The horrible death of George Floyd at the hands of a cop in Minneapolis leaves me mystified by a few things (in addition to being sickened and sad). The image of the cop’s knee on his neck while he’s pressed into the pavement is hard to look at, even if I didn’t know how long it went on or that he died from the ordeal. If that had gone on for a short period while he was brought under control that’s one thing, but 8+ minutes is sadistic.
But there are several things that puzzle or anger me in this case:
First, I was talking with a friend and asked “what are they protesting about?”. “They demand justice for George Floyd” was the answer. I replied, “Well, they’ve fired all the cops on the scene and are working frantically to figure out as quickly as possible what is the most severe charge they can bring against the perpetrator”. Being an ex-cop in prison is really, really bad. Being a white ex-cop in prison is worse. He’s soon going to be the most famous, most hated white ex-cop in history going to prison for 20+ years. And, just BTW, they’re also trying to figure out what charges they can bring against the other cops who were there and did nothing. So, what are they protesting about? If nothing was going to happen to these cops, Hell yes, it’s time to get fired up. So, they’re protesting about justice that is coming as quickly as the powers that be can deliver it? Might as well add women’s suffrage and repeal of prohibition to the tab.
Second, the protests and claims of “institutional racism” started immediately. At that point (even now, I think) we didn’t know what motivated Chauvin. Apparently the two worked together at a bar in the past. It’s possible that this was related to a financial disagreement or over a woman, there are a lot of possibilities. But let’s not wait for the facts! To arms, to arms!!! I really, really, hope that this turns out to be payback over a drug deal where Chauvin got screwed by Floyd. Not that it’ll probably matter. Of course, we’ll never know, but if George Floyd had been white things may have played out exactly the same.
Third, what struck me a little later is that several other officers stood by for 8+ minutes as Chauvin ground his knee into a man’s neck while he was on hard pavement, restrained and under control. I think this is more disconcerting than Chauvin’s behavior. One sadist or psycho or guy who lost if for 8 minutes happens (shouldn’t, but it does), the others who stood by make me shudder. I know that there are plenty of psych experiments that show how malleable people are, how much they tend to go along, etc., but still, seeing this is hard to come to terms with. I admit that this makes me question some of my doubt about the “institutional racism” bit, although it may just be that they stick together, there is an extremely strong bond among cops.
Fourth, if this is institutional racism, Democrats got some ‘splainin’ to do. The Mayor is a Democrat (as have been his predecessors for decades). The Chief of Police he picked is black/Hispanic. The Governor is a Democrat. Not long ago, we had a black Democrat President for 8 years whose Attorney General was a Blacktivist. So, WTF have they been doing about it? The Minneapolis police force is institutionally racist, but the mayor and Chief of Police got nothing to do with it. Give me a fucking break!
And, just BTW, 2-3 years ago in Minnesota a black cop shot a white woman without cause. He was convicted of murder and the city paid millions to her family, just so you know it wasn’t justified. Remember the protests and riots? Cue crickets. And recently in Dallas cops killed a white man in a similar fashion to George Floyd and the audio from their bodycams is brutal.
Next, even if the protestors have good reason to be on the streets, we’ve reached the point where rioters and looters are using them as human shields. I think the protestors should look at the situation now and realize that they’re helping the bad guys. If the protestors stood down for a while (a few days perhaps) the police would be able to handle the rioters and looters much better. Which leads to my next point:
A Hell of a lot of the damage from the rioters and looters falls on black people. The protests typically start among black neighborhoods, near where the incident happened or where the victim lived. A lot of black small businesses have been destroyed. Even the big corporate stores that have been hit are important to the local black communities. The 70-year-old black grandmother who counts on the local Target for everyday products is SOL. And we know from previous riots that there will be economic repercussions for years. Nice work SJWs! Omelettes require broken eggs I suppose.
Finally I note (although it is a nasty schaudenfreude that I try to resist) that most of the mayhem is falling on blue states and very blue cities. I’m not the first to use this line, but these people voted for Social Justice, and now they’re getting it good and hard. The mobs that are rioting and looting don’t seem to have given any credit to the wokeness of NYC or Minneapolis or Apple or Nike, etc. I just wish that someone had gotten them to head over to the neighborhood where the Mayor of Minneapolis lives. That would have been fascinating TV, the US may have run out of popcorn. Would the Mayor have had the police back down if his neighborhood were under assault?
And now the Minneapolis City Council is discussing getting rid of the police force. Where is Franz Kafka when you need him? I had a spirited discussion with another friend who ranted that something must be done, this can never happen again, etc., etc. OK, great, there are hundreds of thousands of cops, how are you going to manage that large a group so that they’re all boy scouts? They have hundreds of millions of interactions with bad guys every year, how are you going to avoid some of those going South? “I don’t know, but something must be done so it never happens again”! Ah well, deep thinking along the lines of “something must be done, this is something, therefore we must do this!”
It appears there is no tragedy so sad that people can’t make it far, far worse.