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Thursday, June 04, 2020

Have been thinking more about the George Floyd case...

Some additional notions that I have been pondering, though I said earlier that there would probably be nothing more that would be remarked upon:

1.  The death of George Floyd was a tragedy, make no mistake about it.  But it was not necessarily a racially-motivated death.  It is now coming out that the officer who knelt on Floyd's neck already had an established history of troubling behavior in his role as a law enforcement agent.  It is altogether possible that Mr. Floyd's ethnicity didn't even figure as a consideration in the officer's mind, as well as that of the other officers involved.

Not everything is about race.  Or needs to be.

2.  The handling of George Floyd's death was a matter germane to local jurisdiction and that's ALL as far as it should have gotten.  There should have been proper investigation, including objective autopsy (there are now two autopsies with different results competing with one another).  Such a matter as this demands that there be as objective and thorough an examination as possible, with regard toward all parties involved.  The people of Minneapolis deserved no less.  The family of George Floyd deserved no less.

But of course it became a viral video, one that the media picked up and ran with, and now... well...

3.  Speaking of the the media, it is 10,000% culpable in this disaster.  There is likely not another situation in American history where the news media has been responsible for precipitating so much devastation.  But as is also 10,000% of the time there will be no holding anyone in the media accountable.  And speaking as a former journalist, what I have seen is beyond the pale.  These are not the actions of those in a profession devoted to seeking and reporting the truth of the matter.  I can attest without reservation that too many in the journalism racket are actually proud of the mayhem that they have helped to unleash.

Incidentally, I am never going to chalk myself down as a fanatic for the guy, but the media is trying to perpetuate the claim that President Trump's visit to the church a few days ago was preluded by confronting protestors with tear gas and rubber bullets.  We now know that this did not happen, according to United States Park Police.

4.  Impartial handling of the case has been rendered impossible.  Mob justice has prevailed.  Anything going forward is going to be poisoned with the threat of more rioting and violence.  It is going to be impossible to empanel an impartial jury after this debacle.  Because no juror will want to have it on his or her conscience that he or she voted "not guilty" in a case after a full and fair presentation of evidence, if said presentation merits a not guilty verdict.

In short: the rule of law in the George Floyd case - figuratively speaking - has been strangled.

5.  Scott Adams - the creator of the Dilbert comic strip - has made a brilliant observation in his video podcast: the "black leadership" presuming to speak on behalf of all African-Americans is for all intents and purpose without a rudder and has NO idea what it is trying to accomplish.  For all of the rioting and calls for social upheaval, there is not a single solid idea that has been put forth from these "leaders" about how to accomplish it.  As Adams put it, nobody in the crowd seems to have a typewriter or a pencil to capture any ideas that come to mind.  Adams further remarked that there is currently no leader approaching the caliber of Martin Luther King Jr.  I am compelled to agree with him on that.

6.  Much of the reaction to the Floyd murder... and again, something that may not have been racially motivated at all... has been either out of fear or out of political opportunity or both.  For God's sake, LEGO has now jumped into the fray and telling its stores to not display sets depicting cops or the White House.

I am going to draw flak for proclaiming this, but I'm not going to jump on this particular bandwagon.  It is mob mentality, it is madness, and someone's got to say it dammit.

7.  The mob mentality we are now seeing is too much like what transpired during the French Revolution, when "the wisdom of the crowd" wrought anguish and worse upon the innocent.  Thankfully it is not at the point of beheadings and mass drownings.  Not YET anyway...

8.  An example of that last point is what has happened to Grant Napear, the longtime announcer for the Sacramento Kings.  Napear merely tweeted that "all lives matter" and for that he was driven from his position.

9.  I am going to state without hesitation that all lives do matter.  That all human lives are precious and sacred.  Indeed, I will posit that the Founding Fathers had it all wrong: it's not "all men are created equal".  It should be "all men are created sacred".

10.  The last words my grandmother spoke before she died were "I love everybody."

That's not a bad way to live, when you think about it.  Too bad that the way things are going, saying those words will probably be soon worth condemning over.


