Most of this sounds like capitalist class co-optation efforts, celebrity self-promotion, symbolic gestures, token reformism, and totalitarian humanist opportunism. In other words, nothing much at all has changed, at least not yet.
There have been protests around the world over the way police treat black people and highlighting racism and inequality in societies.
His family say they don’t want his death to be in vain.
Radio 1 Newsbeat has been looking at 10 things that have already changed since George Floyd died.
By Joshua Nevett
When videos of controversial police encounters generate headlines, there’s an important figure in the story that we rarely hear about – the person filming.
A lot of “police reform” ideas I come across strike me as token reformist bullshit or an effort to deflect the conversation toward liberal pet projects like expanding the welfare state, but eliminating no-knock warrants, like eliminating qualified immunity, might actually count for something.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced the Justice for Breonna Taylor Act to prohibit no-knock warrants, which allow law enforcement officials to forcibly enter a home without announcing their authority or purpose.
I have the unique perspective of favoring the autonomous zone in Seattle AND the Bundys’ standoff AND the Antifa threats against ICE. I like Krystal’s comment that “if you’re against the police state, be against the police state.”
Krystal and Saagar discuss the bizarre response from Gov. Jay Inslee to the autonomous zone in Seattle.
Kyle’s commentary in this is pretty good. Most of the “police reforms” Kyle is discussing are a good idea, but the two big ones are ending overcriminalization and holding the police to the same standards as civilians.
One point where I would agree with the NYPD police union president is that the System has been not exactly outraged by the assassinations of policemen that have taken place during the insurrection. But that only means that the System regards the cops as cannon fodder, the same way they view ordinary troops during warfare.
Attacking police and/or military memorials is another tactically bad idea. The US regime is never going to be defeated through either voting for do-gooders or in a Third World-like armed struggle by radical insurgents, left or right, except perhaps on a peripheral level. The only possible path to victory would be a human wave of mass non-compliance combined with the defection, desertion, or acquiescence of large numbers of military and police (see the events in the USSR and Warsaw Pact countries between 1989 and 1991). “Everything without the state, nothing inside the state, nothing for the state” has to be the way to go. This can only be done through building a Gramscian cultural consensus.
Having followed these kinds of controversies for decades, I’d say conservatives are often pretty good at opposing excesses by Democrats, liberals, and leftists (some of the time), while the Left is pretty good at opposed excesses by Republicans (some of the time). It all depends on the context and the issue.
I totally disagree with Laura here, but not for the usual reasons.
So far I have actually seen very little “canceling America” going on in the present uprising. Unlike Berkeley or Charlottesville, which were low-grade sports riots carried out by rookie-league middle-class gangs, the present uprising is a genuine fourth-generation insurgency, albeit one of very low intensity.
But it’s “anti-American” character is doubtful. I haven’t seen much anti-Americanism thus far. I’ve seen plenty of anti-Confederatism, celebrating the death of a state that died 155 years ago. Today, Confederate nostalgia is a regional fetish (like Cajun food) that only deep red zone inhabitants have any remaining interest in. I’ve seen plenty of anti-Spanish Empirism but the Spanish Empire was expelled from the Western hemisphere in the 19th century, with its final defeat coming at the hands of the nascent American Empire in the Spanish-American War. I’ve seen plenty of anti-Red Tribism, anti-Trumpism, and, perhaps on the margins, actual anti-WASPism. But not much anti-Americanism.
The regimes in the former Soviet Union and its Eastern European satellites were toppled only when large numbers of rank and file military and police turned on their backs on the state. That is what has to happen in the US as well for the revolution to be successful. Anything that conflicts with this objective is tactically unwise.
By Daniel Lippman
Pvt. Si’Kenya Lynch, a member of the D.C. National Guard, was on duty at Lafayette Square near the White House last Monday when U.S. Park Police cleared the area of protesters ahead of President Donald Trump’s now-infamous photo op.
Lynch said she supports the protests, and that her brother was among the demonstrators on the other side of the line, adding that “he coughed a lot” due to the tear gas fired into the crowd.
I would even oppose torching the “thin blue line” flag, although I’m fine with torching actual police stations (enemy military bases). The eventual success of the revolution would depend in part on the defection or desertion of significant numbers of police.
By Maurice Chammah and Cary Aspinwall
The Marshall Project
As protests over policing continue to convulse cities throughout the U.S., one symbol keeps showing up: a black-and-white American flag with one blue stripe.
Recently, the flag was flown from the back of a car alongside protests in South Dakota, and burned outside the Utah State Capitol. When deputies hoisted the flag outside government buildings in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Orange, California, the sheriffs in both communities were sharply criticized. Officers have worn versions of the flag on face masks while clashing with protesters in Baltimore and in Washington, D.C.
The main problem I have with Black Lives Matter is the name sounds overly gushy and sentimental. I much prefer names like Black Panthers or Black Liberation Army.
Krystal and Saagar discuss a report from the New York Times that shows how fast public opinion has changed in response to the George Floyd protests and BLM movement.
