Thinking About Things:

The Ecstasy of the Mob, Moral Clarity, the Press, Virtue Signaling, the Fascism of the Intelligentsia, the 1619 Project comes to main street, a Letter from Istanbul, and the Hinge of History. A. The Ecstasy of the Mob: The murder of George Floyd by a handful of Minneapolis police officers and the reactions and counter reactions to this event around the country and around the world have provided more to think about than can be thought about in days, weeks or months. Nonetheless, one can observe some objective realities and reach some tentative conclusions.... Read More

George Floyd: Observations on a Recurring Tragedy

It is a movie that those in my age demographic (mid to late 70s) have seen too many times. These include, inter alia, the murders of civil rights workers, the killing of Emmit Hill, the assassination of Martin Luther King, the beating of Rodney King, the killing of Ahmaud Arbery and most recently the brutal murder of George Floyd by three white and one Hmong police officer. We know the general outlines of the script, this time staring George Floyd and Derek Chauvin. Outrage, followed by protests, sometimes violent, looting, followed by an investigation to identify and prosecute the guilty parties and sometimes by a study commission to identify the root causes of African American grievances and corrective steps. A Hollywood version will likely appear as a “docudrama” mixing fact, fiction and myth. Nonetheless, there are differences which merit note. At the outset, thanks to the ubiquity of smartphones, there is a powerful video and audio record of the killing of Floyd. This led to an unusual, perhaps unprecedented national consensus that Floyd was murdered. Importantly, unlike many, if not most, police killings, this event did not unfold in a few seconds, but in nearly nine minutes as Floyd pleaded for his life to no avail. Another result of the video documentation is that there has been very little reference to aspects of Floyd’s background that might be exploited to suggest that “he had it coming.” Even the differences between the Minnesota Medical Examiner’s findings and those of the Medial Examiner hired by Floyd’s family struck most as minor.... Read More