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Why progressives want to forget George Floyd BLM revolutionaries squandered their opportunity

(Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)


May 24, 2024   6 mins

Leonard, the hero of Christopher Nolan’s Memento, cannot form new memories. This poses something of a problem when you’re trying to find the guy who killed your wife. Her brutal murder is the last thing Leonard remembers, and he has been hunting for the perpetrator ever since. To survive in the present, he has a stack of Polaroids that he uses to identify friends and a carpeting of tattoos on his body, including the words JOHN G RAPED AND MURDERED MY WIFE draped across his collarbones. This is written backwards, so that he can read it every time he looks in the mirror. It is his purpose. It tells him who he is.

Because a human epidermis only has so much square footage, Leonard has to be ruthless about retaining only the information that serves his purpose, resigning the rest to the abyss. But the twist of Memento, when it comes, reveals more than the limits of a life defined by a quest for vengeance that will be forgotten as soon as it is achieved; it reminds us that memory can be treacherous, that history is narrative, and that sometimes, in the single-minded pursuit of justice, we do things we’d rather forget.

I was reminded of the film while reading Morning After the Revolution, the new book by journalist Nellie Bowles. Described as “a moment of collective psychosis preserved in amber”, it is a look back at the social justice movement which had been simmering under the surface of American society since roughly 2014, then exploded into a reckoning four years ago tomorrow, when George Floyd was murdered by police in Minneapolis. The book is, among other things, a historical record — one that the movement in question would definitely not choose to permanently inscribe on its skin. The fact that Bowles used to be a New York Times writer and card-carrying member of the woke crowd herself makes her account at once more credible to the reader and less convenient to its subjects.

If the summer of 2020 was a party that eventually devolved into a chaotic rager, Morning After the Revolution is the album of unflattering photos taken by a guest who left before the police showed up. Look: there’s the moment from the pandemic where Donald Trump said he wanted schools to reopen, so we shut them down until 2023. There’s the time a male spa-goer displayed an erect penis in front of a 14-year-old girl, and media commentators hurried to dismiss the entire thing as a Right-wing hoax. There’s the one where we started recreationally destroying the lives of random white women who looked a little too much like manager-callers; there’s the $3,000 anti-racist dinner party and the “Defund the Police” banner!

The revolutionaries are in this picture, and they don’t like it. Even as early as 2022, there were signs that people were happy to forget the movement once the marching-shouting-posting action was over; when reporters discovered that the $90 million raised by Black Lives Matter had been squandered on, among other things, a party house in Los Angeles, the response was a studied incuriosity. But even then, it’s hard to exaggerate how much this attempt to defund, dismantle and drastically remake every institution in service of social justice has been… well, not-that. Four years after his death became the spark that lit the flame of revolution, George Floyd’s lingering impact can mainly be seen in the hastily-installed DEI programmes in corporate offices nationwide, where hourly wage workers sit through interminable sensitivity trainings — and where the main beneficiaries are 28-year-old college-educated white women from HR, who now receive six-figure salaries to lecture their coworkers on the importance of daily pronoun exchanges and the scourge of microaggressions.

Meanwhile, in Minneapolis, the vacant gas station parking lot that was the site of Floyd’s death, and which used to be flooded with so many protestors that it had to be closed to traffic, is now deserted save for the occasional social justice tourist. They come to photograph the murals, the graffiti, the tattered plastic flowers around the perimeter of a former bus shelter, where a high-contrast portrait of Floyd’s now-familiar face has been painted on a piece of plastic sheeting — but there’s little to keep them there. The city has promised a plan to redevelop the memorial site, although it’s more like a plan to have a plan; the neighbourhood remains blighted by crime and vandalism, partially owing to lack of police presence. The third precinct police station in the neighbourhood remains permanently closed after being burned by rioters in 2020.

As for the anniversary of Floyd’s death, it has quickly faded from a national event to an afterthought; this year, the George Floyd Global Memorial will be hosting a “Self-Care Fair”, including “free wellness services including bodywork, meditation, arts and crafts”. The arc of the social justice universe is long, but it bends toward free massages and macaroni art.

