Michael Eriksson's Blog

A Swede in Germany

Thoughts on the George Floyd situation

with 6 comments

Recently, there have been a slew of negative developments in the U.S., many directly or indirectly related to the George Floyd case. Some of these:

Firstly, that case it self, which raises serious questions about the methods, attitude, and whatnot of U.S. police officers. There are great signs, here and elsewhere (cf. e.g. parts of an older text on Jason Stockly ([1])), that training, regulation, hiring practices, and similar must be revised—quite possibly including legislation on police authority. A good police force must base on a great amount of respect for the citizens, where violence is kept to the minimum needed to handle a situation, where suspects are detained with the smallest possible restriction under the circumstances, where searches of apartments* are performed with a minimal intrusion, damage, and later clean-up overhead for the inhabitants, etc. It is particularly important that the police officers work on the basis that they are the servants and protectors of the people—not the overseers of the people.** Notably, anyone who takes the attitude that “I’ve got a badge to bully” (let alone “[…] license to kill”) should be summarily fired; notably, the Spiderman slogan “with great power comes great responsibility” must apply—especially, when this power is given by the government and enables violations of the normal rights of the citizens.

*This is an aspect of U.S. policing that I only know from fictional accounts, which might be highly misleading. Even so, the often displayed result is a good illustration of how not to do it, where the inhabitants have to walk into an apartment where e.g. drawers appear to have been just been emptied onto the floor.

**Similar statements, m.m., apply to e.g. politicians and civil servants.

An interesting idea regarding specifically deaths is that any police officer who kills someone in the line of duty* immediately has his employment terminated and is banned from future law-enforcement work irrespective of the circumstances of the killing. Later investigations will then only serve to determine whether he will be “honorably discharged” (to apply the military terminology) or “dishonorably”, whether he will be entitled to a severance, and whether criminal charges should follow. This will give police officers strong incentives to “think first and shoot later”, to not use methods in the normally-safe-but-with-an-increased-risk-of-death category when safer methods are available, etc.

*Possibly, outside it too, but for now I see as more reasonable to judge him by the same standards as everyone else in those cases.

Secondly, the knee-jerk reaction by media, many politicians, and large swaths of the population, has been to condemn the killing specifically as “racist” or, at best, “racially motivated”—and to put it in a false picture of a massive racism problem. In truth, to my last* information, there was no proof or indication of even a racial motivation, let alone racism—nothing not more economically explained by a police officer being an asshole in general, being incompetent, having the wrong attitude, … Nothing, that is, except for the police officer being White and Floyd Black, which makes this knee-jerk reaction grossly prejudiced and, in many cases, even racist.** There is no sign that a white man in Floyd’s situation and displaying the same behavior would not have suffered the same treatment. I am also not convinced that death was intended, and gross negligence or incompetence might well suffice as an explanation—and would negligence or incompetence improve with a White victim? In a bigger picture, I have heard repeated claims that the U.S. police kills more Whites than Blacks,*** and it is a known fact that, overall, Black-on-White violence is more common than White-on-Black violence—and that Black-on-Black violence is worse than both. Meanwhile, allegedly racist institutions are, in reality, typically actively helping Blacks on the cost of Whites, Chinese, and whatnots, often due to an inability to understand that equality of opportunity does not lead to opportunity of outcome and that disparities in outcome are not proof of disparities in opportunity. If people had heeded the message of “The Bell-Curve” in the 1990s (!) we would have had a much smaller mess today.

*And, if this has changed or eventually changes, the reactions clearly preceded that time.

**Unfortunately, this type of hypocrisy and lack of self-insight is disturbingly common. The PC crowd is particularly prone to display it.

***If so, we cannot write this off with “there are more Whites than Blacks”, because the proportions are radically changed when we look at known criminals and other groups for which the police has a justifiable interest. Overall, it is noteworthy that only a (likely small) minority of all police killings make the headlines.

