A reader writes:
I can’t imagine those cops intended to kill Floyd. I also don’t think it was demonstrably motivated by race: two of the cops were not “white”. Clearly they were worked up about a previous struggle, then they just let him slowly suffocate by crushing him while he was pleading for his life. At least that is what it looked like. Then again he was likely on drugs and might have been difficult for the cops to deal with. There is no chance the cops can get a fair trial. I feel bad for them too, at least the rookies. Would I behave any different in their situation?
It is really awful to watch, I don’t get it at all, but there are other problems than just police brutality, plaguing our nation. Like wealth disparity, lack of work, broken families, drug addiction and environmental destruction, not to mention being locked up and out of work because of a global pandemic.
- The murderers didn’t try to kill him, so it’s not their fault they did, even though they killed him. Check
- The murder of a black guy by a white cop had nothing to do with race. Check.
- Look! Other cops were non-white, so the murder was somehow not murder. Check.
- The victim had it coming because the killers were worked up, probably. Check.
- The victim “likely” was on drugs and therefore deserved death because murder victims are no angels. Check.
- I don’t know what happened, but probably the victim deserved to be killed. Check.
- Everything is so unfair for cops who get caught committing murder on film. Check.
- All have sinned, so punishing murder when cops do it is vindictive and judgmental. Check.
- Look at all this other stuff that is bad. So let’s maintain the status quo when cops murder black guys begging for breath. Check.
- Also, having to show consideration to other people during Pandemic is, I think we can all agree, the real tragedy. Check.
I’m a little disappointed we didn’t hear “The real violence is abortion!” or “But black on black violence!” or “What about whites killed by blacks!” or “This is all a stunt to make Trump look bad!” or “Not all cops!” or “If Floyd was really suffocated then how could he breathe enough to say he couldn’t breathe? The video is clearly a fake!” or “Antifa is the real threat!” or “Protesting or kneeling or speeches or, you know, doing anything is no way for black people to protest injustice” or “Sin will always be with us. So there’s no point in trying to change anything” or “Would Martin Luther King approve of Black Lives Matter? I think not!” or “Jesus never organized political protests so we shouldn’t either!”
But still, a very representative sample of classic white conservative rhetorical tropes for avoiding the bleeding obvious.