*Amidst a very public request to the Ferguson community for peace by the family of Michael Brown the day before laying their son to rest, was the underlying realization that all is far from calm. According to the Los Angeles Times, thousands gathered at the funeral service of the slain teen; which was held in St. Louis at the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church on Monday, August 25, with well known activists, politicians and celebrities in the pews. But according to a recently released poll by CBS News/New York Times, a lot of them are far from satisfied with how president Obama is handling the situation in Ferguson, and they are making their feelings known with mixed reviews.
Though 41 percent of the reviews are positive (and 34 percent negative), its hard to ignore the full one-quarter of Americans who offer no opinion whatsoever.
The CBS/N.Y. Times poll notes that although a majority of African Americans support president Obama’s actions (60 percent) in the war-torn city, it is less impressive because he is already hugely popular among blacks in general anyway. The latest Gallup numbers show that 86 percent of African Americans approve of the president. In that light, a 60 percent approval rating on Ferguson doesn’t carry much weight.
By contrast, Obama’s approval rating on his handling of the Ferguson incident among whites (35 percent) is actually slightly higher than his overall approval rating among whites in Gallup’s data (30 percent).
Perhaps too much shouldn’t be read into the fact that Obama’s Ferguson approval rating is lower among blacks than his overall approval rating; seeing as 21 percent of black voters register no opinion, and his disapproval rating among the community — 20 percent — isn’t that much higher than his overall disapproval rating.
Time will tell. It’s still early.
But clearly, he is being extremely careful in his approach to what’s happening in Ferguson, and this may not be winning him any points with those most interested in what transpired and what will transpire in their city.
As officer Darren Wilson, who fired the shots that killed Brown on August 9, continues his online fundraising efforts towards his defense – in the event the courts should decide to bring charges against him – the people of Ferguson may force president Obama to take a more firm stance on his approach to the issue.