A particular complication is the rumor that the involved parties actually knew each other privately, which, if true, implies that the first suspicion of something going beyond incompetence (and so on) would be a personal feud, a private conflict of interest, whatnot—not racism.

Thirdly, the entirely disproportionate and misdirected public-demonstrations-turned-riots-and-looting. Large scale civil protests against police violence might well have been a good idea and might well have benefited society. What actually has happened is so far beyond the acceptable that it beggars belief. Indeed, in some cases, I have been reminded by the Kristallnacht and/or strongly suspected that the protests are used as an excuse for criminal behavior. The combination of naive believes and extreme methods shows that a significant portion, if likely a minority, of the protesters move on a level where they are not suitable for inclusion in e.g. the democratic processes. The apparent renewed involvement of the Antifa is particularly disturbing—that extreme-Left hate and terrorism movement.

Fourthly, the reactions against those who disapprove of the protests or, especially, see it as justified that the police or the military restore order, or even, shudder the thought, dare proclaim that they would defend their property, should it be attacked—all entirely reasonable under the circumstances. Apparently, they are worse scum than the looters. A prominent example is Trump, a less prominent is Michelle Malkin, recently blocked from Twitter. True, her statement is on the extreme end, but not without the bounds of what might be reasonable if looters refuse to obey police orders or violently and in groups resist arrest—this is a case where even extreme police violence might be justifiable. (And if the claim is seen as a hyperbolic statement of sentiment about the looter’s behavior or character, not as something that should actually take place, then I certainly agree.) Generally, of course, these reactions are another proof of how civil discourse has been replaced by hate mongering, personal attacks, and whatnot in U.S. politics (in general) and conflicts that involve Leftists elements (globally). Where the two coincide …

Excursion on Trump:
The current reactions against Trump are, unusually, not Trump-specific. However, it is the second recent case of Trump expressing sensible* opinions and being attacked for it in a short time. Consider the recent Trump–Twitter and whatnot controversies, where Trump takes a stand for freedom of speech and is paradoxically attacked for threatening freedom of speech … (Also see portions of [2], but note that I was unaware of Trump’s recent executive order, which goes somewhat in the same direction as what I suggest.)

*Whether his expression is equally sensible might be disputed.

Excursion on related writings:
For the interested reader, I point to a great amount of earlier writings that deal with topics like false or flawed accusations of racism, censorship, democracy failures, … While these are too many to list, I point to e.g. one text on abuse of the word “racism” and the longest on the current democracy crisis. Topics relating to violent Black–White situations have occurred in at least [1] and in discussions of the Zimmerman–Martin tragedy and the Charlottesville controversy.

Written by michaeleriksson

June 5, 2020 at 10:44 am

6 Responses

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  1. […] I had already contemplated adding her to my blogroll. In light of her recent ban from Twitter (as I mentioned earlier today), I will do so as an act of anti-censorship solidarity. This especially as UNZ, as a whole, has […]

  2. […] equally often assumed in a blanket manner. (Just like the blanket “racism” accusation in the George Floyd situation.) Moreover, this is another area where the Left presumes to one-sidedly dictate what is or is not […]

  3. […] On the outside, it seems extremely likely that Chauvin, the “knee”, had no intention of causing death or permanent harm. Indeed, if he did, he would have to be Darwin-Award level stupid to do what he did on camera and in front of witnesses. Certainly, I have not seen one shred of proof that the event was motivated by racism. (Also see an earlier text on this situation.) […]

  4. […] earlier, more detailed, discussions of similar topics, e.g. texts around George Floyd (at least, [1], […]

  5. […] On the outside, it seems extremely likely that Chauvin, the “knee”, had no intention of causing death or permanent harm. Indeed, if he did, he would have to be Darwin-Award level stupid to do what he did on camera and in front of witnesses. Certainly, I have not seen one shred of proof that the event was motivated by racism. (Also see an earlier text on this situation.) […]

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