Maybe so, maybe not. But it’s certainly clear that Marco Rubio is a stupid idea.
Sen. Marco Rubio spoke on the Senate floor about the ongoing nationwide protests for George Floyd on Tuesday.
Speculation: George had some kind of goods on Chauvin. A lot of “nightclubs” are money laundering and drug moving fronts (not that I’m necessarily criticizing that).
Krystal and Saagar discuss new developments that reveal a history of friction between George Floyd and former officer Derek Chauvin.
A form of union-busting I can get behind. If only Ted Bundy had been a cop, he would have had the police unions behind him.
“I am immediately withdrawing from the contract negotiations with the Minneapolis Police Federation.”
I couldn’t care less if the Crispus Attucks of the present uprising was a crack/coke/meth head, a career criminal, or a total scumbag. In fact, I think it’s hilarious. I don’t care if Derek Chauvin had 100 good citizen awards. That’s not the point. I’ve always said that in order to successfully resist the state, there has to be total solidarity among enemies of the state, from the highest to the lowest, from peaceful, clean-cult Mormon missionaries to death row inmates. Instead of “Vote Blue, No Matter Who” it should be “Resist the State, No Matter Who.”
It’s not surprising this would happen in North Carolina. Footwashing is considered to be a sacrament (like Baptism or Eucharist) in some really, really low rent Protestant denominations (whose members are almost always poor whites or poor blacks). But it is interesting to see a practice that is often associated with extreme fundamentalism or low-brow evangelicalism being fused with “wokeness” culture. I’ve often said that “wokeness” is Christianity minus a Christ, and here it is. Although I suspect these folks also believe in actual Christianity as well. Not that I begrudge anyone their religious worship. “Woke” Christian cops and black activists can have their footwashing ritual and atheists can have their Sunday Assemblies.
Here’s an example of true healing playing out in a very biblical sense — a group of white police officers and other community members came together to wash their black brother’s and sister’s feet … and asked for forgiveness.
The only kind of “police reform” I’m interested in is the kind that involves fewer laws, fewer arrests, fewer prosecutions, and fewer incarcerations. And it’s not just about “bad apples,” either. A lot of the supposed “good apples” (the ones who are in technical compliance with the “law”) are just as shitty as the “bad apples.” In fact, some of the “bad apples” are often preferable.
By Sarah Holder
Across the U.S., protesters have taken to the streets to express rage after the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin. The demonstrations themselves have led to more police shows of force. In Brooklyn, two cops rammed their New York City Police Department SUVs into a crowd of protesters. In Philadelphia, officers sprayed tear gas at demonstrators who were penned in between a highway and a fence.
In the last week, we have seen another horrific case of police brutality emerge in the United States with the senseless murder of George Floyd. Following inadequate police response public outrage ensued as the four police officers responsible were only ‘fired’ without further consequence. Mass riots and protests occurred across multiple cities, and continue to occur. The common cry of the oppressed has revolved around the idea of “no justice no peace”. This phenomenon raises the essential question of how a system deeply entrenched in a bloody history founded on white supremacy, capitalism, and colonialism ever provide true and meaningful justice? Some call for police reforms. Others have called for redistribution of funds. Some have argued that abolishing the police is the best option. Many, even on the Left cannot imagine such a system ever being viable.
The police aren’t going to be defunded so it’s something of a moot issue. But it would not necessarily be a step upward if the police were replaced merely with private mercenaries, armies of social workers, ordinary criminals, or left/right ideologically/racially-driven vigilantes. I view pan-anarchism/pan-secessionism as a means of working around and/or, to the degree such as thing is possible, resolving cultural/ideological/ethnic conflicts. Having the state collapse only to replace it with a 100-faction civil war would not be a good plan.
By Tom Woods
Some people on the Left are saying “defund the police.”
Why am I not jumping up and down with excitement?
Because it matters to me what they replace it with.
Because I’m dealing with people who believe in bullying and intimidation of individuals and businesses. If you think the world is 12% more complicated than their Manichaean worldview allows, why, you’re a “white supremacist” who should be silenced.
By Helen Buyniski
As the massive anti-police-brutality protests sweeping the US are diverted into calls to “defund the police” and to replace them with community-based enforcers, Americans would be wise to keep an eye on “who benefits.”
There’s no question US police departments have become too militarized, too much like occupying armies, when the cities they patrol truly need engagement and accountability. Police in some areas pose more of a threat to residents than criminals, seizing a bigger chunk of Americans’ assets via civil asset forfeiture in 2014 than were stolen by burglars that same year. Certainly outfitting cops with military surplus equipment, sending them to Israel to learn chokeholds like the one that killed George Floyd, and then deploying them in American schools to keep the kids safe is not a workable model.
This is an interesting discussion. They both have unusual perspectives given their unusual backgrounds.
John Wood, Jr. is a former Republican nominee for Congress, contributor at Quillette and Areo Magazines, and a national spokesperson for Braver Angels. Read his compelling op-ed about his experience growing up Black in America. https://braverangels.org/black-lives/