# The Killing of George Floyd: The Last Straw?

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28 minutes ago, Siyatanush said:

Those who are rioting are not helping the cause.

The problem is that you can't assume that all those that riot are there "for the cause".   Protests, no matter how peaceful those who organize them intend them to be often attract those who are only there to cause trouble and want to use the peaceful protesters as cover.   Then there can be people from the other side of the issue that show up just to stir up trouble; The hope being that by doing so, they can get people to focus on that rather than the issue.

There was a post above about looting of a store in Portland.  But there was also a very peaceful protest here a day or so later*. Which do you think made the news?  It's a bit of a Catch 22,  Peaceful protests attract no attention, while violent ones attract the wrong attention.

*As an example of one of the points I made above, there were also reports of a group of "Proud Boys" that were planning to march to meet the protesters.  Since I never heard of any problems, I assume that the two groups were kept apart.

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2 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Besides don't judge them, with food in your belly and a safe/dry/warm place to sleep.

Ha-Ha.
This wasn't a bakery, grocery store or hotel.
They broke into and looted a Louis Vitton store.
Did they really need a $3000 purse to survive ??? edit : x-posted with Janus Edited by MigL ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites 1 minute ago, MigL said: Ha-Ha. This wasn't a bakery, grocery store or hotel. They broke into and looted a Louis Vitton store. Did they really need a$3000 purse to survive ???

Don't judge them, that's an entry level purse...

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21 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Indeed, I just wonder when it wasn't.

In the US, police forces were established before the Civil War (Boston was the first, in 1838) mainly to handle perceived native and immigrant problems. After slavery was abolished, the model was expanded to include perceived threats from free black men.

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1 hour ago, Phi for All said:

In the US, police forces were established before the Civil War (Boston was the first, in 1838) mainly to handle perceived native and immigrant problems. After slavery was abolished, the model was expanded to include perceived threats from free black men.

So, it got started on the wrong foot and for the wrong reasons, the echoes of the original motivation  which still exist today?

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4 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

So, it got started on the wrong foot and for the wrong reasons, the echoes of the original motivation  which still exist today?

In the US at least, those wrong reasons became the blueprint for a flawed process that skews the way the system is applied. And I think the wrong foot was placed with the assumption that the native Americans, the poor immigrants, and the freed slaves held a LOT of resentment over unfair treatment at white hands. Leadership at the time reacted like oppressors, rather than like people interested in forming community.

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18 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

In the US at least, those wrong reasons became the blueprint for a flawed process that skews the way the system is applied. And I think the wrong foot was placed with the assumption that the native Americans, the poor immigrants, and the freed slaves held a LOT of resentment over unfair treatment at white hands. Leadership at the time reacted like oppressors, rather than like people interested in forming community.

Exactly like Trump wants to do now. I wasn't aware of this about the origins of US policing. This should be taught to US children in school because they are tomorrow's lawmakers. That's where the seeds of change need to be planted. I think it takes about 50 years for things to change, when those children become tomorrow's leaders. The people with the old attitudes need to fade away and die off.

Edited by StringJunky
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1 hour ago, StringJunky said:

Exactly like Trump wants to do now.

His MO is to kick you, then scream to his base about how unreasonably angry you are about it, and how you should really get some help for that.

1 hour ago, StringJunky said:

I wasn't aware of this about the origins of US policing. This should be taught to US children in school because they are tomorrow's lawmakers. That's where the seeds of change need to be planted. I think it takes about 50 years for things to change, when those children become tomorrow's leaders. The people with the old attitudes need to fade away and die off.

We need reform NOW!

Every day, as an older white male in the western US, I go through my life with certain expectations. I know if I walk confidently into any situation, and do the things I'm supposed to do (smile, make small talk, stay within the lines, speak up but not TOO loudly, act nice, don't be or say anything awkward, fill out the form, drive on the right, nod with respect, keep it clean, please and thank you), my society will reward me with successful outcomes to my endeavors. The whole system gives me big kiss on the lips every time I do things right. I put in a quarter, and the machine give me candy.

But the system doesn't work that way if you aren't a white man. Imagine doing all the right things, but you get glares instead of smiles, distrust instead of doors thrown wide, and sneers instead of any sense of community. Imagine having to always do more than some others to get the same or worse results. Imagine pushing the buttons in the proper sequence just like the white guy in front of you, but you don't get the same access he did. You put in your quarter, the machine keeps it, and you get squat.

I think we need to skip the seeds somehow this time. We need a single big tree with lots of room for branches maybe, and a much broader, healthier system for the roots.

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10 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

His MO is to kick you, then scream to his base about how unreasonably angry you are about it, and how you should really get some help for that.

We need reform NOW!

