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Why I won’t ‘take the knee’ It's tempting to choose a quiet life and go along with the madness of crowds. But we should resist

Totally normal behaviour (Photo by Nhat V. Meyer/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images)

Totally normal behaviour (Photo by Nhat V. Meyer/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images)


June 5, 2020   5 mins

Imagine a list of ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ being published which included the instruction “Put white people’s feelings ahead of your own”. In what world might such an instruction be possible? In apartheid South Africa perhaps. Or plantation-era America, possibly. But in the 21st century?

The answer is nowhere, and obviously. Certainly it is impossible to imagine any document including such a demand of black people being passed around social media today by otherwise responsible and decent citizens. Yet throughout recent days — most especially Tuesday this week when users on Instagram had a ‘blackout’ day — instructions like this have been rife.

Lists on how to behave, what to think and what to say have been sent around. But of course the instructions are intended not for black people but for white people — instructions like ‘Check yourself’ and “Don’t expect black people to educate you. If you learn from a black educator, compensate them financially.”

All across the social media platforms these and many other not-so-passive lists of passive-aggressive demands have been issued. All rely on material that has been gestating for years. But this time — in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota — there seems to be an added push, with far greater pressure on people to accept and sign up to them.

This time, perfectly normal people seem to feel that they have to get in lock-step with the movement. To post what everyone is meant to post. To make sure they do nothing that will make them stand out from the herd. It is understandable. At this moment many people will be noticing there are actual as well as virtual mobs — of admirably diverse composition — stalking around looking for people who they can complain have looked at them funny. But personally I would resist the urge to prostrate myself at this point in time.

Many years ago I was introduced to one of the most helpful rules of logic: to never say or write anything the opposite of which would only be uttered by a madman. So for instance, if you are an aspiring politician do not say “We must go forwards into a new bright future” because no sane person would publicly declare “We must go backwards into a dark past”.

Likewise, among the lists of online demands and assertions of recent days there is only one test which can tell us whether they are diminishing racism or encouraging it — that is to try replacing the word ‘white’ with the word ‘black’ and vice-versa.

Doing so reveals the fact that most, if not all of these vogue-ish lists of instructions are profoundly racist. We would recognise this if they consisted of lists of assertions about black people, or instructions to black people on how to think or speak, or referred to ‘all black people’ as if they were a homogenous group.

This opens up a couple of possibilities about what is going on in this fractious moment. For some people it will be impossible to concede that instructions lists aimed at white people telling them how to behave is racist. They will reject the possibility at its roots, not least by asserting that racism is something that white people express but do not experience. Prejudice without power does not count. If anti-white racism exists these people will assert that it is not meaningful, or does not result in deaths, and for this or other reasons may be discounted.

More important is another category; the people of all races who recognise that there is something uncomfortable, perhaps even racist, in making such sweeping claims about people of any racial group, but who believe that at this moment white people in some way deserve it.

These people are fans of what I have previously identified as the temptation in rights issues towards ‘overcorrection’. This has been an exacerbating temptation in recent years. For instance, wrapped up in parts of the #MeToo movement were people who did not mind, or much care to know, what the specific details of any particular allegation were. They felt that the pendulum was swinging against sexism and that if that happened to take out a few innocent people in its path, well then too bad.

This view was expressed as such by one news anchor on CNN who said that our societies were due an over-correction. It has a logic of a kind, that there isn’t time to faff around with the whole tricky business of precise equality; that nobody has time for that, and that the swifter route for getting to equal is to overcorrect and then at some point later allow the pendulum to swing back naturally towards true equal.

For many people, that works right up to the point where somebody you know or care about happens to become a casualty of overcorrection. At that stage the realisation that perhaps you should have held on to some other priority (truth perhaps, or the process of the law, boring things like that) will kick in, albeit too late.

So it is in America — and now in Britain — with the response to the Floyd killing. The policeman responsible for Mr Floyd’s death has been arrested, charged and currently sits in jail — as do several of his colleagues. But for the activist on the streets in America’s cities and those online this is clearly not action enough: they have decided that the incident is revealing of some deeper issue and that to stop at the culprits is to stop too early.

They may well be right on some aspects of this. Because of the number of unarmed black people killed by American police in recent years it seems fair to ask where some wider culpability might lie. As with the argument on terrorism, we might well ask where the ‘mood music’ is that creates the environment in which a policeman feels able to squeeze the life out of a man lying on the ground.

But working out where the sphere of culpability might lie is an exacting and finely balanced thing. Making sure that America, or any country, achieves actual equality in racial issues is an exacting and time-consuming process. We know that because of the number of people who have given their time and energies to making that outcome as likely as possible.

But in the heat of the moment there will be those who will say “to hell with that” and “Who has the time?” and more. We are in the midst of such a moment — and it has produced some very odd sights.

I would imagine that very few people will look back at this week and think that we witnessed was in any way normal: crowds of white people kneeling in front of their black compatriots, or feeling the need to go through other acts of public self-abasement. Perhaps the photograph which has been going around online, of a little girl made by her parents to hold a piece of paper with an arrow pointing towards her saying ‘privileged’, might become emblematic of a moment which is very far from normal.

The current moment of over-correction appears to consist of an attempt to make all white people confess to some culpability in racist murder. Many people looking for a quiet life — or just to be allowed to continue in their jobs without being hassled — will go along with this. But they are making a mistake.

Because the problem of overcorrection is that it leaves several pregnant questions in its wake, not least among them “Who will tell you when you have over-corrected for long enough?” and “How would you know that you have?” Perhaps most pertinently for the present moment is the question “How would you be sure that this overswing of the pendulum in one direction does not lead to its overswing in the other direction when it starts to head back?”

The instructions going around online in recent days may have done a number of things. But one of them is to normalise the idea that ordinary, decent people can make sweeping claims about people based along racial lines. In recent years such behaviour was widely recognised to be abhorrent, and even where it was not illegal had become utterly socially unacceptable. That taboo seems to have lasted for a surprisingly short period of time.

As I write this, footage is coming in of young white people in London and Washington DC being upbraided for having the temerity to try to remove BLM graffiti from historical national monuments in their capital cities. People who are certain that after this episode the pendulum swings comfortably into the equal position may have many things on their side. But in among them are a good amount of guesswork and a disturbing amount of unwarranted optimism.


Douglas Murray is an author and journalist.

DouglasKMurray

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Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago

“As I write this, footage is coming in of young white people in London and Washington DC being upbraided for having the temerity to try to remove BLM graffiti from historical national monuments in their capital cities.”

I saw the video. The young people removing the graffiti showed a dignity completely lacking in the stupid yobs shouting at them.

Jonathan Smith
Jonathan Smith
3 years ago

‘Because of the number of unarmed black people killed by American police in recent years it seems fair to ask where some wider culpability might lie.’

I think Heather Mac Donald challenges this view in The War On Cops. However, I’d like to pose a fundamental question. Is every death by cop where there is racial asymmetry (white on black/black on white) ipso facto a racist murder? Is that the only motive there could be? I would suggest not. A few commentators like Coleman Hughes have already pointed to the deaths of white suspects in similar circumstances (sometimes by black cops) that just don’t get amplified on Social Media because they don’t fit the narrative of groups like Black Lives Matter.

Yesterday, by accident I watched a bit of one of those ‘police dashcam’ programmes. The section I saw concerned a white cop who pulled over an erratic driver. That driver was a black mother rushing her baby who had stopped breathing to the emergency room. The white cop took the baby and administered CPR as they awaited an ambulance. After 5 minutes when no ambulance arrived the cop broke protocol and put the baby in his car and rushed to the emergency room where fortunately they were able to resuscitate the baby.

In the end that cop and his wife became the god parents of that little boy.

I would never have known about this act of heroism had I not viewed that programme serediptitously. The ‘racist’ murder of Mr Floyd was all over the MSM and every social media platform.

David Redfern
David Redfern
3 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan Smith

All we see is a Black/White face doing whatever to one another.

We know nothing else of these people. They might be Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Jews etc. with a grudge against another religion, but it’s invariably defined as Black/White.

There were four Police officers involved with Floyd’s murder; one White, one Black, one Latino and one Oriental.

The simplistic BLM are more racist than any of of us as they can’t see beyond colour indeed, they can’t see beyond Black.

Floyd began this whole thing, not his murderer who is being dealt with. Had Floyd not committed a criminal act in the first place, he would be alive and there would be no riots.

alan.sommerstein8
alan.sommerstein8
3 years ago
Reply to  David Redfern

We do not know whether he committed a criminal act or not – and if he did, it was a pretty minor one Has anyone established whether the $20 bill he tendered was in fact counterfeit? Even if it was, there is now no way to determine whether Floyd knew it was. I take it you are not suggesting he was running a large-scale banknote manufacturing plant at home?

David Redfern
David Redfern
3 years ago

There was sufficient evidence to suggest a crime had been committed. Irrespective of whether Floyd knew he was passing counterfeit money, the accusation was made and the Police would have evidence.

Contrary to what you may believe, Cops do not routinely nick people without evidence. Quite apart from risking their own livelihood, they are liable to be disciplined at the very least if they risk every other Cops livelihood by expecting them to lie for him/her.

Passing counterfeit money is a serious, arrestable offence because quite apart from undermining the economy, counterfeit money is often associated with money laundering to fund slavery (an irony beyond most) international drug rings, and Arms trading at home and overseas.

The trail of evidence back to these organisations usually starts with the discovery of a single counterfeit bank note.

Ref Joe
Ref Joe
3 years ago
Reply to  David Redfern

“Oriental”? You must be from the UK. That is considered verboten in the US… Unless you’re talking about a rug.

BTW, Mr. Floyd died of cardiac arrest, and had so much Fentanyl in his system (11ng/ml), there’s almost no way he would have survived.

David Redfern
David Redfern
3 years ago
Reply to  Ref Joe

I am from the UK. Interested to know how someone with an Oriental appearance is described in the US.

Agreed on the Fentanyl, and the Official Coroners report found no evidence of asphyxiation, the private autopsy did, of course. The method of restraint employed is routinely taught to Cops in the US, known as ‘the sleeper’.

Phil Carsley
Phil Carsley
3 years ago
Reply to  David Redfern

It shouldn’t matter that a person is killed because of his origin, skin colour or religion, only that he/she was killed at all. Murder is murder, rape is rape etc, it matters not what the motive was, only that the crime occurred in the first place.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  David Redfern

“Not his murderer”. I am astonished that you should say that, it must be a simple mistake?
Nobody to date has been convicted of murder, or have I missed something?

