The Question That Must Be Asked In Any Fair And Responsible Analysis Of The George Floyd Tragedy…

…and yet nobody seems to be asking it.

That question is “How do we know George Floyd is dead because he was black?”

There is absolutely no evidence  that George Floyd is dead because he was black, and no evidence that former officer Chauvin had his knee on his neck until Floyd died because Floyd was black. This has been presumed, and no politicians or national leaders, and certainly no mainstream media reporters,  have had the integrity or courage to require more than that mandated presumption before accepting the narrative. No evidence of racism among the officers involved has been found, and you know people have been looking.  The proposition that any time a black citizen is abused by the police it is per se racism, that is, presumed racism, is logically and ethically absurd, and people should have the courage to say so. Yesterday a Trump administration official opined that all things being equal, Floyd would have probably met the same fate if he were white. That’s not an unreasonable opinion, and it shouldn’t be unspeakable, but to the extent the news media covered it al all, it was reported as an oddity, as if he had claimed that Fish People were walking among us.

Of course, virtually nobody on the left wants to consider the possibility that Floyd is dead because he had a contentious confrontation with a bad cop who was a human ticking time bomb. If Floyd had been white, there would have been no protests or riots, although the injustice and the misconduct would have been exactly the same. Especially convenient for activists, and too hard to resist,  was the symbolic nature of a white cop having his knee on the neck of a black man: the perfect metaphor for white supremacy. That it may have had nothing to do with white supremacy and everything to do with an angry cop deciding to teach a perp a lesson (as he may have done many times before) can’t even be considered.

Not only was Floyd’s death speculatively attributable to racism, so was the death of Breonna Taylor, making two out of the three recent deaths linked of late like Abraham, Martin and John examples of presumed racism. (The circumstances surrounding the death of the third, Georgia man, Ahmaud Arbery, are considerably less equivocal, as was the apparent disinterest of authorities in bringing his white killers to justice until the incident became highly publicized.)

Indeed, the real George Floyd and the circumstances of his death have both been overwhelmed by manipulative narratives. As was also the case with Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin, the news media felt it was necessary to artificially sanctify the victim, as if the quality of his  character made his death more or less intolerable. Nobody should die like George Floyd did, not the most civic minded, law-abiding siant, nor a mad-dog serial killer. Nonetheless, virtually every profile of Floyd has made a point of emphasizing what a wonderful human being he was.

I’m sorry to be a stickler, but my definition of wonderful human beings does not include those who were  charged with theft in 1998, drug charges in 2002 and 2005, and a conviction in 2007 for armed robbery in a home invasion, leading to five years in prison.  We are told by Floyd’s family and friends that after getting out of prison, George was a changed man, a law abiding citizen and a “man of faith.”

Oddly, the ABC News story so informing us doesn’t explain how this law abiding citizen and man of faith came to be arrested for passing counterfeit bills while under the influence of fentanyl and meta-amphetamines. Such conduct is also not on my list of traits of wonderful human beings. I get it: Floyd has to have as admirable as possible to serve as the perfect martyr. But if his death is going to be exploited as the rallying point to justify protests, riots, and unhinged policy recommendations like abolishing police departments, if it is going to be the catalyst for compelled virtue-signaling speech from elected officials, celebrities, sports figures and corporate executives, isn’t it reasonable, indeed essential, to be certain that George Floyd’s death actually was what it is being represented as—a racist police killing?

A simple question requiring straight answers should be able to settle the matter.  Why should  Floyd’s death be presumed to be based on racism? Unacceptable answers include…

  • Because he was black and Chauvin was white. That’s a racist presumption.
  • Because other unarmed black men have been killed by white cops.  That’s not evidence.
  • Because Chauvin was a bad cop. That’s certainly true based on this incident alone—good cops don’t kneel on people’s necks until they die—but that doesn’t prove he was a racist.
  • Because Chauvin had previous complaints against him. They were dropped, and they involved excessive force, not alleged racism.
  • Because Floyd was killed by a police officer, and police officers hate blacks. That’s pure anti-cop bigotry.
  • Because we want it to have been a racist killing, so we can build a movement around it. Now we’re getting somewhere.

Persuasive and ethical answers include—well, I haven’t encountered any.