Ashley M said...

My friend, I ask this of you because you and I have been friends for a really long time and you are intelligent: educate yourself. I urge you to read some books. Start with White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, and Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (there are quite a few others, but these are good to start). There is such a thing as "white privilege", from which you and I both have benefitted. There is systemic racism pervasive in our society and government; it is irrelevant whether you think it is or you see it. Yes, all lives matter, but the point of BLM is that all lives WILL matter when Black lives matter. Right now, people of color are percieved as "less than" ALL THE TIME. When there are people afraid of the police (all police) because people like them are dying at a disproportionate rate than others, this is racism. When they cannot achieve the same level of jobs, education, housing, salary as whites, this is racism. Check out the statistics. If there was no racism, these things would be proportional to the racial makeup of our country. They aren't even close.

George Floyd's death may not have been about race to the cops, meaning they might have killed the next person they arrested anyway due to their own power trip, need for killing, whatever, but there is no denying that a white officer killed a black man for NO REASON, and the people are using that to motivate protests and change. There are tons of groups working for change, but traction is very difficult. There are plans for change... many plans. But awareness of the issue to those who do not see it is important right now. Check out CCEAL out of UC San Diego or the Center for Urban Education (COE) out of University of Southern California to see what higher education is trying to do. I'm most familiar with these because of my job.

I am in NO WAY an expert. But my heart is aching for our country and for people of color. Trying to explain away what is happening just shows that you haven't done the research that includes the perspectives of people of color.

I love you, my friend. This brief comment may not change your mind, but I pray that it helps to open your and other's eyes.

Joseph said...

Dear anonymous coward who wrote "idiot bigot" as your comment. Chris is the farthest thing from an idiot and if he's bigoted then he hides it extremely well because I've read his blog for several years and never has he written anything but respect and consideration for all people. The only idiot here is YOU.

Chris Knight said...

I genuinely do not care what others think of me. I wrote what I was led to write. Nothing more and nothing less. Written however, without spite or disdain toward anyone.

There is madness loosed upon the land and I'm only doing what little I can to make it stop. Because I don't want to see anyone, anywhere, hurt. But that is what is happening and I felt led to write something about it.

Maybe it's how I grew up. I was surrounded by people of so many ethnicities. White, black, Hispanic, some Asian... Dad would hire anyone to work on our farm, so long as they were willing to work a fair day for fair pay. I don't think he saw people as anything but as individuals and maybe I got that from him too, because I haven't seen anyone as anything less than individuals either.

So it is that I cringe at "black lives matter" as much as I do "white lives matter". And yes, I am aware that *some* would use "all lives matter" as racist code talk. But that's on them. Not on me. Because how else can it be stated? All lives DO matter. All human life is precious and sacred. No matter who they are. Even the murderer on death row matters to God. I'm just trying to see such a person as God does.

Maybe we should start saying "all individuals matter".

And reiterating again: I do not care what others think of me. I've been writing on this blog for more than sixteen years now, a good chunk of my lifetime. It can speak for itself and I'll more than welcome ANYONE to peruse through it and find any instance where I was less than respectful toward others. I think the most disgust I've ever expressed on here was toward the Westboro Baptist Church aka "God Hates Fags" nuts, after having to spend several hours with them one night as part of my job. I wouldn't care what they had to say about me and I don't particularly care what others would say of me either. Just let them read my material. There's plenty enough to draw a conclusion from.

I'm only writing what I'm led to write. Let come what may. But when you scrape away everything else that may be Chris Knight, I hope there is the core of a person who just doesn't want to see anyone hurt or killed.

Is that wrong?

MeganC said...

Nailed it. Thank you for having the strength to say what many are trying to say.

It sounds like Scott Adams nailed it too but I would go further and say that this entire society is rudderless. It doesn't matter who is in the White House. People with self control do not do the things we have witnessed this past week and a half. And as you said the media seems to like it like that.

I'll be sharing your post around.