H Cameron
H Cameron
3 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan Smith

Post link. I would love to see that.

Dave Tagge
Dave Tagge
3 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan Smith

I agree, but with some qualifiers.

I find the information compiled by MacDonald to be persuasive that the protesters’ signs speaking of “racist genocide” are outlandish. To be snarky about it, American police are extremely inefficient if that’s the goal of even a tiny fraction of them, since in a typical year police fatally shoot about 200 to 250 African-Americans and fatally shoot about three times as many people of other races. I’ll hasten to add that’s *all* fatal shootings, so obviously quite a lot of those are in situations where use of lethal force is clearly warranted.

There’s also at least one study finding that African-American officers are just as likely as white officers to fatally shoot African-American suspects, which raises doubt about the role of racism in these cases – https://www.pnas.org/conten

Where I do think there’s more disparity experienced is in police stops of young (or young-ish) African-American men by police: the so-called “driving while black” (or “walking while black”) phenomenon. Here’s just one such study – https://openpolicing.stanfo… . While not wanting to rely too much on anecdote, a few years ago U.S. Senator Tim Scott related his personal experience of multiple such incidents – https://www.politico.com/st… .

On stops, I don’t know whether or not African-American officers are as likely to stop young African-American men. I do think it’s clear that there is an element of profiling, and it’s profiling in the context of statistics such as, in New York City in 2019, African-Americans comprising 62% of murder suspects, 66% of robbery suspects, and 53% of felony assault suspects. ( https://www1.nyc.gov/assets… ) As some context, the population of NYC is approximately 23% black.

Michael Bloomberg had a political problem during his presidential campaign when audio surfaced from 2015 of him saying “Ninety-five percent of murders – murderers and murder victims fit one M.O. You can just take the description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all the cops. They are male, minorities, 16-25. That’s true in New York, that’s true in virtually every city.” As with many Bloomberg quotes, he was bluntly insensitive in his phrasing but basically correct: in 2019, 93% of murder suspects in NYC were black or Hispanic, as were 88% of murder victims.

So it really shouldn’t be terribly surprising that police officers – and especially big city police officers – view young African-American men as likely to be criminals out of all proportion to their population. That’s of course very different than saying that *most* young African-American men are criminals. They aren’t, and it’s proper that any law-abiding African-American man is angered at being stopped and questioned by police in situations where he’s almost certainly correct that wouldn’t happen to a white man. And, also, with at least some police tending to be aggressive and rude at least some of the time, it understandably generates ill will.

All that is to say, I think that it’s a problem tied more to a combination of:

– Police use of deadly force against people of any race when stopped, which will unfortunately never be perfect but could be better; and

– Figuring out how active police are going to be in deciding to stop and question young African-American men.

Regarding that second point, there’s some evidence – albeit debated – of a “Ferguson effect” where the police engaging in less vigorous enforcement results in higher murder rates. The additional victims are, not surprisingly, disproportionately young African-American men.

I’ll also note that I don’t think ideas such as “making the police force look like more lik the city” are guaranteed to have any impact. The city of Baltimore, for example, has a police force that’s 40% African-American and notorious policing problems (on both murder rate and use of force). Indeed, 3 of the 6 Baltimore police officers involved in the death of Freddie Grey in 2015 are African-American.

Malvin Marombedza
Malvin Marombedza
2 years ago
Reply to  Dave Tagge

This is the most sensible explanation I have heard in a while.

David Shaw
David Shaw
3 years ago

Great article Douglas. The statistics are clear. 4% of black homicide victims are killed by cops. 12% of white homicide victims are killed by cops. A police officer is 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black man than an unarmed black man is to be killed by a cop.
Whilst the killing of this man is wrong and disturbing what can be done except arrest the offending officer and colleagues. What these protesting Black people and liberal whites seem to want to do is portray black people as permanent victims of white oppression, as evil and want a race war. They should be very careful what they wish for because I, for one, am getting very fed up of this dialogue and the underlying lies!

David Redfern
David Redfern
3 years ago
Reply to  David Shaw

Had Floyd not committed a crime in the first place, none of this would have happened. But no marching/rioting on the subject of crime.

maddrell3
maddrell3
3 years ago
Reply to  David Redfern

Or, the dozens of black citizens murdered in Chicago in the same timeframe.

Nigel Muirsmith
Nigel Muirsmith
3 years ago
Reply to  David Redfern

Cannot see why this is relevant, obviously if nobody came into contact with the police there would be no deaths at the hands of the police. But then in such a mythical world there would be no need for police. Also worth pointing out that most people would not approve of the death penalty for handling counterfeit currency.

David Redfern
David Redfern
3 years ago

That’s not even a good straw man.

Of all the arrests made by the Police, how many people die?

And according to the Official Coroners report on Floyd, there was no evidence of asphyxiation. It also turns out that the method of restraint employed is routinely taught to Cops in the US, known as ‘the sleeper’.

Floyd was careless with his own life. Evidence of Cannabis and Class 1 drugs were found in his system, whilst he was suffering from COVID 19 – a respiratory condition.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago

And the punishment for threatening a pregnant woman by pointing the gun at her stomach? One of the previous actions of George Floyd.

ajadegunwa
ajadegunwa
3 years ago
Reply to  David Redfern

he didn’t commit a crime?

David Redfern
David Redfern
3 years ago
Reply to  ajadegunwa

He was allegedly passing counterfeit money. Enough to be arrested.

Chris O
Chris O
3 years ago
Reply to  David Redfern

He used a counterfeit note, had prior convictions, fair enough. The punishment for passing a counterfeit note is not death. If i was caught urinating publicly in a drunken stupor, i too would hate to be choked to death by a police officer. So would you. Secondly, he was choked to death. Not by cutting of his oxygen supply, but with a blood choke. Any practitioner of judo or jujitsu can tell you that. So careless or not, criminal or not, the officer used excessive force, and had the incident taken place, unfilmed, in some backyard, no one would have cared. However, it was filmed, thereby validating previous claims of excessive police force. Now, how people react to that is a completely different issue…..

David Redfern
David Redfern
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris O

The ‘choke’ hold is routinely taught to US Police officers. In which case, were he following protocol it’s going to be a difficult job convicting Chauvin.

Floyd did not die because he passed a counterfeit not, that is a ridiculous contention. Culpability for his death has yet to be established. That will be achieved in a court of law.

Floyd also had a considerable amount of Fentanyl in his system, by all accounts, enough to kill you and I. He was also suffering from COVID 19 – a respiratory condition associated with a number of deaths recently.

Add that to the other substances detected, and it’s obvious Floyd’s system was severely compromised.

And I’ll make a little hypothesis here. The only thing I can think of to explain Floyd going from sitting/crouching on the pavement, to wrestling with Police officers, was if he told them he had COVID (knowingly or not) and threatened to spit at them, a favoured method of intimidation just now.

Being that he had to be arrested, the officers had to avoid that possibility and so must control his head. The fact that no batons were drawn and no pepper spray used (they don’t stop someone spitting) suggests there was no other meaningful threat. It might also explain why Chauvin didn’t lift his knee from Floyd’s neck area, he needed to ensure he couldn’t turn his head to spit.

Why didn’t he used his hands? restraining a mans head with ones hands is well nigh impossible and runs the risk of being bitten. I have the scars to prove it.

I have no sympathy for Floyd or Chauvin, I’m only interested in justice, and that particular sword cuts both ways.

Chris O
Chris O
3 years ago
Reply to  David Redfern

A lot of assertions and assumptions here. Maybe he tried to spit, maybe he died from covid. Maybe fentanyl killed him. Maybe this, maybe that. Fact is, in the video one heard one thing: a grown man crying for his mum, and saying he could not breath. Furthermore, an arresting officer is obligated to factor in a suspects pre- existing condition. Any bouncer will tell you that drunk people and people that are high should be subdued differently. Any police officer should be able to understand that an irate granny, an obese asthmatic, or a raging 26 year old should be handled differently. If they dont, and accidentally killed someone, then they should be judged accordingly. The mand died from a blood choke that was mistakenly applied for too long. It was not murder, but not good police work either. I feel bad for the officer, i feel bad for the victim. Debating blood chokes with people who have never grappled, applied one, or had one applied on them is just a waste of time. Even a good technique can be applied badly.

Dave Smith
Dave Smith
3 years ago

Those British police bending the knee before a mob in London put at risk the rule of law. Once given into over anything the mob becomes the law. It does not matter a jot what the cause of the mob is. We have the rule of law here and that is one of our greatest achievements. Those police have let us down.
This is not a tyrannical state but a democratic one. Imperfect but that is the way it is.
The sight of those police did not go down well in the shires.

Martin Shepherd
Martin Shepherd
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Smith

It appears to me to be a form of Stockholm syndrome. “If I kneel before them, at least they won’t come after me.”

David Redfern
David Redfern
3 years ago

Now that’s just downright insulting considering one Police officer was hospitalised with multiple injuries including a collapsed lung during the riots.

David Uzzaman
David Uzzaman
3 years ago

Like Douglas I won’t be knelling for the ‘new gods” any more than I knelt to the old ones. This collective hysteria has become part of modern life. I’ve not “clapped for the NHS” either. I was frankly bemused by the “Black lives matter” demonstrations that disrupted traffic in this country a couple of years ago and the current protests about the death of a man the other side of the Atlantic is equally ridiculous. What has any of it got to do with us. Our responsibility for law and order there ended in 1783.

Dennis Wheeler
Dennis Wheeler
3 years ago
Reply to  David Uzzaman

I wonder if some of the explanation for why there have been so many protests in Europe as well has to do with Covid lockdowns having been harsher there than in most of America. Months of pent up anxiety and energy have found a release valve in feigning outrage at America and gives them a politically correct way to flout lockdown rules, “social distancing” etc. (though I think this explanation also hold for why protests, riots and looting have been so widespread in the US too).

Supporting black agitprop is au courant, while protesters against extreme
lockdowns were treated as criminals who wanted to kill people. Here in s the US, some 1500 doctors who had been strong supporters of extreme lockdown measures disgraced themselves by signing a letter saying protests were OK, if even if they lead to more Covid infections, because racism is allegedly an even worse health crisis plaguing America. Everything even alleged scientists supposedly making health policy recommendations based on facts and reason, is politicized. Is it any wonder no one trusts alleged authority figures any more?

Joe Smith
Joe Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Dennis Wheeler

Those doctors are making the mistake of privileging intention, i.e. feelings. Even if racism affects the health of racial minorities it doesn’t follow that the protests will change anything.