“As for the anniversary of Floyd’s death, it has quickly faded from a national event to an afterthought.”

Nobody who proudly and vocally fancied himself on the right side of history back in 2020 wants to admit that this combination of corporate bloat and urban blight is the primary legacy of that moment — or indeed, that this was entirely predictable. What did we expect from a movement in which “doing the work” became synonymous with guilty liberal white women paying thousands of dollars to engage in racial struggle sessions? In which the lives of ordinary black people were overlooked in favour of more photogenic diversity efforts centered on politics, corporate boardrooms, and prestige industries like the arts, the media, and Hollywood? In which the mark of an enlightened ally was to cheer for policies, like defunding the police, which were not just unpopular with marginalised communities but often actively harmed them?

In the cold light of day (and with black men now dying from homicide at rates not seen since the Sixties), of course the people who took to the streets en masse in 2020 would rather not think about how much momentum they squandered. They would, like Leonard in Memento, prefer to remember the story’s origins: a grotesque injustice and surge of revolutionary zeal. As for what happened next, ah, well, who knows? Who could have known? Better to push it under the rug; there is, after all, a new election to worry about. 

But, as Bowles pointed out in a recent interview, this refusal to remember doesn’t change what was: “It happened. I was there. People did argue to abolish the police, that toddlers know their true gender and that 15 years old is fine to begin cross-sex hormones, that accelerated math is racist.”

Bowles’s insistence on pursuing the truth — on being curious about what is true, and what is going on — is an animating feature of Morning After the Revolution, much as it was the animating feature of her journalism at the New York Times. This, as she writes, was a boon to her career until it wasn’t, as the questions she was asking became inconvenient to the increasingly partisan goals of the paper’s leadership. Among the dishier parts of the book is the revelation that Bowles’s proposed reporting trip to the anarchist “autonomous zone” that sprang up in Seattle, with the mayor’s blessing, was met with raised eyebrows; why on earth, an editor asked, did she want to go there?

“Antifa was nonsense, fake, a nothing-burger, a non-story, not interesting and not real, he said. The reason he doesn’t go to Seattle and cover things like this is because he knows right now is time for white people to sit certain things out. Some things that are not important things shouldn’t be covered. The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) and whatever was going on there wasn’t important. Antifa wasn’t important. Why do you care? No but seriously why do you care?”

Of course, Bowles would say this, particularly when stories like the one about a New York Times editor calling her then-girlfriend Bari Weiss “a fucking Nazi” were guaranteed to go wildly viral on social media, confirmation of every sordid rumour about how mainstream media had become nothing more than a middle-school lunch room ruled by adult mean girls. Perhaps it should all be taken with a grain of salt.

And yet, for people who did go a little mad in 2020, and particularly those who engaged in some of the more vicious forms of social policing while in the thick of revolutionary fervour, it’s not hard to imagine that Bowles’s account of the moment is an unwelcome, embarrassing reminder, and the critical response to her book from most mainstream media outlets has a definite air of hit dogs hollering. The New York Times declared it “an attack on progressive activism”; the Washington Post called it “a deeply anti-democratic document”; a New Yorker headline scoffed at Bowles’s “failed provocations”. 

This, too, made me think of a moment in Memento, in which another character tries to tell Leonard things about his life; things that would contradict the narrative he has indelibly inked on his body. In an impulsive act, Leonard takes a photograph of this man and scrawls an aide-memoire on the back. One gets the sense of this same message, the same desperate desire to forget, lurking unspoken beneath much of the contemptuous snarling over Morning After the Revolution.

It says: DON’T BELIEVE HIS LIES.


Kat Rosenfield is an UnHerd columnist and co-host of the Feminine Chaos podcast. Her latest novel is You Must Remember This.

katrosenfield

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Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
26 days ago

To anyone with an iota of independent thought, it was quite clear that the BLM movement was never about George Floyd.

Martin M
Martin M
25 days ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

It is also clear that George Floyd was murdered by a racist cop, and that an occurrence of that nature is not uncommon (and not just in the US).

