This just in: Democracy is "disgusting," and participating in it is "completely inappropriate." At least according to the Missouri Republican National Committee.
That's taken out of context, but only slightly. Activists in Ferguson set up a voter registration table so that protesters could make their voices heard in upcoming elections as well as on the street, but that didn't sit well with Matt Wills, executive director of the Missouri RNC, who expressed his outrage over people registering to vote in an interview with Breitbart.
"If that's not fanning the political flames, I don't know what is," he said. "I think it's not only disgusting but completely inappropriate."
Wills was also huffy that activists would somehow make a white police officer shooting an unarmed black teenager about race somehow, telling Breitbart, "Injecting race into this conversation and into this tragedy, not only is not helpful, but it doesn't help a continued conversation of justice and peace."
The background: One registration tent was set up right near the spot where Brown was shot. Debra Reed, a resident of nearby University City, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that she and her daughter set it up.
"We're trying to make young people understand that this is how to change things," she told the paper.
It's not just about electing different leaders, as Center for Constitutional Rights fellow Jessica Lee notes there. Juries are taken from the voter rolls, meaning registration could help you affect the judicial process as well.
The response: People on both sides of the aisle did not take kindly to a political figure calling voter registration "disgusting." Ryan Silvey, a Republican state senator in Missouri, took to Twitter to voice his outrage.
I have NO problem w/ protestors, or ANYONE, getting registered to vote. How do we keep our gov't accountable if not by ballot? #Ferguson— Ryan Silvey (@RyanSilvey) August 19, 2014
It's not our job to discourage voter registration. It's our job to convince voters to LET us lead. We work for voters, NOT the other way.— Ryan Silvey (@RyanSilvey) August 19, 2014
The head of the Missouri Democratic Party, Roy Temple, agreed:
These guys understand what Wills doesn't seem to: Sometimes the best time to register to vote is when you're angry at your government and want to see things change. In the future, feel free to disregard any ranting from someone who thinks that protesters are "injecting race" into the situation in Ferguson.