Geoff Cooper
Geoff Cooper
3 years ago
Reply to  David Uzzaman

Good points. I didn’t clap for the NHS either, I am grateful but they’re doing their jobs, for which they’re paid by the rest of us. At least they’ve still got jobs. This mob mentality is frightening and seems to be completely infecting our public life.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

‘Because of the number of unarmed black people killed by American police in recent years it seems fair to ask where some wider culpability might lie.’

I have now heard from two sources (one of them a black ex-cop) that nine or ten unarmed black people were killed by police in the US last year – and almost all of them were violently attacking the police at the time. This is down from 38 in 2015, when BLM was formed during the Obama administration. Meanwhile, 7,000 black people will the victims of homicide, largely at the hands of other black people.

That aside, Douglas, will you refuse to take the knee when they point a gun at you? Because that’s what is coming, make no mistake.

John Hamilton
John Hamilton
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Exactly. An independent report into seistemic racism in the police in 2015 found little evidence of white police being in any way biased against black people, and that they were in fact less likely to use lethal actions against blacks compared to hispanic or black police. The entire hypothesis of white police violence and black genocide is bunkum based on, as you say, nine deathsn in 2019. That the regurgitation of this lie, even by Obama in 2015, continues to this day can only be blamed on a ideologically fuelled media.

linda
linda
3 years ago
Reply to  John Hamilton

…and ambitious politicians.

juliannebonner15
juliannebonner15
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I saw those sources in a video yesterday which explained the circumstances behind each shooting and yes, in almost every case the police were being attacked. In the UK last year three were killed, two of whom were terrorists in the middle of trying to carry out their atrocities. Little is said of the far greater number of whites killed by police, nor of the indisputable fact that most black people are killed by other black people. The BLM movement is achieving nothing but further division in society and does not address any of the issues within their communities that affect those of all colours.

Steve Dean
Steve Dean
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The Washington Post maintains a database, that we can all access and query, for police shootings in the US. Ok, it doesn’t cover George Floyd, but does address assertions here. In 2019, 56 unarmed people were shot and killed by police. 25 white, 15 black, 11 Hispanic and 5 other. Black people are about 13% of population, whereas they represent 23% of this, albeit small, sample. Database agrees with 38 in 2015, so maybe same data. I am trying to understand the world, facts are better than ‘sources’. Having said that, is Washington Post ok?

David Redfern
David Redfern
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Dean

It seems it’s good enough to use for academic research.

https://quillette.com/2019/

maddrell3
maddrell3
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Dean

I wouldn’t use the WaPo for anything other than bird cage lining, but the study beding referred to may be https://www.statista.com/st

Ver Greeneyes
Ver Greeneyes
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Dean

Yes, but keep in mind that according to 2018 FBI statistics, black people made up 53% of known homicide offenders and committed about 60% of robberies. So the fact that black people make up 13% of the population is irrelevant; what drives these numbers is the number of times dangerous or aggressive suspects interact with the police.

Ref Joe
Ref Joe
3 years ago
Reply to  Ver Greeneyes

Per 2018 UCR, blacks committed 27% of all crime, including 37% of violent crime and, as you said, 53% of murders. Per the WaPo data, blacks account for 23% of suspects killed by LEOs. If anything, blacks are LESS likely to be killed during an arrest. Also per WaPo, 6% of blacks and whites killed by LEOs were unarmed. Studies show that white LEOs are less likely to shoot a black suspect than non-white LEOs.

Not only that, but blacks are conditioned by the media and their culture to not trust LEOs, so are more likely to resist arrest, thereby increasing the likelihood of a physical altercation ending in death.

In this particular case, all of the officers involved in the arrest have been arrested and charged. Given that, and the other data above, why are the riots… I mean protests… continuing?

Martin Shepherd
Martin Shepherd
3 years ago
Reply to  Ref Joe

They’re continuing because a lot of people don’t come to conclusions based on logic and reason like you just have.

b1daly
b1daly
3 years ago
Reply to  Ref Joe

Are you really this dense? (Rhetorical question in response to yours). Clearly the death of George Floyd is being responded to as a symbol of the long legacy of appalling white supremacy in the US. We have made progress, but on all objective measures black Americans are at the bottom of America’s class system. Arguments that blacks commit more crime beg the question of why this is so. Any arguments that this is somehow inherent to being black are so profoundly racist as to be disgusting. And easily refuted how much better black immigrants do in the US by comparison.

Murray has some good points in general on the overzealousness of ‘woke religion’ but his attempts to portray efforts at ameliorating this long-standing evil in US society are the worst form of sophistry.

thistlesprickles
thistlesprickles
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Dean

Black people represent 20% of police contacts, while whites represent 23% per the most recent Bureau of Justice Statistics. Sounds right on for a small sample size.

richardosborne65
richardosborne65
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Who exactly are ‘they’?

Juilan Bonmottier
Juilan Bonmottier
3 years ago

The mob. The madding crowd. Those who have inflicted reigns of terror in just about every revolutionary aftermath through history.

None Ofyourbusiness
None Ofyourbusiness
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

In the UK they will use a rope round your neck and lynch you if you refuset bow the knee… Just think, wokesters will soon be lynching white men for the sins of someone else’s forefathers.

Juilan Bonmottier
Juilan Bonmottier
3 years ago

I am aghast at the way the MSM has been covering this.

I long await the day when these journalists and commentators themselves will ‘take the knee’ before us all -blacks, whites, and those of all colours -and acknowledge and atone for all the race baiting, grievance serving, tension escalating, liberal sanctimony they have foisted on the world from their solipsistic, uncomplicated, self righteous echo chambers.

I look forward also to the day when they acknowledge they have contributed nothing to making anything in all this any better for anyone whilst parading around on their handsome high horse of self regarding liberal idealism.

Those of us who insist still on due process, proper justice, thoughtful intervention, meaningful discussion are being abhorrently served at the moment by this bunch.

David Redfern
David Redfern
3 years ago

BBC now running a campaign to demonstrate how oppressed journalists are – when they are amongst rioters and fall victim to Police ‘brutality’.

Disgusting.

Martin Shepherd
Martin Shepherd
3 years ago

I fear you’ll be waiting a long time.

Juilan Bonmottier
Juilan Bonmottier
3 years ago

Yup…

Pierre Brute
Pierre Brute
3 years ago

I’m sorry I can give you only one uptick.

Vicki Robinson
Vicki Robinson
3 years ago

Anger turns you into the thing you hate. MeToo started with an outburst of rage and now has a real problem with misandry. And, sadly, some people are so angry about racism they’ve become racist themselves. Forgiveness is the key to true social change.

H Cameron
H Cameron
3 years ago
Reply to  Vicki Robinson

I regret that I have but one up-vote to give.

Vicki Robinson
Vicki Robinson
3 years ago
Reply to  H Cameron

Very kind, thank you.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Vicki Robinson

And misogyny. They’ve turned on JK Rowling for daring to suggest there might be only two sexes.

Paul Ridley-Smith
Paul Ridley-Smith
3 years ago

Great article. We need cogent encouragements not to feel compelled to fall in with group think. Many things about the Floyd death are sad and worrying: his death that resulted from a trivial (alleged) crime, the deaths of others from protest action and the virulence with which masses now assert, without rebuttal (because people with different views sensibly want to stay out of limelight), that skin colour, ethnicity & race explain it all. You’re black so you’re oppressed and if you’re white you hold privilege and oppress. That intelligent, well meaning people chant such simplicities (as self evident truths) and refuse to substantively engage on the real causes of inequality is truly worrying.

David Lawler
David Lawler
3 years ago

These people are neither intelligent or well meaning. The chief characteristic of progressives is not compassion but malevolence toward the other.

Lucy Smex
Lucy Smex
3 years ago

The first autopsy report indicated that Floyd had died of a heart attack rather than asphyxiation caused by the police officer. The prosecutor has said that Floyd was complaining of having difficulties breathing before he was handcuffed and on the ground.
If this is true, then it wasn’t murder by asphyxiation, kneeling on his neck, but more like criminal negligence in not taking his complaints seriously and not getting treatment for him quickly enough, but instead holding him and keeping him down while he died of a heart attack.

https://www.nbcnews.com/new
“George Floyd told police he was struggling to breathe before an officer put a knee on his neck.

“While standing outside the car, Mr. Floyd began saying and repeating that he could not breathe,” the document said.
A medical examination found that Floyd had coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease.
Eventually the handcuffed Floyd ended up facedown on the pavement, and Chauvin “placed his left knee in the area of Mr. Floyd’s head and neck,” prosecutors said.”

Ref Joe
Ref Joe
3 years ago
Reply to  Lucy Smex

He had so much Fentanyl in his system (11ng/ml), the cardiac arrest was inevitable.

If the DA doesn’t reduce the charges, there’s a decent chance those guys walk, and the excrement hits the air oscillator all over again…

Anakei greencloudnz
Anakei greencloudnz
3 years ago
Reply to  Ref Joe

You could argue that continuing to use the neck hold after Floyd said he couldn’t breath is murder because one could reasonably foresee that not breathing could lead to death.
While I think the neck hold was barbaric I could just about see a need for it to subdue a violent offender until he is handcuffed. Once he was on the ground and cuffed, was there any need to prolong the hold?

Liscarkat
Liscarkat
3 years ago

No one chanting this nonsense in intelligent or well-meaning.

Phil Carsley
Phil Carsley
3 years ago

Worrying indeed. The latest celebrity virtue signalling is also disturbing. Natalie Portman recently apologised for her “white privilege” – this portrays all white people as a homogeneous herd, the very thing that BLM and there ilk claim to despise and is equally as racist.
There is prevailing present that racist deeds or speech can only be perpetrated by, and not on white people. I am appalled by racism and by slavery committed in the past but feel neither compelled nor inclined to apologise for deeds done before I was born.
History of all nations is chequered and often abhorrent judged by modern standards, we cannot judge modern society on historical deeds unless of course we fail to learn from them.
We should airbrush history to appease those who claim that the truth offends them and we should stop apologising for being white.

Bernhard Pesch
Bernhard Pesch
3 years ago

We are watching the collapse of the West. It is that simple. There is no “going through strange times” or “this will certainly pass”. It is utter mayhem and the collapse of the foundations of the only society in human history that came so close to the ideal. But we are now moving away from this ideal. Will there be a second “Renaissance” after the collapse?
It leaves me with the question if it is possible for a society to remain stable? The lessons from history and the current crisis of the West points into a more sobbering and terrifying direction.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Bernhard Pesch

Yes, that’s the way I see it, too.