ChilblainEdwardOlmos
ChilblainEdwardOlmos
25 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

Have you watched the actual bodycam footage Marty?

Martin M
Martin M
25 days ago

Yes. I expect that the jury who convicted his murderer did too.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
25 days ago

That would require him to believe his lying eyes.

ChilblainEdwardOlmos
ChilblainEdwardOlmos
25 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

Police brutality remains an issue, but race is a distraction from the actual problem. Divide and conquer.

Martin M
Martin M
25 days ago

Except that cops do tend to be racist (and not just in the US).

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
25 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

Many cops are poor blacks. They receive less than two weeks training and earn $13 an hour in my county. Not only do they risk their lives on a daily basis, they also live in fear of making the wrong move and being put in prison for it. Admittedly there is some corruption. A whole sheriff’s department in the neighboring county was shut down by the FBi for fraud and intimidation. It didn’t make the mainstream media because all the cops involved happened to be black and criticizing black people in the US is taboo. This whole ‘all cops are racist’ is a lazy assumption.

Martin M
Martin M
25 days ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I can’t really speak from an American perspective, but I can speak from a British and an Australian perspective. In the latter two, the chance of a cop being racist is “extremely high”. In Australia, cops who are not white are extremely rare. Less so in Britain.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
25 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

I can see why you’re forcefully expressed perspective is unpopular here, but I’m disappointed that so many have chosen just to downvote without engagement.
Having watched all of the footage of Floyd’s death and seen much of Chauvin’s trial, I’m not sure there was any deliberate murderous. But there was reckless disregard for Floyd’s wellbeing, amounting to some version of manslaughter. Nor was Chauvin a cop who had “one bad day”, as any examination of the 19 complaints against him will support. I suspect he was surprised to accidentally go way too far and kill a man, a result he lied about to his captain right afterward.
Now as to whether it made sense to go bonkers nationwide, in disregard of public safety and the COVID restrictions that seem to matter so much until they didn’t, or give Chauvin over 20 years–those are different questions.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
25 days ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I agree that it is lazy, reductive too. But it is not based on nothing at all, either in an historical or present-day sense.

Ian_S
Ian_S
25 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

Cops tend to tacitly mimic the values and prejudices of the elite who control them. When the Democrats ruled the American south, the cops carried out Jim Crow laws, and tacitly enforced them with extrajudicial callousness. This mirrored the prevailing ruling class values, and their bosses approved. When LBGTQI’s and their “allies” ruled all the cultural institutions, media, ngos, corporate offices and bureaucracies in 2020s UK, the police set up stasi-style anonymous snitch hotlines and blacklists, and began applying two-tier policing for a range of social issues they invested in. This mirrored the prevailing ruling class values, and their bosses approved. So you see, cops just reflect their masters.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
25 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

Just a lazy assertion with not a shred of evidence. Most cops tend to be anti criminal and anti scumbag, whatever race they might be.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
25 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

Martin M, you haven’t watched the body-cam footage, have you?

And I would suggest that the reason you haven’t is – in accordance with the theme of the article – you sense that if you were to do so, you would be embarrassed by the cause you support.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
25 days ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

I clearly remember the cop, with his knee on Floyd’s neck, casually looking at his watch as though he was thinking, “Is this guy dead yet.” And before all of you downvote me, which you will do anyway, I am a strong supporter of the police. In this case though, a cop murdered a man who had not committed a violent crime. Floyd died because he used a counterfeit $20 bill. Not a capital crime.

John Riordan
John Riordan
25 days ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Of course not. He was a violent, serially-offending criminal who had taken so many drugs at the time of his arrest that he couldn’t survive the standard and approved process for safely apprehending violent offenders.

Making him a hero of any kind is an affront to decency.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
25 days ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Only slightly less of an affront to decency than convicting the cop who restrained him of murder.

Brian Matthews
Brian Matthews
24 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

There is some merit to the idea that Derek Chauvin didn’t actually cause the death of Gerorge Floyd, but he is far from an innocent actor.

He meant his knee on the neck routine to be an extremely humiliating affront to Floyd, who he knew as a coworker from some security gigs.

