Hewitt E. Moore, American Renaissance, April 12, 2021
On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. told America:
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
In the decades to come, King’s dream came to pass: The country ended all legal discrimination against blacks, and “anti-racism” became a moral cornerstone of our culture. But in the last few years, those who revere King have started to adopt the opposite view of his famous speech. Instead of judging individual blacks by “the content of their character,” most people in the media judge all blacks, by virtue of their race, as saints. This race-based judgement is made especially when the content of a particular black person’s character is wanting.
George Floyd is a perfect example. When we judge Floyd by the content of his character, he doesn’t make for a sympathetic “victim.” He was an ex-con with convictions for theft, trespassing, possession, possession with intent to distribute, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, among other things. He died resisting arrest while high on methamphetamine and fentanyl. But if we judge him only by the color of his skin, he becomes yet another innocent black victim of racism.
In a recent piece called “How right-wing media keeps smearing George Floyd with the racist ‘no angel’ narrative, the Washington Post’s media columnist Margaret Sullivan wrote:
But some in right-wing media keep doing their utmost to make this tragedy about Floyd’s drug use and troubled life, in what seems like an attempt to absolve Chauvin long before the jury reaches a verdict. In effect, they are putting Floyd on trial.
It feels all too familiar. This is the “well, he was no angel” narrative, obliquely blaming the victim for his fate. It’s a narrative all too often applied to Black men who die at the hands of police.
The “no angel” narrative, and its variations, are racist smears. Unlike George Floyd, they deserve to die.
In other words, black men who die at the hands of the police are not accountable for their actions — they’re judged by the color of their skin. The average “woke” leftist believes George Floyd would still be alive if he had been white.
The facts do not bear this out. Since 2015, police have shot and killed more than 5,500 civilians. Here are the fatalities by race:
|Race||Fatalities||Share of Total|
In the last half decade, police killed more white people than all other groups combined. Liberals are quick to counter that blacks are only 12 percent of the population, so are “overrepresented” in police shootings. That assumes that blacks commit 12 percent of America’s crime. In fact, blacks are responsible for 29.8 percent of all property crime (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson) and 36.4 percent of all violent crime (murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) — including over half of all murders. Police aren’t as likely to have a shootout with a drunk driver (82 percent of whom are white) as they are a murderer (51 percent of whom are black). Given the black share of the criminal population, police shoot fewer than we would expect.
So: What if George Floyd had been a white man? The most obvious answer is that Derek Chauvin would have treated him exactly as he treated Floyd. He would be a forgotten statistic instead of another “murdered-by-racist-cop” martyr. There have been thousands of white George Floyds; we just don’t know their names. When white thugs overdose in police custody or are shot during an arrest, nobody seems to care. Or maybe society judges white people by the content of their character, and not by the color of their skin.