Breonna Taylor. Dijon Kizzee. Jacob Blake. Daniel Prude. Rayshard Brooks. George Floyd. Each name is or has been a rallying cry for both Black Lives Matter and every believer of the manufactured narrative that blacks are oppressed by a white supremacist system and then killed by racist police.
Had any of the aforementioned names been born of European descent and followed the same life trajectory, they would have immediately been discarded into oblivion after their unremarkable demise. They would be lucky to even have garnered a footnote in the annals of police interactions. It’s not hard to see why. Drugs, violence, and chaos are not the recipe for emulation. However, our culture has chosen to make the deceased, black “victims” our focal point of idolatry, grievance, and remembrance. What other culture has ever sunk to such depths? And, what does it mean for us moving forward? The George Floyd Autonomous Zone in Minneapolis is now the site of regular murders and a no-go zone for police, EMTs, and the general public. Floyd’s death is tragic enough, but now his legacy includes hosting the site of a four-block radius that is home to drug deals gone bad and turf wars over just 500 feet of a single street. And Biden is worried that law-abiding gun ownership is an international embarrassment?
On a personal level, I feel bad for anyone that looks up to George Floyd or these other lost souls as a beacon of hope or an exemplar of a life well lived. Talk about aiming low. Floyd, up until his dying moments, never kicked a drug habit (which appears to be his undoing) and had served multiple stints locked up for unthinkable violence. Maybe at some point the black community says a male role model, however heinous, is better than no male role model. That’s what happens when out-of-wedlock birth rates approach 80%.
On a societal level, we have clearly gone insane. In the very same moments in which brainwashed minions tear down statues and memorials to American legends and icons citing unforgivable sins, they construct new ones to lionize morally and historically inferior individuals with sins far worse. George Washington mobilized a ragtag fighting force and waged war against well-trained British and German troops. He went on to form and lead the best country in all of mankind’s long and gruesome history. But he owned slaves, so now he has to go. George Floyd, on the other hand, abused substances and served time in prison for apparently robbing a pregnant woman at gunpoint. It is not even comparable among the Georges, and yet the deserving one is systematically erased while the other one is culturally revered. The system currently favors one type of person, and it is not of the Anglo-George variety. We need only remember a fully feted, in-person funeral service (at the height of Covid’s alleged fury, no less!) replete with a gilded casket to highlight the privileges borne of black skin and the hatred toward those with less melanin (and less of everything else, according to people like Kristen Clarke and Nick Cannon).
The past year, white America specifically was forced to atone for its collective role in the deaths of Daniel Prude, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Dijon Kizzee, and the paralysis of Jacob Blake. White Americans are surely responsible for the remaining 200 or so black deaths by police, but those first few names are the ones the media most wanted us upset about. That being said, and without explicitly victim blaming, cultural narratives and individual choices are directly more responsible for the deaths than are the police themselves. Let’s be clear about that.
As one obvious example, the Department of Justice recorded over 60 million contacts with the public in 2018 for Americans aged sixteen or older. Blacks made up 21% of those contacts. From all of those interactions, police killed around 1,000 individuals, approximately 25% of whom were black. (Just for the record, fully 50% of all police killings affect whites.) Drilling into this, though, after 60 million public engagements, just 1,000 escalated situations ended fatally. A few questions point out the absurdity. One obvious one is: If police were so vicious and hate filled toward blacks, how did 12-13 million black-police engagements end fatally just 250 times? That seems like more than a few missed opportunities for race-hating white supremacist cops.
In a previous article, I asked why nearly all fatal police encounters occur not with educated, successful blacks like Barack Obama or Oprah Winfrey, but rather the dregs of society like the drug dealers, drug users, and human abusers that rotated in and out of jail before their final arrest ended poorly. Meghan Markle identifies as black; she will gripe, but she won’t get tangled with law enforcement. Patrisse Cullors, a founding member of Black Lives Matter, rouses the rabble but smartly stays off the Molotov-ablaze streets. Instead, she purchases swanky digs in all-white, gated communities and the Bahamas. The simple truth as to why individuals find themselves victims of police “brutality” is not due to skin color. It comes down to personal choices. Consider the facts in each of the highly publicized cases this year.