At the very least It was disgusting and wildly reckless behavior.

Zeph Smith
Zeph Smith
23 days ago
Reply to  Brian Matthews

And manslaughter charges might have been appropriate. Elevating it to 2nd and 3rd degree murder seemed more to placate the crowds which the authorities were clearly fearing. They were VERY afraid of what might happen if Chauvin wasn’t convicted of everything.

Martin Johnson
Martin Johnson
22 days ago
Reply to  Brian Matthews

There was never any evidence or testimony that Chauvin had animus, racial or personal, toward Floyd, and you can be quite sure that had any such evidence existed, the prosecution would have used it, and the court allowed it. And the knee procedure was standard police practice in MPLS and most of the country.
In hindsight, Chauvin should have let one of the other cops handcuff Floyd after he was subdued, as one of them suggested, and Chauvin would than have removed his knee. In not so doing, Chauvin maintained a higher level of force than was needed–though it is not at all clear he exceeded MNPLS Police guidelines, or that this had any bearing on Floyd’s fate. And, the ambulance they had called for was expected at any moment–it was unconscionably late, but the fact the cops had called for it as soon as they had a read on what was going on argues against willful death.
Given the drugs in his system, Floyd quite possibly would have died, anyway, but Chauvin would have been in a better legal situation.
Of course, Chauvin was no saint, either, he was a dirty cop and had already pled out to many years in prison for financial crimes before his murder trial started. Even had he been acquitted of murder, he was looking to be in prison until a very old man.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
25 days ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Which is why Derek Chauvin, the imprisoned police officer should be set free – that he is in jail with virtually a life sentence is immoral.

Fred D. Fulton
Fred D. Fulton
24 days ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Floyd was a POS , but it nonetheless angers me that cops can be such egotistic thugs, repeatedly.

Martin Johnson
Martin Johnson
22 days ago
Reply to  Fred D. Fulton

Amy Klobuchar, US Senator (D) from Minnesota, was the Hennepin County prosecutor when Chauvin was repeatedly accused of bad acts as a cop, and she did not pursue any action against him because of the cozy relationship between prosecutors and police departments that are common throughout the country. Ended her 2020 Presidential ambitions, though… so, there is that.
For all the screaming, it is almost always Democratic county prosecutors and police departments under Democratic Mayors that are where the police brutality accusations arise–but nobody ever notices.

King David
King David
24 days ago
Reply to  John Riordan

LOL yeah White Boy. I wish you would spew your racist cheap shot on George Floyd in front of me or any Black man worth his salt. You would be walking around with a Black foot sticking out of your flat white Skkkumbag @$$$$$. We Have to get Black cops killing more White people in Amerikkka, Africa and Caribbean. Only then will you Caucazoid Neanderthal mutants stop murdering Black People. We have to respond in kind within 48 hours some where in the world when you White Demons murder one of us.

Dr Anne Kelley
Dr Anne Kelley
25 days ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

In a nutshell ‘anyone with an iota of independent thought’
I naively imagined that the population of the U.K. was more capable of this, but sadly we have trailed in the wake of the ‘progressive’ movement in the USA. Some political parties are still gamely hanging on to that narrative, HR departments are still lecturing staff, women are still fighting for their autonomy in sport, prisons, changing rooms, refuges, etc.
If Labour form the next government – and even worse if it were in coalition with the LibDems, SNP or Greens – the fight for sanity will continue.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
25 days ago
Reply to  Dr Anne Kelley

Correct.Adherence to these toxic identitarian credos is the one true ideological passion (besides innate class envy) uniting Labour – from the old hard left wing to the Faux Tory Starmerites in their union jacks. See Dodds and her deranged ramblings on gender. And the dark shadow of yet another race equality act which can only snuff out all criticism of malevolent religions and destroy enterprise and more councils like Birmingham with mad gender equality nostrums. We are in some peril. Labour are gripped by the anti discrimination mania/derangment and will pump more yet poison into society via the progressive State. This all must be exposed.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
25 days ago
Reply to  Dr Anne Kelley

