Sunday, May 31, 2020

RANT: George Floyd and Response

Like almost all Americans, I am DISGUSTED by the horrific actions of this police officer that caused a senseless death.  In a case of clear cut police brutality such as this one, I am confident that we will see a conviction.  I think it should be murder.  He might beat that charge but I see no way that he cannot be found guilty of manslaughter or negligent homicide even if the autopsy didn't reveal strangulation.  I am also DISGUSTED by the reaction to this crime on many sides.

Let's start with my fellow conservatives:
While nobody has defended this cop, one person said that because Floyd was a petty criminal, there should not be much sympathy although she re-iterated that he did not deserve to die.  She was roundly and harshly condemned for those remarks.  And rightly so.  I DON'T CARE if he was a petty criminal.  This was a terrible and inexcusable crime that was committed.  Don't you dare place even a shred of blame on the victim!

Others have brought up black on black crime or white victims of violence in which there is nary a word of media coverage.  Now is NOT the time for that kind of talk.  I do agree that the media does have an agenda to foster national division especially in an election year.  That said, we must NEVER deflect attention from the horrific crime committed here.

A few have suggested that the crime was not racially motivated.  In this case, I can respectfully disagree.  My personal opinion is that it was an act of racism but it is certainly possible that personalities can clash.  Two people could simply dislike each other and it may not have anything to do with skin color.  In this case however, especially given our history of emotional response on the subject and the length of the video, I believe that race had to be a factor in his sick decision making process.

Now let's move on to Liberals:
Is America a racist country in 2020?  Almost everyone on the Left would say Yes.  I have a different question.  Is the state of Maine a violent place?  Most would say No.  What if I told you that several murders occur every year in the Portland area?  Still no because its crime rate is among the lowest in the nation, right?
That's pretty much how I feel about racially motivated police brutality and racism in general in America.  It happens.  I will not deny it or downplay any individual case.  Even one instance is one too many as well as a cause for outrage.    However, I do feel very strongly that these terrible cases are the EXCEPTION RATHER THAN THE NORM and police brutality does affect all races.  There is absolutely no reason to fear that you will be hunted down by white vigilantes or gunned down after being pulled over for a minor traffic violation.  Yes, there is a minuscule chance that I could be killed in a shark attack or a hijacked airplane but it's so small that it's not even worth the worry.  Sadly, I DO believe that most blacks experience occasional racism today but I doubt that it is pervasive or occurs on a regular basis.  Correct me if I am wrong. 

Dear White People, this is not okay.  Has nothing changed since 1960?
NOBODY is saying that it is okay!  There is nearly universal consensus among both blacks and whites that the officer should be tried and convicted.  I would argue that the average American in 2020 is LESS racist than the 1990 counterpart and MOST DEFINITELY less so than 1960.  In the last 30 years, inter-racial relationships have seen much greater acceptance and the Confederate flag has become increasingly taboo.  There is no way that Barack Obama could have won in 1992's electorate.  On the Republican side, South Carolina elected an Indian-American governor and black US senator.  In the latter case, Tim Scott beat out Strom Thurmond's son in the Republican primary.  I'd say that's a pretty strong repudiation of the racist policies of the past.

I visited Selma, Alabama back in March of this year and was both horrified by the injustice that took place there and dumbfounded that it could be accepted by much of the population.  Back then, blacks could not drink from the same water fountains or eat inside restaurants.  Today, I can have lunch with a black man or woman at the same table and it's not an issue.  I know it's true because I've done it myself.  There is a scare tactic every 4 years that the Republicans want to bring back Jim Crow or worse.  That is ridiculous.  If a segregationist candidate was nominated today, he'd lose by more than 50 points even in Alabama.  If it became legal to refuse service on the basis of race, would I ever support that business?  HELL NO!  I'm quite confident that the majority of whites would agree with me on this.  Jim Crow is never coming back.  Take it to the bank. 

Some have even gone as far as to call for killing cops in retaliation and have praised Antifa as well as the rioters and looters.  It's funny that people who are now calling for mass protests are the same ones who until just days ago called for everyone to stay at home due to COVID but that's another issue.  I would not criticize anyone who is angry about racism even if their comments are over the top.  If you go to this extreme, it's game on.  Trump was called racist for using the term "thugs" even though Obama used it as well and there are plenty of whites who are also protesting violently.  Black people have no other recourse other than to riot?  What the _____!  If you do not expect or demand better than this from the black community, you are the real racists.  That's the soft bigotry of low expectations.  Beating a store owner to death or burning down a building that houses an innocent child is INEXCUSABLE! 

Every profession has its share of crooks.  Do we malign all religious leaders because of a few pedophile priests?  Some lawyers knowingly prosecute innocent defendants while others get rapists and murderers off on a technicality.  Are they all bad?  No.  In my line of work, taxpayers have been cheated out of money because somebody wants a good appraisal or a promotion.  It happens but it's not the norm.  Liberals have been strong on NOT condemning Muslims because of the actions of a few.  Why not have the same attitude towards police officers?  End rant.

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