I still haven’t heard or read an answer to the question that is persuasive or even honest, or based on hard evidence rather than assumptions.

The continuing problem of excessive force being used by police and the need for effective measures to reduce the toxic distrust between black communities and police departments are issues that should be taken seriously and be the subject of unemotional, fact-based debate and regulatory action. That was also true before George Floyd’s death, and history teaches us, or should, that public attitudes and policy changes built on convenient misconceptions and false narratives tend to make society problems worse, not better. It also should be beyond argument that if millions of dollars of property is going to be destroyed, hundreds of people injured and arrested, police killed, a national epidemic re-energized, and all of America being tarred as murderously racist, the incident used to justify all of that should be what we are being told it was.

That shouldn’t be too much to ask, but right now, it appears to be.

36 thoughts on “The Question That Must Be Asked In Any Fair And Responsible Analysis Of The George Floyd Tragedy…

  1. I saw or read a news report that said when the officer(s) put Floyd in the back seat of the police car he freaked out claiming he had claustrophobia that’s why he ended up on the ground next to the police car.

    Anyone else see/hear that report?

    • Weird that he wasn’t claustrophobic in the car he was driving. It’s like criminals will say any damn thing to delay the inevitable.

      • Freddie Haff wrote, “Weird that he wasn’t claustrophobic in the car he was driving. It’s like criminals will say any damn thing to delay the inevitable.”

        Give me a freaking break Freddie, this is a valid concern. Have you ever sat in the back seat of a police car, it is very close quarters. To someone that’s prone to such things as claustrophobia, whether it’s natural or induced by medications or drugs, the back seat of a police car will likely set them off. The older I get the more susceptible I am to claustrophobia, I can’t sit in the rear seat in my daughters vehicle because it feels like the coffin lid is being closed on me. Claustrophobia is a very valid complaint, but freaking out (thrashing around) because of it would raise some red flags for the officers, one being that the person in custody might seriously hurt them self; still, once Floyd was in their custody his health and welfare was the responsibility of the officers.

        • Horse feathers. All your excuses you make for criminals are but horse feathers. Fuck George Floyd. Do you think at the end he thought about the baby he caused the woman he pistol whipped to miscarry? Or about all that meth he didn’t get to smoke yet? He was going to be dead in the gutter at some point.

          • But you know that’s irrelevant to the discussion. I have no trouble concluding that Floyd was bad citizen, a burden on society, and would have continued his pattern of harming himself and others. None of the means a police officer had the right to torture and kill him. We have a system, and the rule of law applies as much to police as jerks like Floyd.

          • Freddie Haff wrote, “All your excuses you make for criminals are but horse feathers.”

            I didn’t make any excuses for criminals, I raised a valid concern. I suspect you blew right through this statement without it sinking in…

            “Claustrophobia is a very valid complaint, but freaking out (thrashing around) because of it would raise some red flags for the officers, one being that the person in custody might seriously hurt them self; still, once Floyd was in their custody his health and welfare was the responsibility of the officers.”

            That Freddie doesn’t sound like an excuse for criminals. You sound like you want people to be responsible for their own actions, I want exactly the same thing; well Freddie, police officers also have to be responsible for their actions and/or their lack of action.

            Freddie Haff wrote, “Fuck George Floyd.”

            I get it, your trolling.

            Freddie Haff wrote, “Do you think at the end he thought about the baby he caused the woman he pistol whipped to miscarry? Or about all that meth he didn’t get to smoke yet? He was going to be dead in the gutter at some point.”

            Damn Freddie, I hope vigilantism doesn’t get popular due to all this protesting craziness in the streets because with your loose cannon mouth I’m guessing there’s a shit load of people that you’ve pissed off in your your past that’ll be lining up to seek retribution for your hatefulness.

            Remember…

            …so the hateful things you’ve said in your past might give some wacko all the justification they need to end you, but I’m sure you won’t mind because “Fuck Freddie Haff”.

            “Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.”

      • In the middle of the night I was suddenly claustrophobic because of the sheet on my bed. My arm was under it at an odd angle and I started having a panic attack. Phobias don’t hit at convenient times. I can generally ride in an elevator. If it got stuck I’m climbing over people to get to the escape hatch.