David Redfern
David Redfern
3 years ago
Reply to  Bernhard Pesch

Heard all that cr@p during the US Vietnam riots, UK’s 70’s energy crisis, the 80’s Miners riots, the 90’s Poll Tax riots etc.

Martin Shepherd
Martin Shepherd
3 years ago
Reply to  David Redfern

And would you say the West has improved or declined since those events? Civilisations collapse over a century or more. It’s not an overnight process.

David Redfern
David Redfern
3 years ago

Since 1970 alone life in the UK has improved dramatically. Amongst many examples in the UK are an increase in life expectancy of 13%, infant survival of 80%, income per person of 141%, and mean years of schooling of 60%.

In Portugal those numbers are 21%, 94%, 190%, 202%. To that you can add Democracy at 83%.

https://www.humanprogress.o

Have a go at Optimism (or Facts), it’s a lot more fun than waiting for the worst, although I guess you should always be pleasantly surprised, doesn’t seem to cure your pessimism though.

Juilan Bonmottier
Juilan Bonmottier
3 years ago
Reply to  Bernhard Pesch

It can look that way, but hold onto the fact that though there are thousands of ‘protestors’, instagrammers, social media bloggers and vloggers, liberal media pundits etc… there are also millions who stayed at home (sensible under the circumstances) and who are grateful to the police, the state, and the other structures of civilization that kept functioning in order to protect them.

Unfortunately we do seem to have leaders at the moment who are prepared to toss away the foundation stones of normal and ordinary life (response to Covid and these riots) in order to stay looking good in the media.

Ref Joe
Ref Joe
3 years ago

Charlie Kirk had a great tweet. Paraphrased: “If the liberals defund the police, who will enforce their unconstitutional gun laws?”

Lucy Smex
Lucy Smex
3 years ago
Reply to  Bernhard Pesch

There are always those who want to see a society burn, either out of boredom or evil intent.
6% of the population are said to be psychopaths. When psychopaths are in charge, and rule the world, the world goes mad.
The far Left are currently determined to pull down our civilization so that they can build their new socialist utopia. But it’s always easier to destroy something than to build it.
The latter can take a lifetime, or multiple lifetimes, but the former can be done in minutes.

Ref Joe
Ref Joe
3 years ago
Reply to  Lucy Smex

“The latter can take a lifetime, or multiple lifetimes…”

Of in the case of a “socialist utopia,” never.

Hilary Tait
Hilary Tait
3 years ago
Reply to  Bernhard Pesch

I recommend anyone read ‘Why Civilizations Self-Destruct’ by Elmer Pendell, in conjunction with Edward Dutton’s ‘At Our Wits’ End’ (free shipping on bookdepository). We are absolutely watching the collapse of the West. The pursuit of multi-culture is a symptom, as well as a precipitating cause. All Western countries have a predicted date at which Europeans will fall into minority status. How can we even call our countries ‘Western civilization’ when our very presence as a proportion of these populations is ever-dwindling? Western civilization is not an idea, Western civilization is a people: Europeans. It is often said that the USA is an idea that all the peoples of the world can participate in, and has always been a ‘nation of immigrants’. This is false. The USA was essentially a European ethno state up until 1965 with the introduction of the Hart Celler Act. Their founding fathers could not have imagined that it would one day become a multi-racial utopia. Similarly, the British soldiers who fought and died during World War II did so in order to keep out the multi-culture that we see there today. If they had known how Britain would be transformed after the war, they just wouldn’t have bothered. I know this as I have also read a book by Nicholas Pringle, ‘The Unknown Warriors’, in which he has collected responses of the last surviving participants in that conflict to the question of how they see Britain today and whether they thought their efforts were worth it. There were actually a few who openly admitted that in hindsight they would have rolled out the red carpet for Hitler, while others recounted their service, but didn’t dare comment on Britain today for fear their identities might be exposed and hence their windows stoned in. In response to David Redfern below, I would say that civilizations don’t collapse overnight. It is a process which might take several hundred years, and it is indeed a process which is already well underway.

John Dewhirst
John Dewhirst
3 years ago
Reply to  Bernhard Pesch

It is difficult to argue otherwise that the west is in a state of terminal decline. The contradictions are too great to be papered over and if western democracies do not collapse from within, the economic might and long term strategic game play of China will dictate financial subservience.

The Covid emergency has, in all likelihood, accelerated emergent trends. The BLM marches have delivered a new, amorphous yellow vest movement that promises perpetual protest and dissatisfaction and which will inevitability escalate into criminality.

Grievances over Brexit, austerity, the evil Tory conspiracies, social inequality and more will all become morphed into a rocky road protest. Mass unemployment will provide the foot soldiers and deserted high streets will become the focus of demonstrations and looting. Social media will whip up the frenzy. Into this vacuum will step new ideologies, whether eco-fascist, islamo-fascist or other forms of extremism.

I am at a complete loss how this force for change can be resisted or even moderated. It is a form of nihilistic energy let loose, probably even more dangerous than the C19 virus and for which a vaccine is even less likely to be found.

Andrew Turnbull
Andrew Turnbull
3 years ago

Because of the number of unarmed black people killed by American police in recent years …

In 2019 – e.g. on Trump’s watch – 19 unarmed whites and 9 unarmed blacks were killed by police. 28 total.

In 2015 – e.g. on Obama’s watch – it was 38 unarmed blacks and 32 unarmed whites. 70 total, or 250% the 2019 number.

Where were the cries of anguish, the riots, the arson, the wholesale looting and destruction from coast-to-coast under Obama? The trend – if it is one – from Obama’s 2015 to Trump’s 2019 is a good one.

No, this is almost entirely an astroturf operation. Not Minneapolis’ peaceful, angry protests over Mr. Floyd’s killing. But everything else is.

georgeguyfolger
georgeguyfolger
3 years ago

Fantastic article Douglas and you hit the nail on the head. This whole movement is absurd. And you touch on a very important point – the herd mentality appears to be if you’re white your guilty of something, and either you are ‘woke’ about it or not. It’s a rather horrible viewpoint and this is broad-brush identity politics at a superficial level, but really quite racist and stupid on a deeper level.

The very meaning of racism is condemning people based on their race or ethnicity. Because you belong to a set of people, you are equally culpable, stupid, inferior etc. And this anti-white propaganda that is ‘justified’ is as perfect case in point. It’s racism, simply an inverse form.

I had my Asian boss on a team call talk about ‘white supremicism’ as if it was a fact and that we all had to be aware of it. The sad thing is the liberal agenda has banned free-thinking to the extent that we can’t hold alternative views in the workplace anymore let alone in the public sphere.

You can see how easily people are influenced and how the herd mentality works just looking at the last 6 months of this year with the virus hysteria and now the America riots.

Ref Joe
Ref Joe
3 years ago

“It’s racism, simply an inverse form.”

There is nothing “inverse” about it. “Reverse racism” is a phrase created to lessen its perceived impact. Don’t fall for it. Racism is racism.

georgeguyfolger
georgeguyfolger
3 years ago
Reply to  Ref Joe

Agreed, both

Martin Shepherd
Martin Shepherd
3 years ago

I agree with everything you said other than an ‘inverse form’ of racism. Racism is racism. By calling it an ‘inverse form’, you’re implying that racism is an invention and product of white people that has just been adopted by others.

Dennis Wheeler
Dennis Wheeler
3 years ago

This abject self-abasement and stupidity by whites that we are seeing everywhere, internalizing self-hatred, will only fuel more grievance-mongering and racial-grifters looking to shakedown the “system” (the new ones make Jesse Jackson’s and Al Sharpton’s old shtick look tame). Even saying “All Lives Matter” is now deemed “racist”, because it doesn’t privilege the special claims being made by some blacks.

Look at how corporations and governments are already falling all-over themselves to show their”solidarity” donating money to BLM and other agitprop groups, etc. (I have quite the boycott list now). And already for years all one hears from all quarters in academia and corporate America are endless paeans to “diversity and inclusion” repeated like a mantra and identity politics made the focus of every single policy and issue. Apparently the “system” is so racist that it can’t get enough of the deification of all things black.

And everywhere we see utter unwillingness to look rationally at the claims being made by BLM and others (facts about black crime and crime rates, especially black-on-black crime, about police violence killing more whites each year than blacks, etc., etc.). Facts don’t matter to the Cathedral’s purveyors of the Narrative of America as nothing but a racist cesspit, where white cops allegedly go around all day looking for blacks to kill, and things are apparently as bad for blacks as in the days of slavery.

I’ve had it. I don’t even care anymore. Good riddance America. As the weak and timid responses of alleged leaders to riots and looting, and these abject white self-abasement videos making the rounds show, you aren’t even worth saving any longer. I just want to get out before it’s too late.

Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
3 years ago

This current anti-racism escapade will fizzle and fade and it won’t be long before activists will be back writing op-eds and recording podcasts demanding to know when there will be meaningful change.
Oh sure, there’ll be a bit of money thrown around complete with a catchy “action this day” tag but not likely not much else.
Why?
Because IMO meaningful change requires meaningful, honest and open dialog from all sides where everyone owns up to something they need to be doing better.
And we know that because the well-know stats point to failures in government, policing and the black community itself.
That takes a lot of intellectual energy, soul-searching and the much MLK ‘judging by character not colour’.
But the “turn about is fair play” and “bottom rail on top now” reverse racism campaign simply alienates the adults in the room.
We aren’t listening. Why would we?
All that’s left are the ‘gotcha’ journalists, “I think we can use this” activists and Guilty Whites scrambling to make sure they are on record as supporting the cause because, just like Stalin’s Russia, failing to denounce enemies of the state is tantamount to supporting them.
These folks need justice and they need it now!

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
3 years ago
Reply to  Walter Lantz

Do note – BLM is shaking down businesses to contribute to ‘the cause’ and many on-line retailers are posting their observed fealty. It’s like the multi-billion dollar ‘diversity’ industry. To them it’s all payback tie and it’s to be in ‘green’.

Juilan Bonmottier
Juilan Bonmottier
3 years ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Apparently Apple are contributing in spite of their stores being thoroughly looted and emptied out during the riots.

Like paying protection money to the mob I suppose so you don’t get your windows kicked in.

Extraordinary.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago

Hypocritical too considering their silent complicity toward China’s takeover of Hong Kong.

David Redfern
David Redfern
3 years ago
Reply to  Walter Lantz

The Police are the last line of defence.

Society is the first line.

When society can get it’s sh*t together to sort these (and other) problems out, the Police can resign and all go fishing.

