In this post, I added a 13th question to the Ethics Alarms 12 question checklist for protesters, in light of the current unpleasantness:
What is the “systemic reform regarding race in America” that the George Floyd protests purport to be seeking?
Apparently nobody wants to answer it, and the political and news media grandstanding demanding “systemic reform” has only become more pervasive. Yesterday Joe Biden, decrying hate and divisiveness and then blaming the President for the riots across the nation sparked by a single instance of police brutality in Minneapolis, finally called for a solution to what he called “systemic racism.” What would that be, Joe?
As I wrote in the post, this is a phony virtue-signaling stance without substance or integrity. What? What is it you want?
Joe was a minor offender, though, compared to Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy (Do I have to give up the Red Sox if I renounce the state of my birth?).
Healey started her speech with “The color of my skin doesn’t allow me to truly understand what it’s like to leave your home and automatically be subject to so many assumptions and biases.” Healey said in her work as AG, she wanted to address the “systemic racism plaguing society.” She described racism as a value that is “embedded” in the United States. “Racism has been embedded in our country from the time that Europeans plundered our First Americans and Africans were stolen from their land, shackled, and brought to our shore,” she said.
She asserted that George Floyd’s killing gave America an opportunity to create a more just society! Yeah, that’s the ticket! “I won’t talk about rebuilding. Instead, I’ll talk about building anew in ways that rid us of the institutionalized racism that’s led to America burning today,” Healey said. “Yes, America is burning. But that’s how forests grow,” she said.
Boy, she’s an idiot. But I digress. Sorry.
If Americans do not seize that opportunity, she said, it will “extinguish the promise of this great country.” Healey said she is calling for a “revolution,” but not a violent one. “I support calls for a revolution but not the revolution of violence in our streets,” Healey said. “Instead, I’m calling for a revolution in mindset. A fundamental change to our ingrained assumptions.”
“We’ve seen people come from out of state to Worcester last night, to Boston, to try to wreak havoc, who are in no way supportive of the movement,” she added. Wait..what “movement” would that be?
No hint. Except, you know, dealing with “systemic racism.” Whatever that means.
Returning to the lowest common denominator, I heard a Minnesota protester say that there’s no mystery what the angry mob wants: “Justice!” No wonder we’re hearing appeals to the incoherent foolery of Colin Kaepernick again: that was the extent of his incoherent protest. As far as I can discern from what was risibly called his “explanation,” this meant, and means, discarding due process of law for police officers, and summarily arresting them and locking them up based on news accounts, YouTube videos, and fake quotes like “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” That’s justice, everybody. Just so you know.
Is that what you mean by addressing “systemic racism,” Joe, Maura? I hope not. Frankly, I don’t think either of these demagogues mean that; I hope not. Both are lawyers, after all. The truth: they don’t know what they mean, and they are confident that no interviewers will ask, because they know they have no idea what fixing “systemic racism” means. I almost listed the options in the post: Re-education camps? Reparations? Automatic discipline for any cop who arrests a black citizen? An institutionalized, legal fist on the scales to benefit African-Americans competing with whites in jobs and college admissions? Indoctrination in the public schools representing all whites as oppressive, violent racists?
Wait, we already have that.
Libertarians, to their credit, have used this opportunity to raise their long-held recommendations to address some of the problems, as in this essay by law professor Illya Somin. I am absolutely certain that these recommendations would not constitute “addressing systemic racism” according to politicians like Healy and Biden.
Digression: I also think the libertarian belief that legalizing recreational drug use would benefit African-Americans is delusional. George Floyd was, we now know, stoned out of his mind. Some of his own bad choices led to the circumstances of his death, and among them was being under the influence of drugs.
Further digression: Once again, I heard protesters talking about how the demonstrations/riots/ burnings/killings “honored the memory of George Floyd.” George Floyd was a human being and did not deserve to die in the custody of police, but there is little to “honor” about his life. This morning I heard the woman identified as “the mother of Floyd’s daughter” speak about the father her daughter had lost. So we know Floyd fathered a daughter without the little inconvenience of a marriage, and never did marry her mother. He was arrested allegedly passing counterfeit 20 dollar bills, and was under the influence of fentanyl and meta-amphetamines during his deadly encounter with police.
Here’s an idea; Has anyone considered that one way to begin addressing “systemic racism” is to develop an African-American community culture that doesn’t “honor” men like George Floyd?
I’m still waiting for a serious answer to Question 13. I think voters and citizens should demand it, or conclude that those demanding an end to “systemic racism” don’t really want one, because it would rob them of income, influence, and power.