        Being in your own vehicle, in a known environment, is not the same as being in the back of a police car. Did he deserve to be there? Perhaps. Did he deserve what happened to him? I’m 99% sure he did not.

        • I don’t think anyone thinks he deserved what happened to him. Did his own bad choices play a part in getting him killed? Seems likely. Not being drugged out of his mind would have helped. Not resisting arrest, which is a common factor in most police abuse cases. Not committing a crime.

  2. I have noticed that NPR newscasts often report on Trump administration claims with the quailfier “without evidence.” All the time.

  3. Jack,
    I believe logic would dictate for systemic racism to be eliminated race advocacy groups would also have th go first. Civil rights means all people have the same rights. Therefore, the race of the person is irrelevant, only the civil rights violation in question.

    You cannot argue that one group can advocate for its racial demographic and prohibit another.

    Your point about how do we know Floyd was killed because he was black has as its corollary how do we know systemic racism exists only among whites. People of all races make choices based on personal comfort. How can a black man such as Chad Sanders feel he might be killed before his book comes out when he has not explained all the police harassment he experienced first hand. Perhaps none has existed but it will help him sell more books to advance a false narrative. Racism occurs when one denigrates another race falsely for personal gain.

    When all the groups that have as its focus civil rights stop focusing on the racial characteristics of the complainant and focus on the actual civil right violation only then should they be given any credence.

  4. Whether the *narratives* concocted for the purposes of a system-inspired and system-directed mass-rebellion have a basis in the real, or not, is irrelevant. Let’s take another completely unrelated example of framing. When Iraq invaded Kuwait it was reported that the Iraqis took newborn babies out of their incubators and cruelly let them die. I could post 10 thoroughly false stories that were used in propaganda-efforts to rally and persuade the American people to support some invasion, and to frame it within a narrative of justice and necessity, that were completely false. And the invasions went on, and they were supported, though the real reasons for the invasions were, and most often are, different from the stated reasons.

    Now, today, right now, there is a massive propaganda and perception-war being conducted. I assume the involvement of US intelligence agencies but I have no specific information to present. But US intelligence personnel are said to have an *embedded* status at the major networks. However and in any case, we know that the NYTs has made itself a journal of radical activism the purpose of which, in the larger frame, seems to be priming the populace for some sort of socialized nation. I don’t understand all of this. But it seems that these ‘intentions’ or this will has penetrated into the US governing structure. Maybe it is that the largest and most international capital interests want this? I don’t know.

    But, a substantial block or interruption occurred with the election of Donald Trump. His ‘populism’ resonated in America and also in Europe. Thousands and millions of people started considering ‘alternative narratives’. A danger was perceived. And — to all appearances — it looks like a danger is being militated against. This is global-level stuff. Not only America.

    These present (false or misleading) narratives have a function in larger political dramas. One of the larger ones is the recognition, by connected political players, that the former AngloSaxon USA will be modified, will be remade, according to a new plan and design. Here is one of the principle *operatives* explaining it in clear, unambiguous terms:

  5. Patrick Mason over at Medium.com stated this:

    “Every time I look at the image of George Floyd pinned to the ground, I also see Jesus nailed to the cross. I can’t get it out of my head. George Floyd wasn’t Jesus Christ. No one is claiming he’s the Savior of all humanity. But if George wasn’t the Son of God, he was a son of God. And gazing upon his murdered body may just help save our humanity.”

    Here is the link: https://medium.com/@pqmason/george-floyd-and-jesus-a-eulogy-b36c475d4694

    jvb

      • I had forgotten what prompted his self-exile: Fatty was horrified that I wrote I would have no problem with Bradley Manning (this was before her sex-change) being executed for treason, which is an accurate description of what he did. The US hasn’t executed anyone for treason since the Rosenbergs, a changewhich I believed then and now is a mistake.. Capital punishment should be reserved for only the worst of the worst, and cases where guilt is unquestioned and beyond all doubt…and treason qualifies, even above serial murder, like Ted Bundy.

        • Jack wrote, “Fatty was horrified that I wrote I would have no problem with Bradley Manning (this was before her sex-change) being executed for treason, which is an accurate description of what he did.”

          Yup I remember that thread; August 27, 2017 was his last comment.

