The death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer is shocking to watch, and anyone who can watch the video and not be deeply moved probably needs some degree of counseling. Unless there is some mitigating factor to justify the officer’s behavior, it looks like an open and shut case of criminal negligence at best and murder at worst.
The President immediately ordered the FBI and the Justice Department to investigate the incident. The Minnesota governor and attorney general have also moved swiftly to investigate and have already brought charges against the perpetrator. All the policemen involved have been fired and will probably face further charges.
With the nation united in its condemnation of the death of Mr. Floyd, it seemed as if this incident could have the potential to unite many Americans in a mutual desire for justice.
But to think that way would show one’s naivete. As we have seen with the aftermath of the deaths of Michael Brown and Freddie Gray, a pattern quickly emerges.
The first step is The Protest. An aggrieved citizenry feels compelled to go into the streets to proclaim their outrage. Americans have no problem with peaceful protests. They are part of our DNA and a foundation of our Constitution. If people want to chant slogans and hold up signs, have at it. It’s your right.
But this leads to the second step, The Descent of the Locusts. The media, frothing at the mouth, rush to the scene. When the camera lights come on, many of the protesters see this as a chance make it on tv. Some gravitate for the on-scene reporters, hoping to be interviewed and become “stars” on social media.
Step three is The Moron Interview. The press will choose someone in the crowd to give his feelings about the situation. This person will begin to condemn not just the incident but recite the mythology of racist police throughout America. Despite the numerous studies that show no racial bias in police shootings (whites and Hispanics are three times more likely to be killed by police than blacks), the lies are spread across the networks. “Hands up, don’t shoot,” a reference to the death of Michael Brown, is chanted by many, even though Michael Brown never had his hands up and, instead, charged at the police officer and tried to get his gun. Several eyewitnesses, mostly black, testified to this fact. Still, the myth of the gentle giant persists. An interview on the street, which is usually laced with profanities, is hardly a means to garner truth, and the media are complicit in this charade.
This leads to the next step: Loot and Burn. The protesters soon morph into a mob, a strange animal with many heads but no brain. The local businesses will now pay the price for the feigned outrage. Breaking windows and burning buildings is accompanied by massive looting. The apparent mindset is “I am so angry at the death of my brother George that I am going to go into this Target store and get me a new cell phone or maybe a tv or two. Heck, I can get just about anything I want. How lucky for me that George is dead.”
Step four is The Blame Game. The police officer with his knee on George Floyd’s neck is undoubtedly a Trump supporter. Congresswoman Maxine Waters said that this incident is a result of Trump and his “dog whistle” language. No matter what Trump has done or will do to see that justice is served, he will be condemned for stoking racism throughout the land, regardless of the truth.
A corollary to this step is that white people need to look into a mirror and realize that they are the source of racism. White privilege is a scourge on America, and it must be eliminated so that true social justice can be established. Only whites can do this because minorities are incapable of being racists. Look for the call for a “dialogue about race,” which means a black person calls a white person a racist, and the white person says, “Yes, I am. Please forgive me.”
When the rioting finally ends, we will move on to stage six, the Pilate Maneuver. The media will get bored and leave. They will wash their hands and claim they had no role in making the situation worse with their live coverage of every burning police car, building, or dumpster they could find.
Of course, left behind will be many businesses that will never reopen, which means hundreds of people will lose their jobs. Some people will have also lost their homes. What happens to them? How many entrepreneurs will decide it is better to open their businesses in a different, safer city, thus depriving many of a potential job? What will be the cost of replacing broken windows or restoring burned buildings, and who will pay for it? Small businesses, in particular, probably do not have riot coverage.
The ultimate cost will be in the minds of millions of Americans who have watched the carnage and who have concluded that the death of George Floyd was a poor excuse for unbridled savagery.