To be fair, the Cass report and various judicial rulings suggest the same pattern in the UK as in the 1950s when the pressure to emulate McCarthyism was intense. The British then and now were less wholehearted and recovered faster. Our indulgence of lunacy was still embarrassing but less so than the policies of other parts of the English speaking world. Given our reduced status, perhaps Britain should adopt an explicit national mission of preserving sanity in the Anglosphere on those occasions when America (Canada, Australia) goes mad. As it does from time to time. I blame the Puritans who settled in New England. Maybe Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” should be a compulsory part of every school’s syllabus.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
25 days ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Maybe Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” should be a compulsory part of every school’s syllabus.
It used to be. I read it in class when I was 15.

Roddy Campbell
Roddy Campbell
25 days ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

I think it still is. Quite right too. But… it’s astonishing how people can read through the play, horrified at the hysterical accusations of witchcraft and the epidemic witch-burnings, only to lay into JK Rowling on Twitter 5 minutes later. People don’t always appreciate that it is they who are in the frame.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
25 days ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

I venture to suggest that we really, really need right now an anti-woke McCarthyism. The woke are outright neonazi child mutilation supporters and that is how we should treat them. They need to have their masks ripped from their faces, and to be publicly shunned and to be denied jobs, housing, banking facilities and internet access.

Paul T
Paul T
25 days ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Careful, Thalia will come for you.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
24 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

“What a terrifying prospect,” he muttered drily.

Claire D
Claire D
24 days ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

McCarthyism, a byword for paranoid over reaction, increasingly seems like a rational response to what was, it turns out, a real threat.

In the UK, the reds really are under the bed

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
24 days ago
Reply to  Claire D

Exactly.

Andrew Holmes
Andrew Holmes
23 days ago
Reply to  Claire D

I recently read that about 70 people lost their jobs during the four peak years of McCarthyism compared to four to five times as many dismissed during the past four years of Progressive witch hunting. As Campbell observed above, the biblical observation about the criticism of motes in other’s eyes while ignoring the log in one’s own continues to hold truth.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
25 days ago
Reply to  Dr Anne Kelley

I am not sure a coalition would be the worse case – yes they are all equally infected by woke, but the in fighting that would ensue as they tried to out woke each other might offer some protection for us from it becoming law to, for example, believe that trans women really are women. The much more likely outcome of a massive Labour majority, with nothing to offer anything resembling rational opposition, is the real nightmare as the laws will be passed easily and without effective scrutiny – if you thought the Scottish hate speech law on 1 April was crazy, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Mark M Breza
Mark M Breza
24 days ago
Reply to  Dr Anne Kelley

When he shot Greg Love in 2013, Vincent Montague was a Black patrolmanwith a shitty traffic assignment in the hectic heart of downtown Cleveland’s nightlife scene. After the young Black Clevelander tried to turn down a closed-off street, Montague approached his car with a Glock in hand. A few moments later, Love’s fresh white tee would be drenched in blood. 

Although Montague was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing and only served a one-day suspension related to the incident, the U.S. Department of Justice called the shooting an example of the “poor tactics” and “unnecessary and unreasonable use of force” found in its broader investigation into the patterns and practices of the Cleveland Division of Police in Ohio. That investigation would result in an ongoing consent decree to carry out reforms under federal oversight. 

So I was surprised, in 2020, to see that Montague’s name was back in the news — as an example of how Black officers could reform policing. In the years following the shooting, Montague had become president of the Black Shield, a Black police organization with a legacy of advocating against police violence in the city.

There’s a part of me that has always wanted to believe that Black cops like Montague could change law enforcement from within. That hope springs from the fact that I have blood in blue. My family members have served as police officers in Cleveland across three generations, and paid dues as members of the Black Shield. 

To truly understand how Black cops can change their police departments — and how their police departments change them — I immersed myself in the world of Montague and his Black Shield. I conducted countless interviews with him, Black Shield members and his newfound allies in Black Lives Matter Cleveland. 

I never imagined in that time that I’d also witness Montague’s professional and political undoing. 