      • Jack wrote, “I miss fattymoon…”

        I miss him too, we had some interesting conversations. The man really likes his tequila and he forgets what he writes when he’s been drinking it.

        • I don’t. He and I got into some ugly fights because I tend to hit back and sometimes, hem hem, cut some corners as far as standards.

  6. I asked my friend about this very issue. His response: the history of racism and black and police relationships. He did claim however that on its own it is almost impossible to know for sure if the incident is racist.

    • Which suggests that he understands that the fact that other individuals’ conduct at different times and in different places cannot fairly be used to assume the nature of what another individual has done.

  7. Let me tell you a story from about 11 years ago. There was a police officer in the city I work for, who was the appellant in the one police discipline case for brutality that I handled. He was on his way into work when apparently a female driver in front of him didn’t move fast enough to suit him. He proceeded to jump out of his car, inflict a large amount of verbal abuse on her, then dragged her from her car and beat her, in full view of the public and in broad daylight.

    He then proceeded to arrest her and throw her into jail as well as bring some BS charges against her. she also brought some criminal charges against him for assault. they were going to swing a deal whereby both would agree to dismiss the criminal charges and he would be assessed a six-month suspension, which, in New Jersey, is the longest a suspension can be without terminating someone.

    He refused to withdraw the charges against her. He was found guilty, and subsequently fired. He appealed the case to the administrative Court. I was tasked with handling that particular matter. It came out that he had already been disciplined four times, once for clashing with a police captain, once for refusing to obey an order, once for beating up his elderly neighbor, and I forget what the 4th thing was. His jacket was also littered withcomplaints for discourtesy and excessive force that had been closed as unfounded or unsupported by sufficient evidence.

    The Civil service commission upheld the firing and noted that, even though his extensive disciplinary record showed that he was clearly a bad egg who had no business being a police officer, who is supposed to exercise tact, restraint, and good judgment, this incident alone was so egregious as to justify termination.

    Believe it or not, this now fired officer appealed his firing all the way to the New Jersey supreme Court, who, predictably, refused to take the case. Curtains for the officer, and a win for me. However, predictably, the woman he abused brought a lawsuit against both him and the city for civil rights violations. the disciplinary record which was actually a help to me was a major hindrance to the attorneys defending the city in that action.

    The jury took a very dim view of the city retaining an officer who was clearly a loose cannon, and awarded the plaintiff something along the order of four million dollars in damages, with the officer personally responsible for 800,000 and change.

    Unfortunately, the administration had changed since the time the vast majority of the complaints were lodged against this officer. Had it not, I would have asked the Police Director for a complete review of all of these complaints that were dismissed or closed administratively, with an eye towards finding out whether this person had been done some favors by officers who wanted to help out one of their own, and an attempt to root that idea out, and maybe discipline other officers for looking the other way when they shouldn’t have.

    I think this officer’s record bears looking at in that light. Where are some of the complaints that were dismissed ones that shouldn’t have been dismissed? Even if he wasn’t a racist, it looks like he was someone who was a little too quick to use physical force. I also consider what he did here to be a clear act of bullying. Good police officers don’t deliberately inflict suffering on someone who is outnumbered four-to-one and rendered helpless. That’s something a schoolyard bully and his hangers-on do to a weaker classmate or younger kids. This officer had more than enough time to grow out of being a schoolyard bully. His job was to keep the peace and enforce the law, not deliberately inflict pain on those who are not police officers.

    The fact that George Floyd had a less than squeaky clean record is not really relevant here. The point of this is not that a good person was killed senselessly by a bad one. The point here is that, like it or not, a white police officer who apparently had a lot of trouble keeping his hands to himself bullied and ultimately killed a black man in a manner that had terrible optics.

    This country now has some real issues with images of white people superior to people of color. There are enough problems with representations of white people in noble poses who were maybe not so noble, Lee, Columbus, Jefferson. I can’t even imagine what the reaction would be to a statue of Andrew Jackson with a Creek Indian surrendering to him or Winfield Scott with a fallen Mexican drum and shako at his feet. This? This was a living representation of the white man trying to be superior to the black, and it involved kneeling which recently became such a problem in the NFL.

