June 11, 2020
Author: Chilton Williamson
Given the political context, it is not surprising that the footage of Officer Devin Chauvin of the Minneapolis Police Department with his knee of the neck of George Floyd should have caused the United States, and in fact the entire world, to leap to the conclusion that the brutal treatment he gave the man at the time of his arrest was a racist act, meaning one that is motivated by racism. Although the media immediately noted that Chauvin has 17 previous complaints of unnecessary violence on his record, they seemed to treat the fact as further proof of his racism.
Nevertheless I read this morning in the Wall Street Journal that among these alleged acts of unnecessary harshness perpetrated by the officer while dealing with members of the public is his having pulled a woman from her car and frisked her after clocking her driving 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. Unwarranted frisking is of course a very long way from murder, homicide, or manslaughter. Nevertheless the incident, as one among the 17—now 18—that prompted formal objection, suggests that Chauvin is an angry and hostile man with an uncontrollable temper. Does his unwarranted treatment of the speeder prove that he is a misogynist? Nothing I’ve read mentions the woman’s color, but I assume that if she were black we would have heard about it.
There is a story here for some brave, actually suicidal, journalist willing to investigate the racial, sexual, and other social and biological identities of every complainant. It might suggest that Officer Chauvin is not (especially) racist, but rather that he has a problem with the entire human race.
That finding would, of course, spoil the entire story (one from which many millions have already been made, incidentally) as well as the fun and the profit for tens of millions of protesters (and even non-protesters) and for the media that endlessly report their often criminal protests. Which raises the question: Why are so many people gratified to find racism as the cause of so much evil in the world? Have racist behavior and the riots that follow it become another spectator sport?