to appointed bureaucrats like at the ATF who are making decisions reserved for the Congress of the United States. We'll overcome this. This country has seen a lot, and I truly believe, and I'm not one of these rose-colored glasses guy. We'll overcome this. Don't forget what followed Jimmy Carter. Ronald Reagan. And we thought it all was lost after the Carter years. Better days are ahead. Stay engaged. Stay involved. Pray. Pray for me, please, my wife, as we endure this. We know what's coming out of this. All right, when you take on powerful forces like the President of the United States, the federal government, some ugly things can happen. I'm not afraid of that. I only fear God, in a very loving way.
So, hang in there. May God continue to bless you, and may God continue to bless the United States of America. Thank you very much.
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