My in-depth story, which tries to unravel his unceremonious downfall, is out now. In following Montague’s career and its aftermath, my story also sheds much-needed light on the promise and plight of Black cops and whether their presence in law enforcement makes Black people any safer. 

Thanks for reading,

Wilbert L. Cooper

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
22 days ago
Reply to  Dr Anne Kelley

I think this is important. The rights and wrongs of the killing of George Floyd, I cannot comment on. The racial reckoning in the US; I don’t know anything. What bothers me is the crafty people riding this wave and getting jobs as our better consciousness. This is a simply a means to power. They add nothing (except to an organisation’s wage bill).

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
25 days ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

To anyone with an iota of independent thought, it was quite clear that the BLM movement was never about George Floyd.
Just as it was clear from day one that George Floyd wasn’t murdered.

Geoff Cooper
Geoff Cooper
25 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Eyewitnesses said Floyd was already in distress and struggling to breathe even before his arrest took place. Respiratory collapse due to fentanyl overdose seems the most likely cause though officer Chauvin (who was a bad cop – no doubt) kneeling in his neck can’t have helped. They should have sat him up, called an ambulance and got narcan into him and he’d have survived.

El Uro
El Uro
25 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Cooper

Chauvin is an ordinary police officer, no better, no worse. Those who had condemned him were cowards and scoundrels

Zeph Smith
Zeph Smith
23 days ago
Reply to  El Uro

It was judged neccessary to designate a scapegoat to appease and divert the unrest.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
25 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

It was an avoidable death that involved unnecessary force. Perhaps you’d at least acknowledge that Chauvin deserved to be “retired” from police duty forever.

Fred D. Fulton
Fred D. Fulton
24 days ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

If Chauvin was retired forever, he would get lifetime pension and benefits, I assume. That said to “retire him forever” would be for those in charge to take shelter in the bland (a)moral middle ground. To punt it into the tall weeds, as you Brits say.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
23 days ago
Reply to  Fred D. Fulton

I’m North American, a long-time California resident born in Calgary.
I was trying to elicit some admission of wrongdoing by Chauvin from Hugh Bryant, to unsurprising silence. My American “double commas” around retired were, of course, euphemistic. I think he deserved to “get the sack”, but without the traditional farewell bundle, and get sent to gaol for some lengthy term.
But there’s an increasingly popular, insistent fiction that Derek Chauvin knee and George Floyd’s demise were only coincidentally linked, perhaps with recourse to some feeble claims about certain “imminent death”. Or the brutal force apologists use other kinds of disparagement to paint Floyd’s life as something so poor that taking it away becomes scarcely a crime at all.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
23 days ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

What is lacking is any research done by medics and martial arts experts as to what is practical and safe. Those who train in Ju Jitsuand Judo can withstand holds and chokes which would harm most people. A person who is on drugs may be very strong, prone to violent outburts but have a weak heart and problems breathing which makes them vunerable to normal police restraint methods.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
22 days ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

I don’t know about the truth of all this, I just tend to stick to the thought that, even though they are sometimes wrong, we are foolish to think we know better than the jury who were charged to establish the guilt of the policeman.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
22 days ago

Amen.

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
22 days ago
Reply to  Fred D. Fulton

Cheaper than keeping him in prison I daresay.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
23 days ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

What did the Police training state was the correct procedure?

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
22 days ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

The chief and some other fellow officers from the Minneapolis PD claimed, under oath, that the methods Chauvin used were some combination of excessive, discredited, and dangerous. To what extent they may have skewed things to cover their own badges or reputations is another question.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
22 days ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

There needs to be far more research on what skills the Police need to restrain people and the health implications. Teaching hand to hand combat to Special Forces men who are very fit and only need to kill the enemy is fairly simple. Teaching the skills to Police officers who are far less fit but have to to restrain a wide range of men and women of varying sizes, strengths, mental and health conditions is far more difficult. In Japan, the riot police spend a year training in Aikido.
Rather than invent the wheel perhaps Police forces in the UK and USA should consult the Tokyo Police.
Aikido Yoshinkan – Tokyo Metropolitan Police Compétition (youtube.com)
I would say many problems with the Police in the UK and USA is their unwillingness to consult organisations who have expertise they lack but need and to upgrade their training. The Japanese have a word for continuous improvement Kaizen. A vital basic aspect of Japanese culture is the concept that people have to cultivate themselves in order to improve. This is why Japanese industry has such high standards of quality, similar to Switzerland.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
22 days ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

