Debunking the lies that justify rage and riots.

by John Perazzo

America is always just one George Floyd away from erupting into chaos. That’s what has been made clear by the violent riots that turned Minneapolis and a number of other cities into war zones following Floyd’s death last Monday. The video footage of white police officer Derek Chauvin pressing his knee against the neck of a prostrate, handcuffed Mr. Floyd, is disturbing in the extreme. And indeed, it has been universally condemned by people along every point of the political spectrum. Chauvin has since been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Meanwhile, the three fellow officers who were with him at the scene have been fired from their jobs, and Floyd’s death is now being investigatedby the FBI and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. In short, the justice system is dealing with the matter in exactly the way that it should.

But the vital question we must address is this: Why is America always just one George Floyd away from anarchy? After all, outside of Paradise there will never exist a place where there won’t occasionally be George Floyds – white, black, and every other color – who lose their lives needlessly and unjustifiably. It’s called the human condition, and it’s been around for a very long time.

Surely we can rage against that, as we may rage against any moral wrong. But what we have witnessed in the wake of Mr. Floyd’s death is a rage directed not against a particular bad actor, but against what is perceived as an intransigent, generalized, all-pervasive evil. The angry mobs ravaging Minneapolis and other cities would have us believe that they are merely effecting a last-resort response to the fact that police abuse of blacks is an ongoing, all-too-common phenomenon throughout the United States. Desperate people must resort to desperate measures, they claim, when trying to shine the light of truth onto a dark reality. As one black protester told a reporter: “Nobody gives a f–k about us. OK? Unless we get violent. Y’all care about the s–t getting burned down, but what about when the KKK burning our s–t down?”

The American left, by and large, dutifully embraces this perspective, as evidenced by the manyhigh-profile figures – white and black alike – who have written and spoken passionately about the George Floyd incident in social-media posts and elsewhere. Some examples:

  • Minnesota Democratic senator Amy Klobuchar decried Floyd’s death as “yet another horrifying and gutwrenching instance of an African American man dying.”
  • Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said that the incident had “ripped open anew this ugly underbelly of our society.”
  • Basketball star Lebron James posted side-by-side photographs of Officer Chavin with his knee on George Floyd’s neck, and former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling during a pre-game national anthem as a gesture of protest against police brutality and racial injustice. James added the caption: “This … … Is Why. Do you understand NOW!!??!!?? Or is it still blurred to you?? #StayWoke.”
  • Basketball Hall-of-Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote in an op-ed: “Just as the slimy underbelly of institutional racism is being exposed, it feels like hunting season is open on blacks…. Racism in America is … everywhere.”
  • Filmmaker Ava DuVernay, who produced the 2019 Netflix series When They See Us, which whitewashed the 1989 atrocities of the so-called “Central Park Five,” tweeted: “You [George Floyd] deserved your breath, your dignity, your life. Not to die in the street, murdered by a white cop’s knee on your neck. You deserve our tears, our prayers, our rage, our action.”
  • Actress and producer Viola Davis lamented: “This is what it means to be Black in America. Tried. Convicted. Killed for being Black. We are dictated by hundreds of years of policies that have restricted our very existence and still have to continue to face modern day lynchings.”
  • Actor/producer John Boyega tweeted: “This just burns. Seems to be a never ending cycle.”
  • Model and actress Naomi Campbell wrote: “I don’t have the words. I’m sick and tired of this, tired of being sad about our people dying needlessly. Harassed and humiliated in these challenging times, I thought we could come to together, but it seems like this Coronavirus has bought out more racism in a major way.”
  • Singer Demi Lovato tweeted: “This is not okay. And it will not stop until everyone does their part. Especially white people…. [U]ntil this STOPS COMPLETELY – THE BLACK COMMUNITY WILL CONTINUE TO LIVE IN DANGER.”
  • A Washington Post opinion piece framed Mr. Floyd’s death as “yet another reminder of how black people are killed by law enforcement in disproportionately high numbers.”

The singular theme that runs through every one of the statements cited above – and serves as the subtext of the riots and street protests – is the perception that what happened to George Floyd is emblematic of the type of brutality that police in America routinely, selectively, and disproportionately inflict upon black people. Thus, the vital question we must answer is whether or not that perception is founded in truth, or in fiction.

Over the course of many years, mountains of empirical evidence regarding this subject have been accumulated……

(excerpt) … But in the final analysis, they are all quite full of it. No matter how deeply their hearts may be seared by grief in response to the latest unnecessary loss of an innocent life, and no matter how organic may be the wellspring of the tears that now moisten their eyes, the pained and pious countenances that they dutifully bear cannot transform their lies into truth.

It is possible, you know, to do two reasonable things at once. That is, one can be outraged by the injustice that was done to George Floyd, without falsely portraying it as a microcosm of systemic racism by police officers across America. It is nothing of the kind.

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