On Monday, Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder accused U.S. Department of Justice officials of racism.
On Tuesday, he stood by those comments, saying that the DOJ was “fanning the flames of racial division” and was “staffed with Marxists and Black radicals.”
Kinder joined conservative host Steve Malzberg on Monday to discuss the Justice Department’s scathing report on the Ferguson Police Department, which found systemic racial and gender discrimination that used disproportionate tickets, fines and arrests of the town’s mostly Black citizens to feed its coffers.
After saying that he believed President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder were part of the “incitement of the mob” and were “encouraging disorder in Ferguson,” Kinder was asked by Malzberg if he thought there was more racism in the Justice Department than in the Ferguson Police Department.
“There is more racism in the Justice Department than there is in any, yes, than anywhere I see in the St. Louis area,” he said. “It is the Eric Holder and Obama left and their minions who are obsessed with race while the rest of us are moving on beyond it.”
He stood by those comments when contacted by The Associated Press on Tuesday, adding his belief that the department is “staffed with Marxists and Black radicals.”
“The Justice Department has had an interest in fanning the flames of racial divisions since the first day Eric Holder took office. So has this President,” Kinder said.
Missouri’s White Leadership
We likely wouldn’t be sitting where we are right now as a nation without Ferguson’s nearly all-white leadership in a majority-Black town, and the effects of that leadership representation.
|Percentage of Statewide Population||10.9%||82.8%|
|Percentage of Ferguson Population||63.0%||33.7%|
|Percentage of Ferguson Police Department||6.0%||93.0%|
|Percentage of Ferguson City Council||7.0%||93.0%|
|# of Members on Ferguson School Board||0/7||6/7|
|Search Rate||12.13% of traffic stops||6.85% of traffic stops|
|Contraband Hit Rate||21.71% of searches||34.04% of searches|
*Disparity Index = proportion of stops/proportion of population. A disparity index of 1 indicates no disparity exists. An index above 1 means a demographic is stopped at a greater rate than its proportion of the population, while an index below 1 means a demographic is stopped at a lesser rate than its proportion of the population.
And while the DOJ’s report seeks to respond to the disparities—Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson, City Manager John Shaw and Municipal Judge Ronald Brockmeyer are three of at least six city officials to resign as a result of the investigation and report—Kinder is just one part of the gender and racial disparity that the State of Missouri has in its top leadership.
There are six elected officials in the state’s Executive Branch. All are white men:
- Governor Jay Nixon
- Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder
- Secretary of State Jason Kander
- State Auditor John Watson (appointed by Governor Nixon on Feb. 27, following the death of State Auditor Tom Schweich; previously Nixon’s Senior Advisor)
- State Treasurer Clint Zweifel
- Attorney General Chris Koster
Nixon has the ability to appoint the leaders of most of the 16 departments housed under the Executive Branch of the state government. Of those, only Department of Revenue Director Nia Ray (a Black woman) is not white.
Only three other top-level positions are women (all three are white):
- Department of Elementary & Secondary Education Commissioner Dr. Margie Vandeven
- Department of Health & Senior Services Director Gail Vasterling
- Department of Natural Resources Director Sara Parker Pauley
The remaining departments are all headed by white men:
- Office of Administration Commissioner Doug Nelson
- Department of Agriculture Director Richard Fordyce
- Department of Conservation Commissioner James T. Blair IV
- Department of Corrections Director George Lombardi
- Department of Economic Development Director Mike Downing
- Department of Higher Education Commissioner Dr. David Russell
- Department of Insurance, Financial Regulations & Professional Registration Director John M. Huff
- Department of Labor & Industrial Relations Director Ryan McKenna
- Department of Mental Health Director Keith Schafer, Ed.D.
- Department of Public Safety Acting Director Peter Lyskowski
- Department of Social Services Director Brian Kinkade
- Department of Transportation Director Dave Nichols