David Barnett
David Barnett
3 years ago

“Overcorrection” is no kind of correction. Doing injustice to a new group in no way corrects the wrongs done to individual members of another group. You cannot do better than be absolutely fair.

David George
David George
3 years ago
Reply to  David Barnett

“One of the most awful elements, I think, is the idea that individuals should be defined in terms of their group identity at all. This is one of these weird inversions that’s so characteristic of this chaotic state that we’re in.

When people originally started fighting against unfair discrimination… the initial idea was to eliminate the proclivity for people to be categorized according to their group identity, because that was interfering with everyone’s ability to view them as competent individuals. But that got flipped, probably in the 70s after the Soviet state so self-evidently was revealed as a catastrophe. That got flipped so that the world was turned into one group against another”a power struggle from one group against another. And then the social justice warrior types and the lefties, even the Democratic Party, started categorizing everyone according to their ethnic or sexual or racial identity, and made that the canonical element of their being.

That’s an absolutely terrible thing to do. In the Soviet Union when that happened, they introduced that idea along with the notion of “class guilt.” So, for example, when the Soviets collectivized the farms, they pretty much wiped out or raped and froze to death all of their competent farmers. They called them “kulaks,” and they attributed class guilt to them because they were successful peasants, and they defined their success as oppression and theft. They killed all of them, pretty much”shipped them off to Siberia and froze them to death. And they were the productive agriculturalists in the Soviet Union. And then in the 1930s in the Ukraine, because of that, about 6 million Ukrainians starved to death. The Soviets were big on collective guilt.

And all of these things you hear about now, like “white privilege” for example, are variants of collective guilt. I pick your bloody identity, whatever it happens to be, and then I make you a guilty member of that category, and then you and the rest of the guilty members of that category are judged as a unit. It’s murderous, pushed to its extreme. And we’ve seen that many, many times.”
Dr Jordan Peterson

Dr Irene Lancaster
Dr Irene Lancaster
3 years ago

Many of the people supporting the herd on this issue are racist themselves – in the case of Revd Al Sharpton, this is obvious and been accepted as fact in the USA. Unfortunately, in this country, the Anglican church and clergy from minority sects get away with anti-Semitic language that would simply not be acceptable elsewhere. This is only getting worse under lockdown, when the same Church people currently following the herd are also attacking the Jewish way of life – this is no coincidence and should be carefully watched – as it may lead to the demise of the Church in the end. In our area only one Anglican church remains, whilst there must be at least 200 synagogues. Maybe they could learn a thing or two about what Jesus really expects from us – after all he is reputed to have been Jewish, as were his disciples.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago

Is this a case of Black exceptionalism or a chance for the ‘have-nots’ to go berserk?
Either way it should not be the catalyst for a white atavistic outburst of grief, for the imagined sins of Empire. Self flagellation by idiotic whites, whether in their Hampstead and Islington hovels or in public is not an attractive sight. If they ‘bend the knee’ now, will they also learn to Kow Tow in future?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

It’s not so much a chance for the ‘have nots’ to go berserk as for the ‘have top-knots’ to go beserk.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

When you see the videos from Santa Monica and Las Vegas it is all fairly amateur. Lots of looting but otherwise pathetic by, let’s say, by Belfast standards of the early 70’s.
The US Police seemed rather idle I thought. Perhaps orders from above?
You can’t be too careful. We (UK) are about to put on trial a 79 year old former Life Guard on Trial for an incident in Ulster in 1974. He won’t be the last if the CPS get there way.
And all this on the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre: Body count circa, three thousand.
Cui bono?

Nick Wright
Nick Wright
3 years ago

Thank you for expressing so eloquently what I’ve wanted to say, but have feared saying.

Marie Morton
Marie Morton
3 years ago

It was an awful killing by a racist cop but so many generalisations have come from this and the media have not helped by refusing to factually report the situation.
For example not discussed on the media is the killings that have followed in the rioting in America – see
https://www.theguardian.com
One man was David Dorn, 77a black retired St Louis police captain checking on his friend’s shop.
Also being in the police in America and here is very different.
Between 1990 and 2012 1219 law enforcement officers were murdered – it is a very different society.

Joe Smith
Joe Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Marie Morton

Was it a racist cop or just one who would have done the same to anyone else in the same situation regardless of their race?

Jonathan Jones
Jonathan Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Smith

Exactly. There is no indication that this man was killed because he was black. The cop in question had multiple previous infractions on record for which he probably should have been prosecuted but was not. The likelihood is that Floyd could have been any ethnicity and he would have received the same treatment.

David Morley
David Morley
3 years ago

I couldn’t resist quoting this, in a similar vein to examples Douglas gives For those who don’t know it, the Strategist is a site promoting posh products to rich (mostly white) people

https://nymag.com/strategist/

Their guide to posh (sorry, safe) protesting contained this little gem:

“it is helpful to designate group roles according to peoples’ ability and comfort before protesting. One person can observe and record any violations of group members’ rights, while another white member can plan to get arrested to minimize the physical risk against group members of color.”

https://nymag.com/strategis

Expect an article on “What to wear on the barricades” soon.

Lucy Smex
Lucy Smex
3 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

https://medium.com/@crf_pdx
What Should I Wear To A Protest?

June 5 2017

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago

As always Douglas Murray has written a thoughtful article that explores the painful truth behind the “woke” outrage. I would like to add a few points:

1. The police man (and I bet I get no criticism from the protesters for using “man” not “person”!) concerned appears to be an equal opportunity thug. Mr Floyd is not the first person to die in his custody but the first one was white and there was no action taken
2. In 2019 there where 38 police officers shot and killed in the USA. There were 47 shot and killed in 2018. That leaves police officers fearful but it also means those who apply are not necessarily the type of people you want in the police. Those applying are more likely to enjoy confrontation rather than try and defuse it!
3. There are considerably more white people killed by police in USA than black.

Steve Dean
Steve Dean
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

I mentioned this earlier, so will persistently. From Washington Post database, available online. In response to point 3. 2019, 1004 people shot dead by police, 376 white, 236 black, 146 Hispanic, 40 other, 193 unknown(?). So far, so good, considerably more white people killed. But, look at number killed by million population and there is different story. White 1.91/million, black 5.61/million, hispanic 3.74/million. Stats and stats, say what you want.

thistlesprickles
thistlesprickles
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Dean

The relevant comparison is police contacts, not total population.

thistlesprickles
thistlesprickles
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Dean

Total population is not the relevant group.

Total police contacts would be a better place to start. In 2015, the most recent year I could find on bjs.gov, contacts were 23% white, 20% black.

Keep in mind that any contact with a cop is an armed situation. Someone resisting may not go into that confrontation armed, but the cop did, and that gun is very much in play for both sides in a close physical altercation.

That said, better still would be police contacts where the subject resisted. A study by my university, UNC, showed that 51% of resisting arrest charges went to blacks vs. 43% to whites statewide in 2015. The black population of NC is around 22%.

This all makes sense, because black people are responsible for a HUGELY DISPROPORTIONATE percentage of crimes, and that only increases with the severity of the crime.

“But Allison,” you say, “what if the police are unfairly targeting black people in these contacts?” Now you need to look at the reports made by victims. We have access to statistics from the perspective of both law enforcement and those making the reports. Look at fbi.gov and bjs.gov. Black crime is hugely disproportionate to their percentage of the total population, and completely justifies the increased frequency of police contacts.

If you really want to have fun, try comparing interracial criminal activity. Most crime is committed against members of the offender’s own race, but, once again, those enterprising criminals who target victims of another race are disproportionately likely to be black.

We can speculate about the reasons for HUGELY DISPROPORTIONATE rates of black criminality, but that’s another topic. Right now, what we need to recognize is that if black lives really mattered to Black Lives Matter, they would speak out against blacks victimizing their own communities and not against the police.

Police tyranny and lack of accountability, which is what this was, is horrible, and affects people of all races. Racism of all stripes, and especially racist violence, is also abhorrent. Fortunately, it seems to be in pretty short supply, except from the likes of BLM.

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Dean

Yes, but then look at the number of Black people per million who are convicted of crime. The sad truth is black people are more likely to commit crime (and violent crime) so are more likely to come face to face with law enforcement is an adversarial way.

So your analysis is misleading.

benbow01
benbow01
3 years ago

Genuflection is a gesture of worship or obeisance.

Racism has become a religion to which we must submit?

Dennis Wheeler
Dennis Wheeler
3 years ago
Reply to  benbow01

No, not “racism”, but so-called “Anti-racism” and BLM are the new religion to which we are to submit.

mzeemartin8
mzeemartin8
3 years ago

The disparity in black/white killings as measured against their proportion in the population is explained by the proportionally much greater number of times that black people come into adversarial contact with the police. This doesn’t solve the problem, of course, but it tells us that looking at racism in police forces is not going to solve the problem.

I think it has a lot to do with the way blacks were bought to America and how they were treated for much of its history. They have in effect been set up to experience more poverty and dystopia. That is not an easy situation to remedy, but it is certain that if you don’t identify the problem correctly you will always come up with the wrong answers.

Teo
Teo
3 years ago

Suspect in time the public performance of the kumbaya-knee will become a major burden on the conscience of those people that were pressured into such a spectacle of self-abasement.

nigel roberts
nigel roberts
3 years ago

Minneapolis has long been a hotbed of white supremacism (/sarc)

Jacob Frey, 37, is Minneapolis’s second Jewish mayor and second youngest.

Frey won 61% of the vote in the 2013 election. He campaigned on a platform of improving
police-community relations. (Yes, you read that right.)

Second-place candidate Diane Hofstede won 27% of the vote.

Hofstede is also a Democrat, thus the two Democrat candidates won 88% of the vote.

The other 12% was equally divided between the Green Party and the Libertarian Party.

No Republican candidate made it onto the ballot. (So it’s not just California where that
happens!)

The current police chief, Medaria Arradondo, is African-American and was formerly in charge of Minneapolis PD’s anti-corruption unit. (Did he find “H”, Iwonder?)

Arradondo’s predecessor as police chief was Janee Harteau, an openly lesbian Native American.

Harteau resigned in 2017 after a black police officer, Mohammed Noor, shot and killed an unarmed Australian woman, Justine Diamond. https://en.wikipedia.org/wi

Also on Harteau’s watch, Minneapolis PD officer Jeronimo Yanez shot and killed African-American Philando Castile in 2016 https://en.wikipedia.org/wi

The U.S. Representative for Minneapolis’s 5th congressional district (which includes the entire city of Minneapolis) is Ilhan Omar. Omar is the first Somali-American, the first naturalized citizen from Africa, and the first woman of color to hold elective office from Minnesota. She is also one of the first two Muslim women (along with Rashida Tlaib of Michigan) to serve in the
U.S. Congress.

