Can state officials or the media really be surprised that promises of an internal investigation don't appease? The true state of emergency now, like back in 1968, isn't rage or even rock throwing. It is the racial profiling and racial brutality of the police. America's real state of emergency remains that black lives still don't matter enough.
Although another round of violence in Ferguson may well be inevitable, how we understand what happens there is not. It is our responsibility to ask, particularly when things get violent, who it is that has the guns, the tanks, the tear gas, and the batons. Let us not get our history of protest in America wrong one more time.