    A lot of this stuff is collateral issues and has nothing to do with this officer is guilt or innocence. However, a lot of it has struck a chord in both the black community and the social justice warrior community. They see a chance to swing the pendulum decisively their way, and it looks like it’s working.

  8. To the question at hand, “How do we know George Floyd is dead because he was black?” Here is your answer from the the likes of Black Lives Matter, et al in graphic format.

    The false narratives of the hive are…
    • Police officers are Nazi’s.
    • Police officers are white supremacists.
    • Police officers are racists.
    • If you’re a black man, the police will profile you and kill you.
    • Police officers are brainwashed into believing that all black people are violent criminals.
    • Police officers are trained to kill black people.
    • Black lives are being treated as expendable by the police and the government that employs them.
    • All black people in jail have been railroaded into jail by corrupt police and corrupt justice system.
    • Systemic racism against blacks is everywhere.
    • All white people that disagree with a black people are racists.
    • White people that take sides with black people are virtue signaling closet racists.
    • Black people cannot be racists because they were once enslaved and/or oppressed.

    If these false narratives of the hive are the only thing you’ve been told about the police from the day you were born, why would you believe otherwise? Something like the killing of people like George Floyd and Michael Brown would just reinforce what you’ve been indoctrinated into believing, truth and facts be damned. These people are acting as if they’re in a social justice cult, don’t bother them with facts if the facts contradict their belief; this is a societal cancer and it will destroy us.

    That said; are there a few bad police officers around the country that abuse their authority in unethical and immoral ways, you damn right there are and they need to be weeded out of those departments when they’re identified and punished to the full extent of the law. One of the largest problems in weeding out and prosecuting the bad apple Police officers is the police unions, they tie the hands of the departments to prevent officers from being reprimanded or fired.

    The real answer to the question at hand, “How do we know George Floyd is dead because he was black?” is, it’s impossible to know without making a slew of assumptions based on our own bias. Do I think George Floyd was killed because of racism; with what I’ve seen and read so far, no. Just because a black man died at the hands of a white man doesn’t automatically prove racism, there has to be more proof than that alone.

    • Everytime I hear someone state there is systemic racism I ask name three people in your local community you know are racists.

      Anyone with a lick of sense will not be able
      to or be willing to answer that question unless they can prove the claim.

      • I’ve known a lot of racists, including almost all of my mother’s first generation Greek-American relatives. Most enlightening of all was my first year law school room mate, a Marine from a huge Catholic family from inner city Philadelphia. He was open about it and willing to discuss his views dispassionately. He also gave annual contributions to the United Negro College Fund. And he was an anti-Semite. Yet he treated everyone, regardless of race or creed, with kindness, respect, and fairness. How he felt about people was completely invisible in his conduct toward them. Amazing character.

  9. From the start, I’ve been trying to sort of keep an eye for a federal charge being made. Early on there were a few scattered calls for it, but unless I’ve missed one, it hasn’t happened. If so, should that (the dog that didn’t bark) be taken as proof that not even minimal evidence of a direct racial factor has been found here?

    • Civil rights violations don’t have to be based on race. George Flyod absolutly had his civil rights violated by Chauvin.

      I think the justice department is just waiting. If it looks like the state is going to get a long sentence, they may not charge him. If it starts to be in doubt, they’ll fry him on federal charges.

  10. So, what do we do when a county names a day after a victim of police brutality, officially declaring a day to be named in his/her honor? Harris County Judge* Lina Hidalgo issued her most recent proclamation that Harris County, Texas, has named June 9, 2020, as George Perry Floyd, Jr. Day. Here is her dedication:

    https://cjo.harriscountytx.gov/Newsroom/county-judge-lina-hidalgo-declares-tuesday-june-9th-george-perry-floyd-jr-day-in-harris-county

    Which George Floyd are we honoring? The multiple convicted felon or the guy who may (or may not) have found salvation in Jesus, moved to Minneapolis, and started preaching the Gospels there? George Floyd should not have been killed by the police officers but that doesn’t make him the fourth member of the Holy Trinity.

    jvb

    Lina really needs to understand that the “judge” in the Harris County Judge position is really titular and not conferring judicial powers on her. She’s the “mayor” of the county and not a real judge.

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