Money Privilege in Ferguson

Whether or not it falls along racial lines, money privilege is a real problem.

gavel cash money

Every time a white person is shown to have privileges we are all told with great confidence and moral superiority that this is the problem of White Privilege.

I’ve pointed out that much of the rage in Ferguson isn’t about the character of cops as much as the way the entire municipal system is aimed at shaking down and jailing poor people—who in the area around Ferguson will be mostly African American.

Well here is an example and embodiment of the problem. At Rare.Us, we read the following headline: “Ferguson judge who jailed people over unpaid fines owes $172,646 in back taxes.”

Think about that. This man is jailing people for a tiny fraction of the debt he owes!

[I]t turns out that a judge responsible for jailing Ferguson residents over a few bucks of unpaid traffic tickets actually owes the IRS some $172,646 in back taxes.

The judge, Ronald J. Brockmeyer, personally designed a system of fees which would quickly rack up the bills levied against Ferguson’s poorest residents, making it easier for him to jail them.

Brockmeyer, of course, is not in jail; and he has also been caught waiving fees for friends and fellow government officials.

Many will insist this judge is more proof of the “white privilege” race-centered analysis. Instead of rehashing the problems with this that I have mentioned before, I will quote a friend of mine who lives in Springfield, Missouri, a few hours southwest of St. Louis and Ferguson.

If the discussion of white privilege was not about the working class sons of factory workers and truck drivers, but white ruling class privilege, there’d maybe be some progress. But instead, the kind of rich, white liberals who like to bloviate to poor white folks about white privilege are the very ones who benefit from it the most.

In fact, the next rich white dude I hear chastise poor white folks for their privilege, I will invite to North Springfield, MO that has as bad or worse poverty than Ferguson and police abuse just as bad all in a city that is almost entirely white. Unless they are the most committed ideologue, they’ll see the problem with poverty, police abuse, etc. is at best secondarily racial and primarily political, cultural, and religious.

Should this surprise us?

I think what we have here is money privilege. Rich people are able to protect themselves and their friends from the consequences that they expect poor people to accept as their just due.