Breonna Taylor died in an altercation with police in mid-March of 2020 after police executed a warrant on her address in conjunction with a larger drug bust. After announcing their presence, Taylor’s boyfriend fired on police and they returned fire. She was killed unintentionally in the crossfire. A grand jury did not indict the officers in her death.
Daniel Prude died in the hands of police in late March of 2020 after he had ingested mind-altering PCP and was running around naked in the streets. Police attempted to help and subdue him, but he was wild and unpredictable. A grand jury declined to pursue charges.
George Floyd died in police custody after officers were called to a store in late May that alleged the attempt to pass a counterfeit bill. The trial is currently ongoing, however for most of the year ther national media pretended that Floyd was killed after being kneeled on and asphyxiated. While a jury of peers will decide the officer’s role in the death of Floyd, recent evidence has been reviewed in court that shows the officer’s knee was potentially on a shoulder blade and that Floyd ingested fatal amounts of fentanyl and other substances prior to his arrest, among other new revelations.
Rayshard Brooks died in a mid-June fight with police after they were called to attend to a passed-out driver in a Wendy’s drive-thru. After a breathalyzer test revealed he had a limit higher than legally allowed, officers attempted to put Brooks in handcuffs. In that moment, and after a melee which included injuries to the officers, he grabbed one of the officer’s tasers and fled on foot. He turned around to fire it and was then fired upon. There has been no legal action taken yet in this case and the officer charged with his murder was released on bail in July.
Jacob Blake was paralyzed in an early-August interaction with police after they were called to a known address in which Blake was unauthorized from being. When police arrived, he refused to comply, withstood multiple taser discharges, and returned to his vehicle, allegedly reaching for a knife. Officers then fired upon him. Officers will not face charges.
Dijon Kizzee died in a late-August pursuit by police after he had been seen riding his bike on the wrong side of the street and splitting oncoming traffic. When police intervened, he fled on foot. An investigation is still pending, but there were early reports of a reportedly-lost gun falling from his body in the chase. When he allegedly reached to pick it up, police opened fire. This case is ongoing.
Black Lives Matter, the Democrat Party, and the mainstream media would prefer that we focus on just one commonality in these cases: That the victims of police engagements were all black. This itself is racist, as it sets the bar extremely low for black folks. And as noted, ignores the significant fact that not all blacks end up in these circumstances – like 12 million other blacks that interact with police and another 30 million that don’t interact with police at all.
In reality, the only meaningful commonalities were drug or alcohol abuse and resistance to peaceful detainment. Daniel Prude tested positive for PCP and he resisted arrest. Rayshard Brooks was asleep in a car from overconsumption of alcohol and he resisted arrest. Breonna Taylor’s home was being searched because of her involvement in drug trafficking and her boyfriend resisted their peaceful and lawful entry. Jacob Blake’s toxicology report has not been released, but he withstood multiple taser discharges, which seems to coincide with drug use and, regardless, he resisted arrest. George Floyd had THC, methamphetamine, and a lethal level of fentanyl in his bloodstream and he resisted arrest. Dijon Kizzee, although no official toxicology report has been issued, appears to have been arrested multiple times for DUIs and drug use previously. His erratic behavior on the bike would certainly lend itself to suspicion of intoxication. He ignored orders to stop and fled from the police.
So why do we revere these individuals? We can surely mourn their loss, but let’s not pretend they contributed to society. Their families and friends can miss them; our society need not. It reflects horribly on the media, politicians, and communities that delude themselves into thinking criminal thugs deserve any of our respect. I will take my George of the Washington variety, not the Floyd. All communities would do well to heed this approach.