Among U.S. cities, Minneapolis has the fourth-highest percentage of gay, lesbian, or bisexual people in the adult population, with 12.5% (behind San Francisco and slightly behind both Seattle and Atlanta).

In 2013, Minneapolis was among 25 U.S. cities to receive the highest score possible (100/100) from the Human Rights Campaign, signifying its support for LGBT
residents.

With one exception, it has had an unbroken string of Democratic Farmer Labor Party mayors since 1945.

The exception was Republican Richard Erdall, who was mayor for only one day, December 31st 1973.

Dave Tagge
Dave Tagge
3 years ago
Reply to  nigel roberts

Good list, but I’ll offer a correction on one of these points: Jeromio Yanez, who shot and killed Philando Castile, wasn’t Minneapolis PD. Yanez was an officer with the police department of St. Anthony (a suburb).

Ver Greeneyes
Ver Greeneyes
3 years ago

Despite how awful that video was, whether this was actually a racist killing is also seriously in doubt.
1) The cop who held Floyd down has a history of police brutality, not racism
2) The two men had at least a casual acquaintance from working as bouncers at the same venue
3) No racist remarks were uttered during the arrest, and the other cops involved were not white
4) Floyd was arrested for driving under influence and appeared to resist arrest
5) Floyd did not die of asphyxiation but of a heart attack caused by the stress of the arrest combined with pre-existing medical conditions and his intoxication

None of that excuses what happened: If a suspect experiences a medical emergency during an arrest, it is the duty of police officers to get them the medical care they need, not hold them down until they die. But was this a racist killing? I don’t see any evidence of that.

AJ Spetzari
AJ Spetzari
3 years ago

George Floyd’s murder was an unquestionably horrific and clear cut case of police wrongdoing. The social issues that have been brought up as a result of it are however far from clear cut and simple issues. As a result, the public debate has so unequivocally shifted towards a binary, simplistic one-way race issue, that it is very hard to have a sensible rational discussion on the multiple underlying issues in play.

Douglas makes the point also – personally I have seen numerous otherwise sensible people in my own circles force the “right” way of thinking onto others and trying to shame any even mildly differing viewpoints.

Forcing concepts of ‘white privilege’ down the throats of everyone is not helpful for a variety of reasons. For one, treating any race as one amorphous coherent blob is idiotic. Secondly not everyone in the absurdly broad demographic ‘white’ are privileged. Telling people repeatedly to put up and shut up and check themselves is akin to going to a voting booth and picking Trump or Brexit for them. Wider than that, people of all backgrounds and creeds don’t like being told what to think and do. Thirdly, the vast majority of people are not racist idiots and conduct their lives in a generally normal fashion, treating people they meet on merit. They are also capable of recognising the differences between the US and UK, and that forcing a social and racial viewpoint that might make a modicum of sense across the Atlantic upon us is just baffling for the silent majority.

Another now overlooked aspect of the whole debacle is the US’s attitude to firearms. Ignoring, if possible for one moment, how long George Floyd was held down; how the hell is it normal for a police officer to have to restrain someone in such a manner? It’s because being a police officer in the US is dangerous, all due to citizens continued desire for the right to have weapons. Police have to treat every potential suspect as a mortal threat. Just to be 100% clear – shouldn’t need saying – this is not condoning of the actions in the George Floyd case whatsoever – but the question needs to be asked about how it became normalised for police to behave like sociopaths in the first place, and what pre-conditions led to a person going a fair few steps even further along that road.

I understand the reasoning behind firearm laws in US – at heart is the desire for freedom from oppression and the freedom to protect yourself from others (even the government if required). But from the outside it’s clear as day what that causes. The police and the population in the US are in a de facto arms race with each other. Regular bog-standard police in the US these days are kitted out in kit that looks like a Special Forces soldier’s Christmas wishlist. To most outsiders this is madness – and certainly not worth the social cost.

rosalindmayo
rosalindmayo
3 years ago

‘We’ are getting, -or maybe already are, at the point, where it is becoming impossible to speak, to say anything, without being accused of racism or all the other isms- I do not deny there are real questions- problems- but being allowed to speak, to think them through, to discuss,to hold other views, is no longer permitted. We are in the most terrible mess- it is a paranoid psychotic state.(Psychoanalyst)

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
3 years ago

I don’t get on my knees for anyone or anything.
This is my “f… you ” moment.

Mark Lambert
Mark Lambert
3 years ago

I see that Leigh Francis (comedian with the Keith Lemon character) has taken a metaphorical knee and apologised for his satire of black celebs using caricatures much like a live Spitting Image facial make-up. He also did loads of white caricatures.

What led to that? Did people dig up his old episodes and complain? Or was it apology out of the blue in some sort of pious virtue-signalling?

I await the furore on Spitting Image puppets.

First we had #CartoonGate and now we have #PuppetGate.

How weird is that?

AJ Spetzari
AJ Spetzari
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Lambert

I am going to write and complain to Monsieur Francis on his inaccurate and offensive portrayal of kestrels

shekhanzai.baloch
shekhanzai.baloch
3 years ago

I’m a Baloch (a Brown?) and shared this post to a thread in Twitter and that person blocked me instantly. It is becoming hard to have a civil discourse. Why we want to only listen to what we agree with and shutdown the rest? Should we change that? Can we change that? and how can we do that?

David Fülöp
David Fülöp
3 years ago

This is part of the issue because the youth are taught not to want to listen to other opinions. They would rather exist in a comforting bubble where they only have like minded friends reinforce each other.

It is probably a good way to move society towards civil war.

nickandyrose
nickandyrose
3 years ago

Me neither.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago

This black guy was murdered by a white cop, after he held up a store and threatened to shoot the black pregnant lady who was tending the store in the stomach if she didn’t give him the money in the till.

What has it got to do with us? When was the last time a white cop in the UK murdered a black guy?
If people want to protest about race and racism and human rights, look at India, Brazil…or is this one of those #metoo moments where only the trendy right-on PC victims are recognised, irrespective of their criminality, but all the poor unrecognised victims can…eat cake?

Paul Sorrenti
Paul Sorrenti
3 years ago

isn’t the opposite of ‘put black people’s feelings ahead of your own’ not ‘put white people’s feelings ahead of your own’ but ‘put black people’s feelings behind your own’? It’s one thing to make opposites of forwards/backwards, future/past and, indeed, black/white, but what is the opposite of people?

Andrew Turnbull
Andrew Turnbull
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Sorrenti

The relevant comparison is either black/white or forward/behind. In both formulations, “people” is the constant.

Adam Huntley
Adam Huntley
3 years ago

Surely the way forward is for all people of good will to be united against actions which disadvantage a section of their population. This means not wasting time berating well meaning folk.such as those who inadvertently happen to use the word “coloured” instead of “people of colour”. Nor for prohibiting criticism of the wrong headed or narcissistic who might have a darker skin tone. Neither has the slightest relevance to people being wrongly killed by poor law enforcement.

Andrew Baldwin
Andrew Baldwin
3 years ago

Well said, Douglas. I think any decent person should guard against racist attitudes that they may have and express. Looking back, I am ashamed of how hard I came down on Ben Johnson, the Jamaican-born sprinter who tested positive for steroids at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. He gave so much back to Canadian athletics when he was on top, supporting meets in Canada when he could have been making a lot more money on the European circuit. He deserved a lot more sympathy and a lot less abuse, since we now know most if not all of the runners in the final were on steroids.
However, the situation now in Canada is truly bizarre, where what happened to George Floyd is being used as a cudgel to attack Conservative opponents, this under a Liberal government headed by the world’s most infamous blackface hobbyist. Stockwell Day, the former Opposition leader and a cabinet minister for many years under Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, just lost his role as a Conservative commentator on the CBC TV show Power & Politics because he disagreed that Canada was guilty of systematic racism towards blacks. The idiocy of this was that Christopher Skeete, the very capable Minister for Anglophone Affairs in Premier François Legault’s Quebec government, himself a black man, had made the same argument regarding Quebec in a different episode of Power & Politics on the same day! Skeete is a better reasoner than Day, and pointed out that the word systemic implies in every part of an organism, so that racism would be codified in every part of Quebec law and procedures, when in fact it isn’t anywhere in any part of them. He said he had personally suffered discrimination as a black man, but did not blame Quebec institutions for it.
I don’t know if Douglas would agree, but I suspect there is a difference between Anglo-Saxon and Gallic attitudes at this point. In the French-speaking world, anti-black racism was never so ugly as in the Anglo-Saxon world, so there is not quite the same tendency now to overcompensate. «Blanc priviligié» is a term in general use, but white privilege doesn’t seem to be obsessed over as much in French Canada as in English Canada.

Dennis Wheeler
Dennis Wheeler
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Baldwin

So because others were allegedly doing it as well, that makes Ben Jonson doing it ok?

I do hope you think Lance Armstrong was treat unfairly as well (in a sport where doping is probably even more commonplace and egregious than Track and Field) and should have his Tour de France titles officially reinstated. Wouldn’t want you to be accused of a racial double standard or anything.

benbow01
benbow01
3 years ago

Politicians in our free, democratic society are supposed to be, used to be, filters and moderators of extremes in society so all couid speak freely but their words, behaviour were fringe, not approved, not the norm.

The general public understood it was not accepted nor expected behaviour, and they could criticise it, reject it.

Now the political class are the instigators, or endorsers of a coalition of extremes, they encourage them, embrace them for political advantage and make them mainstream. Now the general population feels it had better keep quiet, just go along with it.

Lucy Smex
Lucy Smex
3 years ago

the number of unarmed black people killed by American police

According to a database compilation by the Washington Post since 2015, and as detailed by Tucker Carlson a couple of days ago in his show, that number last year was 10.

prattpatricia
prattpatricia
3 years ago

Douglas you say “no sane person would publicly declare ‘we must go backwards into that dark past'”….but that is precisely where BLM is rooted, in that dark anguished past. Until black people can unshackle themselves from their bonds of rage toward their white ‘oppressors’, they cannot move forward into that ‘bright future’. The longer they continue to keep that pain alive and kicking, the longer will that pain deepen the bondage, the enslavement of racial hatred. It is the law of Karma that if you hate your brother, whatever his or her colour, so shall you reap hatred in return. There is great beauty in a black or brown skin, but if that beauty does not also bear self pride and self love, it becomes lost, distorted and turns inwards upon itself.
And how does one achieve self love, self respect and self pride? Not by demanding of others that they ‘take the knee’….but by turning away from violence and reclaiming lost lives.

tmglobalrecruitment
tmglobalrecruitment
3 years ago

Great article

Jurek Molnar
Jurek Molnar
3 years ago

It is quite obvious that the mind frame of BLM and leftist politics have taken over and they command social media now. The Term “hegemony” coined by Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci is correctly understood different from an understanding of majority rule.