Every day, as an older white male in the western US, I go through my life with certain expectations. I know if I walk confidently into any situation, and do the things I'm supposed to do (smile, make small talk, stay within the lines, speak up but not TOO loudly, don't be or say anything awkward, fill out the form, drive on the right, nod with respect, keep it clean, please and thank you), my society will reward me with successful outcomes to my endeavors. The whole system gives me big kiss on the lips every time I do things right. I put in a quarter, and the machine give me candy.

But the system doesn't work that way if you aren't a white man. Imagine doing all the right things, but you get glares instead of smiles, distrust instead of doors thrown wide, and sneers instead of any sense of community. Imagine having to always do more than some others to get the same or worse results. Imagine pushing the buttons in the proper sequence just like the white guy in front of you, but you don't get the same access he did. You put in your quarter, the machine keeps it, and you get squat.

I think we need to skip the seeds somehow this time. We need a single big tree with lots of room for branches maybe, and a much broader, healthier system for the roots.

Reminded of this 1978 song by Rush:

There is unrest in the Forest
There is trouble with the trees
For the Maples want more sunlight
And the Oaks ignore their pleas.

The trouble with the Maples
(And they’re quite convinced they’re right)
They say the Oaks are just too lofty
And they grab up all the light
But the Oaks can’t help their feelings
If they like the way they’re made
And they wonder why the Maples
Can’t be happy in their shade?

There is trouble in the Forest
And the creatures all have fled
As the Maples scream ‘Oppression!’
And the Oaks, just shake their heads

So the Maples formed a Union
And demanded equal rights
‘The Oaks are just too greedy
We will make them give us light’
Now there’s no more Oak oppression
For they passed a noble law
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet,
Axe,
And saw…

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2 hours ago, Phi for All said:

But the system doesn't work that way if you aren't a white man. Imagine doing all the right things, but you get glares instead of smiles, distrust instead of doors thrown wide, and sneers instead of any sense of community. Imagine having to always do more than some others to get the same or worse results. Imagine pushing the buttons in the proper sequence just like the white guy in front of you, but you don't get the same access he did. You put in your quarter, the machine keeps it, and you get squat.

I may be going slightly off-topic here, but I like to chime in that while the historic elements are clearly directed against black folks in the US system, the undercurrent is not too different how most countries deal with immigrants. I have always been annoyed how folks, say in Germany, claim to have no systemic racism (or bigotry or whatever floats your boat) problem. But the the truth is that different folks experience the same society in different ways almost everywhere. This is obviously not only along racial lines, gender socioeconomic status etc. are also such elements. However, race (and gender) has always been a visible element at the intersection of these issues.

Immigrants always had to work harder and make less mistakes and maybe (but only maybe) they might be seen as something approaching equals. This is something that many folks learn, and it makes sense when they arrive in a new country, but kids in the third or fourth generation get fed up with it. African Americans  (and obviously indigenous folks) have been there since the beginning. And it must be way more frustrating to be part of the country for so long and still held at arms-length and still being being scrutinized and blamed for each misstep (which others are allowed to make).

Some folks essentially summarized it as a breach of the social contract and ask the question why folks should adhere to it, if they are not accepted to be a full part of it.

Edit: I should add that in the US the overall much higher lethality of the police force exacerbates all the underlying issues, whereas a more peaceful society would continue to simmer at a less dramatic level.

Edit2: Another thing to add is that especially black communities are hit way harder by COVID-19 than white communities. Economically, health-wise and educationally. The whole situation has highlighted massive disparities.

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On 5/30/2020 at 5:33 AM, MigL said:

It doesn't look like the charges laid against D Chauvin have calmed the protests/riots very much.

I missed the comment, but I have read that the charges laid (third degree murder and second degree manslaughter) may actually have made the situation worse. Many black folks feel that the strategy behind those charges (finding the safest charges that may stick) is in crass contrast to what is often the strategy leveraged against poor and black folks (throwing the book at them to see what sticks, then force them to plead out).

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Between 2013 and 2019, in 99% of police killings no charges were ever brought against the officers involved.

I’d say this is about more than just this one slap in the face with 3rd degree murder charges. Decades (centuries) of no accountability coupled with decades of systemic differences in treatment in policing, in schooling, in housing, in opportunity... coupled with months of asymmetric deaths among blacks due to covid and months of disproportionate job losses...

That poor camel has been carrying a whole lot of straw for far too long

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On a related note, the Canadian province of Ontario does not keep 'race' based statistics for fear that those statistics may be used to treat varying  demographics differently. However, as different demographics have been  hit by Covid-19 to very variable degrees, it is reconsidering its stance, at least in health related matters.

Edited by MigL
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10 minutes ago, MigL said:

On a related note, the Canadian province of Ontario does not keep 'race' based statistics for fear that those statistics may be used to treat varying  demographics differently. However, as different demographics have been  hit by Covid-19 to very variable degrees, it is reconsidering its stance, at least in health related matters.

But if that approach doesn't get the desired results then singling out demographics may be necessary. Studying statistics is what gives the information. It's not the statistics that's the problem, it's who is using them.

