They want you to not believe your eyes, the prosecution said of Derek Chauvin’s defense attorney.
That’s right. Throwing every possible cause of George Floyd’s death into the mix ought to make jury members more disbelieving. Carbon monoxide poisoning. Drug overdose. Heart Condition.
Believe your eyes, People!!! If Chauvin held his knee on George Floyd’s neck for three and a half minutes after Floyd was unconscious, one might ask why.
Angry bystanders distracted Chauvin. Floyd could have awakened in a violent mood. This large Black man calling for his mama, uttering that he couldn’t breathe, had to be subdued.
This is all bullshit. Pure and simple.
I speak for history.
How many years has it been since entertainment in the Carolinas included watching Black folks being lynched, dangling from the prettiest live oak tree.* Seated on a blanket and munching on Southern fried chicken, a good mother might have asked, “Would you like some sweet tea, dear?”
A recent Saturday Night Live cold open depicted a Minneapolis TV news program. Two Black and two white newscasters agree on Chauvin’s guilt and encourage a change in the city’s policing. But each pair’s experience differs like night and day.
Remember Dylan Roof, the young white man who murdered nine Black parishioners at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015? Roof had planned on killing himself after the massacre. He had hoped to happily start a race war.
No police officer plastered Roof with bullets when he was caught in his car less than a day after the church massacre.
Roof was treated humanely, the way police officers are supposed to treat suspected perpetrators.
How many Black people who have been stopped for traffic violations have been treated humanely in recent years? George Floyd for passing a fake $20 bill, Daunte Wright for hanging air fresheners in his car?
Yet Dylan Roof was brought food from Burger King by the local police who captured him, because he hadn’t “eaten in days.” He was hungry. He wasn’t murdered in his car. He wasn’t ambushed in the middle of the night like Breonna Taylor sleeping in her bed. And he wasn’t crushed by Derek Chauvin’s knee on his neck for more than nine minutes.
I suppose Roof didn’t resist arrest. Plus, he was white.
I speak for history.
It’s time — finally — to treat a white cop like the murderer he is.
*Lynchings didn’t only take place only in the South. I visited Charleston, South Carolina, with my daughter a few years ago. It was there that I read about white families watching Black lynchings, sometimes in the town square in broad daylight. Sorry I can’t cite my source.