Hegemony does not mean that certain people represent a majority, but that certain people control the channels and the rituals of communication and how ideological narratives are being structured. The left is a force of hegemony in all of social media, which dominate the cultural expressions of a majority of people world wide.

That’s neither good nor bad, just a fact. What is bad (and annoying) is another fact: while racism has been practically defeated as an ideology and socially excluded, the left wing hegemony which dominates the media and communication paints a picture of our societies as if it was a “Handmaid’s tale” or the slavery states of 1861. While the reality has improved the lives of millions the communication signals that we still live in an unbearable past.

It is possible that this is just a phase in which society comes to term with itself, but I doubt it. The Antifa thugs and the social justice warriors are doing all this to get their revolution and to achieve the destruction of Western civilisation to implement their utopian paradise of Gulags and re-education camps. The hegemony of the left in the internet is just the beginning. It will get worse.

Ref Joe
Ref Joe
3 years ago

“Because of the number of unarmed black people killed by American police in recent years it seems fair to ask where some wider culpability might lie.”

Fifteen unarmed blacks were killed by LEOs in 2019, which accounts for 6% of all blacks killed by LEOs. Not an epidemic, and certainly not genocide, as so many claim.

BTW, there were 25 unarmed whites killed by LEOs in 2019, which accounts for(can you guess?) 6% of all whites killed by LEOs.

BTBTW, studies show that non-white LEOs are more likely to shoot black suspects than white LEOs.

Race is not a factor when considering arrest percentages.

perrywidhalm
perrywidhalm
3 years ago

Excellent essay Douglas. Keep up the good work.

mjowatkins
mjowatkins
3 years ago

I find it bewildering that so many people Douglas included seem to find it necessary to insist on having a dog in this fight. If you deem it unimportant to ‘take the knee’ then don’t. If as others have said they feel there is an assumption of black moral superiority then that is an anxiety of your own creation. None of these actions or expectations are enshrined in law or even in convention or are they likely to be. It seems on a par with the ‘freedom of expression’ brigade who rail against having their opinion sidelined while expressing it loudly on numerous mainstream channels. It might be that on this issue silence is it’s own expression and that would then leave the platform open for those who clearly have a need to be heard.

Richard Lyon
Richard Lyon
3 years ago

According to one study in the US, you are nearly 5 times more likely to be shot by the police if you are known – or thought – to be carrying a firearm. Meanwhile, FBI data reveals that 80% of the black people killed by police are carrying a gun, and that proportion has increased as the number of black people killed has fallen.

These data say nothing about which group is more likely to be carrying a gun, or whether a black person when confronted by the police is more or less likely to be killed than a white person, whether carrying a gun or not.

They do say rather a lot, however, about the nature of what is being demanded. The proposition that people should be equally free to go about their business is both self-evidently true and one I care about. The proposition that people should be equally free to present a lethal threat to others (including the police) is one I care less about, no matter how true it may be, since the decision to carry a gun has disqualified the individual from my concern for his or her welfare.

There is still a monstrous injustice toward those who are killed by police who were neither causing offence nor carrying a lethal weapon. But I cannot support the BLM activist’s demands for their rights without also supporting the BLM activist’s demands for the rights of those who choose to carry guns and threaten others, and who outnumber the former 4:1. I have to find a way of supporting the rights of unarmed victims while rejecting the undiscriminating claims of the BLM activist.

So I will not “bend the knee”.

H Cameron
H Cameron
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Lyon

Your assertion that carrying a gun poses a threat to others is ridiculous.

richardosborne65
richardosborne65
3 years ago
Reply to  H Cameron

Right. So, just out of interest, what’s the point of carrying one?

Juilan Bonmottier
Juilan Bonmottier
3 years ago

Well, in the gun crazy world of the US I can see why a lot of people would. It’s a very different culture, in many ways, to that of the UK. There’s still a lot of ‘frontier spirit’ which (I’m not saying I support this but I’m not there, living in it) includes carrying a gun.

AJ Spetzari
AJ Spetzari
3 years ago
Reply to  H Cameron

Don’t be daft. Not intrinsically no – but you’re trying to tell me that the prospect of apprehending a potential/likely criminal is the same whether that person is armed or not?

Simple fact is for most of the western world, police don’t have to assume the person they are approaching for any matter is armed. Not so in the US.

Richard Lyon
Richard Lyon
3 years ago
Reply to  H Cameron

How absurd. Set aside, for a moment, the simple observation that the quality that uniquely distinguishes a gun from, say, a toffee apple, is its capacity to project lethal force at a distance I.e. threaten others.

The issue is not whether the person carrying the weapon intends to use it. The issues are (i) whether his or her intention to use it can be determined at the moment of potential use (ii) the probability of likely outcomes given a lack of certainty about intention,(iii) the consequences and reversibility of a mistake, and (iv) the reasonableness of strategies to avoid the risk of mistaken intention.

Under most circumstances relevant to this thread, the intention of the person is at best highly uncertain and is very difficult to determine.

The probability of the person being killed by a person carrying a gun is determined by the facts that (a) it’s a gun, not a toffee apple (see above) and (b) the sufficiently strong correspondence between the decision to carry a gun and the decision to use the gun.

The consequence of mistakingly assuming the individual does not intend to use the gun is my death. The consequence of mistakingly assuming the individual does intend to use the gun is his death. Both outcomes are irreversible. I care very much more about my death than his/her death. There is no rational basis for me to prefer the death of the other person over my own death, given the other person’s exercise of free will.

Given the inability to determine intention, the balance of probabilities about intention and outcome, the irreversibility of mistakes, and the rational choice of shooting a person carrying a gun rather than risking my own life, is there a reasonable strategy the person with the gun can adopt to eliminate the risk of being shot? Yes: don’t carry a gun.

That’s what we choose here in the UK. And many fewer people get shot, of all intentions.

Best wishes, etc.

Drew Wilson
Drew Wilson
3 years ago

The aggressiveness (“overcorrection” more politely put by Douglas) of the global protests is complicated by the fact that most of those who took to the street have been under forced lockdown in their homes for 6-8 weeks due to the coronavirus. While quarantined, many learned that they lost their jobs. The pent up frustration and anger found an outlet.

David Redfern
David Redfern
3 years ago
Reply to  Drew Wilson

Do antifa (and their associated extinction rebellion) members have jobs to lose?

Mark Lambert
Mark Lambert
3 years ago

If you are going to disallow my post regarding a comedian who has apologised for his previous satirical work (which is in the news), then an email telling me why might be polite. I cannot see which rule I broke.

Sridhar Raman
Sridhar Raman
3 years ago

This was such a hilarious article. I had to check if it wasn’t satire. Apparently not.

People are “taking the knee” to _protest_. What’s with the severe insecurity? Haven’t people of all races been taking the knee? Maybe I need to trawl other websites and the comment sections to see if they also feel the same. Hmm …

Juilan Bonmottier
Juilan Bonmottier
3 years ago
Reply to  Sridhar Raman

It’s because it’s the usual empty meaningless posturing -sloganism and pontificating; it’s a grandiose, self inflating statement of worthiness and virtuousness. How do we know this? Because in two weeks it will be mostly forgotten, and all those people, so nobly ‘taking a knee’ and blacking out their instagram accounts for a day will be back to doing whatever they were doing before, feeling a bit better about themselves, as if they did their bit, but essentially contributing nothing different, of any substance or material value, towards the betterment and progress of our society.

Rather than waste any precious time on such totally unnecessary and vainglorious gestures why not instead get straight to helping with these issues in our society if that’s what’s really disturbing you?

Work and learn to become a decent social worker, teacher, doctor, lawyer, psychologist, apprentice master, bricklayer, nurse, whatever… and do it decently so it makes a contribution of value.

In this journey you’d actually have to come face to face with the true complexities of fixing things -limitations of resources (personal and material), you’d discover that understanding things really was not at all that simple, you’d have to come face to face with a huge amount of despair at trying to improve things and meeting repeated failure due to a whole load of factors completely beyond your control -sometimes on account of your own inability, laziness, weaknesses or more pressing priorities, and not just all the fault of this or that government. You’d discover you were actually just a very small part of a huge world and that your real effort and hard work often goes totally unnoticed and unacknowledged -often berated and denigrated -so unlike the gesture politics of so nobly ‘taking a knee’ in front of the clapping crowd, the self adoring instagram applauders and the media cameras. And if you were really still decent after all this you’d get some real insight into things and just keep doing whatever you can do, as best you can, like so many normal and ordinary people on this planet.

If you had this experience, then you would feel no compunction whatsoever, and would instantly recognize the inherent vacuousness and meaninglessness of ‘taking a knee’.

The aesthetic appeal of this empty gesture to so many merely reflects their complete abdication of the common duty to take up a serious and responsible role in society.

Easier to ‘take a knee’ I guess and feel good about yourself that way. The other way requires too much hard work and facing of reality.

Sridhar Raman
Sridhar Raman
3 years ago

Thanks for this long message. But this is quite unrelated. Both to the original article or the other comments.

I agree with some of your points. But the concerns that the author has are not that. It’s a highly insecure “why should whites take the knee” take? In fact, if you look at the other comments (and responses on Twitter), you will notice a lot of similar comments.

Personally, I am surprised this piece even got past the first paragraph by the auditor. Comparing state endorsed racism with people protesting against racism, and then drawing an equivalence? That was ridiculous!

Juilan Bonmottier
Juilan Bonmottier
3 years ago
Reply to  Sridhar Raman

Thanks for your reply.

I do not believe it’s ‘state endorsed racism’ -that’s far too simplistic and reductionist in my view. And a clear exaggeration.

If it was really ‘state endorsed racism’, at the most basic level, Mr Chauvin and his colleagues would certainly not be facing homicide charges. And how do you account for the vast majority of the white police force who have not committed any homicides against black people? They are the norm -not the other way around.

I think the ‘insecurity’ you don’t understand is the symbolic meaning of ‘taking a knee’ -I can see that on one interpretation it is a reference to the incident in question, but I think you’d be naive to imagine it did not have other fairly obvious connotations -which quite reasonably make a lot of people feel rather uncomfortable and insecure.

