Ferguson Tension May Be Important, But No Presidential Visit

By Randy Foreman, NewsBlaze White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON – (Newsblaze) After Monday Afternoon’s White House Press Briefing, Newsblaze queried a reporter from a major African American news website with the question “What is the major issue in the black community?”

“Can you Guess?” was her response.

If it was patently obvious to her about the recent events surrounding the acquittal of Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown in a St Louis, Missouri suburb, it was also emphasized by White House Spokesperson Josh Earnest who said “The issues raised in Ferguson continue to be at the top of the agenda.”

And after the traditional schedule of announcements that the President would this week travel to Walter Reed, deliver remarks about Ebola, speak at the Business Roundtable, and attend the national Christmas Tree Lighting, right off the bat, Earnest was confronted about the President’s response to effervescing racial tension.

“Does the President have a desire to travel to Ferguson?” went the first question.

The administration’s response was very non-committal “No specific plans.”

josh earnest
Josh Earnest speaks at the White House Briefing

Later on, National Public Radio reporter Mara Liasson picked up on that refrain by asking “Could you explain the reasons why going now is not a good idea?” The White House took the occasion of Monday’s briefing to announce a $263 million dollar package that would fund police body cameras for local police departments across the country, which the administration again offered tepid support for.

Earnest went on to remark that the package would pay for “Office equipment” and furthermore that they “envisioned a relationship between the Federal Government and local law enforcement agencies.”

As the issue of Ferguson unfolded during the briefing, so did the issue of police using military retired surplus equipment, which has come under fire by Civil Libertarian activists as excessive.

Twice during the briefing, Earnest pointed to the use of such equipment by the Boston Police Department in the Boston Marathon Terror bombing. However such actions failed to alleviate skepticism by the White House Press Corps “Why did it take a Ferguson to take the steps today?” asked NBC’s Chris Jansing.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a statement recently, “This equipment flowed to local police forces because they were increasingly being asked to assist in counterterrorism.”

Josh Earnest will address the White House Press Corps tomorrow in the West Wing.

Randy Foreman is the NewsBlaze White House Correspondent, reporting from inside and outside The White House and around the beltway in Washington, D.C.