By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – A commentator’s job may look easy, but it really isn’t. Especially when you are expected to offer pithy comments about things you truly do not understand.

I do try hard to scare up at least a working knowledge of the topics I talk about, but I have to confess, there are quite a few things in the news right now that I do not get and cannot explain.

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For instance, there are several aspects of the mess out in Ferguson, Missouri that I find baffling.

For starters, the racism that had apparently rubbed the law-abiding black residents of Ferguson raw well before the police shooting that touched off the current troubles.

I understand that there will always be ignorant people among us who will act out their petty hatreds. But more than half a century after the March on Washington, how can there still be so many people, many in positions of authority, acting like it’s 1964 instead of 2014?

I don’t blame cops for being brusque with criminals, whatever their color. But when an entire community says they’re sick of being treated like second-class citizens, that defies rational explanation.

I also don’t understand looters, and anyone who would justify their behavior.

The honest people of Ferguson clearly understand that the looters are the worst thing that could happen to them, that’s why they’ve been forming impromptu citizen watches over local businesses. If there’s going to be anything positive that comes out of that mess, it’ll be in spite of the looters, not because of them.

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And I don’t understand why so many would immediately exploit the tragedy in Ferguson to score cheap political points when the situation cries out for patience, reflection, and careful commentary.

Serious stories like this shouldn’t be just another round of fodder for bigots, leeches and exploiters.

But if that’s what we’ve sunk to, then that’s another thing I really don’t understand.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.


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Jon Keller