I don’t do twitter -but have seen examples for instance of white people being asked to fall to both knees in the street in front of BLM campaigners in an act of atonement for all black suffering -which, again in my view, is patently absurd.

I’ve seen whites berated by blacks for removing BLM graffiti from their own property and being told this was an inappropriate use of their ‘privilege’ and therefore inherently racist.

Additionally we are being told by BLM that just not being a racist is not enough -we have to be ‘anti-racist’. I find myself not at all in agreement with this group’s all encompassing and rather total, ideas about what constitutes racism, and inherent in this message is the belief that BLM defines what racism is and you need to be against that, or you’re against them.

This is about BLM trying to get people to do what they, BLM wants; it’s a narrative of control and it comes with threats and an expectation of submission to their dogma. ‘Taking a knee’ is all part of this narrative. BLM is after all a movement whose stated aim is to be “free from white supremacy and oppression”.

As for ‘white privilege’, where does BLM put the 40% of black Americans who consider themselves middle class – does BLM also want to go for ‘Black privilege’, ‘Hispanic privilege’, ‘Asian privilege’ etc… apparently not -whites only on this one. Similarly ‘white silence=violence’ (apparently) but the silence of any other racial group is seemingly not an issue. What about black silence (there are many black people not joining with BLM, nor sympathetic to its aims) -is that violence too? -I don’t happen to believe that silence does equal violence whatever your skin colour, and it’s a pretty sinister statement meaning essentially if you don’t come out on the streets with us you are complicit and therefore presumably a legitimate target for the mob’s wrath.

So yes, white people, and many others too, may justifiably feel rather disturbed about all this -and it’s not an hilarious insecurity.

Sridhar Raman
Sridhar Raman
3 years ago

I think you have misunderstood my comment.

I am talking about the equivalence drawn by the author. Take a look at the first paragraph – they talk about state endorsed racism (apartheid and plantation-era America) as place/times in history when “putting white people’s feelings ahead of one’s own” ‘might’ have been present. And from that, the parallel is drawn to Instagram posts that ask for putting black people’s feelings ahead. That is the false equivalence I am talking about.

I repeat, the original piece is a laughably inaccurate and exaggerated reaction. I don’t deny that it would have worked well as satire. But, unfortunately, it isn’t.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Sridhar Raman

I think you’ve misunderstood the point. Some people are being made to kneel or be subjected to social ostracism or physical harm. I don’t think commentators here are insecure about it, just mystified about what it’s supposed to accomplish. Did you take a knee by the way?

Sridhar Raman
Sridhar Raman
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

> Did you take a knee by the way?
Of course! And not just because I come from a country (India) where there is a lot of prejudice against dark-skinned folks (locals or otherwise)

So, “some people” being made to kneel is the same as apartheid or plantation-era racism? Ha!

In fact, the more times I re-read this article, the more I am amazed at its stupidity. When Colin Kaepernick took the knee in protest, who was he “apologising to”? As I said in my original comment, this particular “take” seems so silly and frivolous and just smacks of insecurity.

truckngirl
truckngirl
3 years ago

The more I see, the more I think that peaceful separation is going to be the only answer. Leftists are NEVER going to convince me to change my mind, and I haven’t any hope to ever change the mind of a leftist. I want to live in peace and harmony with my neighbors. I want to be with like-minded people. I refuse to live my life in a totalitarian socialist dystopia. What are the options? Separate, do it sooner than later!

666bobtodd
666bobtodd
3 years ago

The only man who kneels to a mob is one who is holding a water cannon

Jacob Mason
Jacob Mason
3 years ago

Admirable article. Thank you, Douglas Murray.

jpmrwb9
jpmrwb9
3 years ago

It is not true that the mission of the law is to regulate our consciences, our ideas, our will, our education, our sentiments, our exchanges, our gifts, our enjoyments. Its mission is to prevent the rights of one from interfering with those of another, in any one of these things. Law, because it has force for its necessary sanction, can only have the domain of force, which is justice. Bastiat

JP Edwards
JP Edwards
3 years ago

And soon, when the pendulum swings back and over corrects which it has to – what will polite society being insisting black people do in order to take the knee and how will they feel about that.

Tim Rowe
Tim Rowe
3 years ago

In my youth I was a socialist (not Labour or Communist) activist and I spent some time with an elderly couple who told me how they went from the northeast of England down to London to march against Mosely’s Black Shirts. They explained how they dug potatos from their allotments and back gardens and stuck the old type razor blades in them so they could throw these weapons at the Mosley marchers and police and police horses. Anything to upset the march of the Hitler supporting fascists.

The current attacks against the police and the actions of the police I find difficult to comprehend. I dread to think exactly where our black and coloured people would be had those fascists and Hitler won out. I am fairly sure they would not have existed with their current rights intact. Certainly they would not have had the right to march as they have under the current government. It is not that the killing of George Floyd by a policeman, as evidenced by the video footages, is defensible. It is irrelevant that George appears to have a violent past. These things are wrong. However. What good the marches, and the defilement of a commemorative monument, to the actions of people that protected us against those forces which would have enslaved or murdered the black people and Jewish and other minorities who wish to march I fail to see.

Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
3 years ago

The irony is that it’s the genuine white supremacists who want a race war. They must be watching this spectacle with little short of glee.

Paul Pelosi
Paul Pelosi
3 years ago

I agree with Douglas Murray for the most part. I would differ only in emphasising that Britain is not a racist state. That battle in the interest of anti-racism was won long ago. What legacy vestige of racism exists in the public mind and institutional life is dealt with in the way that all asymptotic declines are dealt with and that is through ongoing education and reason. Racism vestiges will never be eliminated as is the case with all asymptotic approaches to the perfect, but it will reach a point where education has so equipped the public mind with the tools of mockery and ridicule that it becomes an eccentricity not worth talking about. I would add that that state of affairs could not be further from the activist minds of the BLM group.

Michael Upton
Michael Upton
3 years ago

Douglas Murray is to be commended for these principled and well-reasoned observations.

coker.paul
coker.paul
3 years ago

What is Thy Bidding, My Master?

Adrian Maxwell
Adrian Maxwell
3 years ago

Unherd – I cant seem to contact you in any other way….so please forgive this. Why do i have to keep signing in when I want to ‘read more’ of the comments? Perhaps you wont read this but I hope you would moderate my comment. DM goes to the heart of the matter in his usual dispassionate way. I am a retired police officer and the sight of policemen and women ‘taking the knee’ is depressing as well as cringe inducing. That police leaders now fudge the issue compounds the action. I consider Im well balanced, after the police ive been a barrister, prosecuting and defending for 25 years. But I imagine the sight of police ‘taking the knee’ as a result of instant crowd pressure or of media pressure or of confusion following lack of leadership will infuriate Herbert Gusset and his family as well as alt right groups fuming as to how to react. The pressure of the Emperor’s new threads has impacted 360 degrees so that now the one group who should remain neutral are now victims of the pressure.

Richard Kenward
Richard Kenward
3 years ago

Very insightful and correct analysis. I know people sending these lists around without recognising the racism of their demands. This is not about equality or fairness but a racial win:lose battle. In this case blacks win and whites lose. If we continue on this course then you can forget racial harmony.

jcdurbant
jcdurbant
3 years ago

Yes, from the Bible to Churchill, we’ve been fully forewarned:

“Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil.”

Exodus 23: 2

“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”

Jesus (Matthew 7: 6)

“Each one hopes that if he feeds the crocodile enough, the crocodile will eat him last. All of them hope that the storm will pass before their turn comes to be devoured. But I fear greatly that the storm will not pass. It will rage and it will roar ever more loudly, ever more widely.”

Winston Churchill

But the periodic urge for self-cleansing is again proving too strong to resist :

“We are a society that, every fifty years or so, is afflicted by some paroxysm of virtue”“an orgy of self-cleansing through which evil of one kind or another is cast out. From the witch-hunts of Salem to the communist hunts of the McCarthy era to the current shrill fixation on child abuse, there runs a common thread of moral hysteria. After the McCarthy era, people would ask: But how could it have happened? How could the presumption of innocence have been abandoned wholesale? How did large and powerful institutions acquiesce as congressional investigators ran roughshod over civil liberties”“all in the name of a war on communists? How was it possible to believe that subversives lurked behind every library door, in every radio station, that every two-bit actor who had belonged to the wrong political organization posed a threat to the nation’s security? Years from now people doubtless will ask the same questions about our present era”“a time when the most improbable charges of abuse find believers; when it is enough only to be accused by anonymous sources to be hauled off by investigators; a time when the hunt for child abusers has become a national pathology.”

Dorothy Rabinowitz

https://jcdurbant.wordpress

Miran Chauhan
Miran Chauhan
3 years ago

I will not take a knee not for the black guy , ALL LIVES MATTER !!!!!!!

Laine Andrews
Laine Andrews
3 years ago

Mr. Murray seems to think that the number of unarmed blacks `killed by police in the US is high enough to create “mood music” making an environment where the officer apprehending felon George Floyd felt emboldened. However, the officer and confreres were instead tone deaf.

Let us note that evidence as in US government crime stats and academic studies in even left wing institutions show:
-More whites than blacks per capita are shot by police. It’s the wrong race protesting.
-White officers are LESS likely to shoot at black suspects than are police of other races. This is hardly surprising as the white officer knows harming a black suspect can be career ending. One wonders whether that second’s hesitation has contributed to the next stat?
-Cops are 18X more likely to be shot by a black suspect than an unarmed black is to be shot by a cop.
-“Unarmed” doesn’t always mean not dangerous as the Michael Brown case demonstrated where he leaned into the officer’s car to grab at his firearm as proven by exhaustive investigation instigated by President Obama’s black Attorney General Holder.

-There are 700,000 police officers in America with tens of millions of contacts with the public, many with the criminal class. One or a handful of arrests gone wrong does not systemic racism make.

-Last but not least, Heather MacDonald in her lectures and book “The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe” makes the point that police are the institution that SAVE the most innocent black lives. (Blacks at 13% of the population commit half of homicides and 93% of black victims numbering over 4000 per year including children are murdered by other blacks).

Blacks who actually care to save black lives should find means to curtail black on black killings numbering in the tens of thousands per year and stop pretending that police are the problem when they are in fact a proven defense for law abiding blacks. Anywhere proactive policing is successfully pushed back by the marxist Black Lives Matter Movement, the homicide rate goes up, especially among blacks. It’s the “Ferguson effect” seen in Baltimore and now Minneapolis, Chicago and NYC.