Edited by StringJunky
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1 hour ago, StringJunky said:

But if that approach doesn't get the desired results then singling out demographics may be necessary. Studying statistics is what gives the information. It's not the statistics that's the problem, it's who is using them.

That is the issue. For a long time in the US (but also elsewhere) racial crime and economic statistics have been used to support the notion that something is wrong with certain folks leading to harsher criminal persecution and further economic disadvantages. There is at least a certain academic sense that this narrative is not only wrong, but also immensely hurtful. I.e. worth outcome is now (again, academically) not seen as a property of a certain project but rather a prompt to look at the context as to why the outcomes are worse. And this is important work.

On the other hand, it will not stop certain folks (including politicians and lawmakers)  to weaponize that data, though.

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42 minutes ago, CharonY said:

That is the issue. For a long time in the US (but also elsewhere) racial crime and economic statistics have been used to support the notion that something is wrong with certain folks leading to harsher criminal persecution and further economic disadvantages. There is at least a certain academic sense that this narrative is not only wrong, but also immensely hurtful. I.e. worth outcome is now (again, academically) not seen as a property of a certain project but rather a prompt to look at the context as to why the outcomes are worse. And this is important work.

On the other hand, it will not stop certain folks (including politicians and lawmakers)  to weaponize that data, though.

Yes, weaponizing is  a problem  but the absence of that data precludes any moves towards conceiving a solution.

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11 hours ago, StringJunky said:

Yes, weaponizing is  a problem  but the absence of that data precludes any moves towards conceiving a solution.

I don't disagree.

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20 hours ago, CharonY said:

I missed the comment, but I have read that the charges laid (third degree murder and second degree manslaughter) may actually have made the situation worse. Many black folks feel that the strategy behind those charges (finding the safest charges that may stick) is in crass contrast to what is often the strategy leveraged against poor and black folks (throwing the book at them to see what sticks, then force them to plead out).

Just read that the DA upgraded the charge to include 2nd degree murder.

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I think in a developed and morally advanced society there should be no doubts large scale protests (desirably peaceful) against unnecessary police brutality. But sadly involving racial accent into the protests only divides society even deeper. Because protesters demand justice only for a part of population rather than for everyone. What are they going to loose if they will protest against brutality in general without race accents? People suppose to unite on issue overcoming racial barriers. Also it would be interesting to know: is there some evident proves that the race was the main reason of an excessive force use? What if something like this would happen to an Asian or a Caucasian?

Edited by Moreno
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27 minutes ago, Moreno said:

Because protesters demand justice only for a part of population rather than for everyone.

That is a ridiculous statement.

30 minutes ago, Moreno said:

Also it would be interesting to know: is there some evident proves that the race was the main reason of an excessive force use?

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4 minutes ago, Strange said:

That is a ridiculous statement.

Everyone's life matters.

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11 minutes ago, Moreno said:

Everyone's life matters.

Are you saying that "everyone" does not include black people!? Are you saying that therefore black lives don't matter??

Did you miss that large graphic summarising the research that a disproportionate number of black men are murdered by the police. Almost as if their lives don't matter?

If you are really struggling with comprehending this then maybe stick "as well" or "just as much" on the end of black lives matter.

Let's be absolutely blunt, if someone responds to Black Live Matter with "but all lives matter" (or with "but" followed by anything else) then their racism is part of the problem.

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20 minutes ago, Moreno said:

I think in a developed and morally advanced society there should be no doubts large scale protests (desirably peaceful) against unnecessary police brutality. But sadly involving racial accent into the protests only divides society even deeper. Because protesters demand justice only for a part of population rather than for everyone. What are they going to loose if they will protest against brutality in general without race accents? People suppose to unite on issue overcoming racial barriers. Also it would be interesting to know: is there some evident proves that the race was the main reason of an excessive force use? What if something like this would happen to an Asian or a Caucasian?

This is not to suggest that the death of an Asian or Caucasian from police abuse isn't equally egregious, it's just that the distinction of George Floyd's horrifying murder comes after several recent murders and over a century of similar well publicized murders among America's black citizens at the hands of police or similar authorities whose sworn job is to protect and serve those very same citizen.  Chauvin's demeanor and expression while compressing Mr. Floyd's neck amid his desperate pleas to breath suggest that Chauvin was well aware of what he was doing.  What we saw in that horrible moment in America's recent history was a very public lynching albeit by knee rather than rope.

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15 minutes ago, DrmDoc said:

This is not to suggest that the death of an Asian or Caucasian from police abuse isn't equally egregious, it's just that the distinction of George Floyd's horrifying murder comes after several recent murders and over a century of similar well publicized murders among America's black citizens at the hands of police

Are there any obvious and absolutely undoubtful proves he was killed for been a black primarily? I would agree there are such proves if his killer is a member of a racist organization which proclaimed killing blacks as a part of their program.

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