…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.