That all sounds sensible to me. Too many American police have come more or less directly from combat duty in the armed forces. As you aptly note, the skills and approaches that are fit for battle are not directly transferable to civilian neighborhoods, even if some of them are called “war zones” in the States–not for no reason at all.
Most police departments are deeply resistant to outside oversight or change of any kind, understandably so. As with this comment board, the conversation tends to land on automatic support for almost anything a cop does, or automatic suspicion & condemnation, with too little representation of the sensible middle ground.
I also think many police start out quite idealistic and goodhearted, but become jaded after a few years of working in pretty nightmarish communities, facing so much danger and encountering most people they interact with on one their worst days. I could readily believe this to be the case with a gone-bad cop like like Chauvin.
The default norm on this side of the Atlantic seems to be proud resistance to improvement, let alone reform, especially if comes from outside the “brotherhood”. “We already know better than you ever will, you don’t understand; but thanks”. And there is major arrogance among many critics and would-be reformers from the outside too, even very well-intended ones.
We could certainly stand to take a few leaves from Japan’s book. We needn’t reinvent the wheel, but a wheelwright is warranted.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
22 days ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

*Just a note that I’ve made a longer reply that has been “auto-quarantined” for some reason. I don’t know why as it was perfectly civil, and not in disagreement with your remarks.
Perhaps it’s because other comments of mine have been “voted off the island” on this board? Anyway, I appreciate your knowledgeable input on this subject.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
22 days ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Thank you. I have lived in inner city areas with high crime rates. The complexities are much greater than people realise. Consquently there is a need for a far more self disciplined, fitter, skilled, emotionally mature Police Force. One cannot put wise heads on young shoulders.
In Britain when many Chief Constables were ex Armed Forces, colonel and above, plus sergeants were recruited from Guards, Royal Navy, Royal Marines, there were men who had been in far more dangerous situations than anything encountered on the streets and consequently could remain calm and not panic and over react.
Being confronted by a large violent drug addict wielding a knife and remaining calm and not over reacting is only possible when the police officer has extensive experience of violence; been selected for the ability to remain calm, is of sufficient size, strength and fitness plus undergone extensive training such that they are able to exert the minimal level of force to keep the public safe. The 6ft +, 175lb + ex Armed Forces sergeant who has boxed, played rugby, been in combat and then undergone extensive training in Aikido/JuJitsu will know when to diffuse a situation with a joke or go fast and hard.
However, my policy would result in fewer but better Police but lower income for Police federations and fewer senior ranks. The reality is that many people benefit from large poorly trained state sector, namely the employees. The type of ex sergeant I have mentioned could enter the private sector either as a Private Military Contractor or as acting as a security officer in companies located in violent areas/countries.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
22 days ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Your reply is of interest, and highly informative. I suspect you were/are a police officer, and a very good one at that.
I’m persuaded by your comments that recent war-zone military can be excellent cops. As a practical matter, and as man of 5’8″ not weak or unathletic (especially in my younger days), I do take issue with your 6-foot-plus standard. I get the idea, but there are a few men in the 5’6″ to 5’11” range who are very strong. A rare few can even play top-flight European or even American football, or MLB (Major League Baseball). It depends on the build and individual man I think.
And I think we should have some female officers in this modern world of ours, But except for a few very tough and/or butch “woman police”, it seems they should not be in harm’s way in the same way as the men. What do you think about that, sir?

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
22 days ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

I have not been in the Police but I have lived in areas where there were drug dealers outside the front and riots plus done various martial arts and been attacked by multiple assailants. On one occaision one of the attackers was on drugs of which taking LSD and Amphetamines was a common combination. Consequently, I have experience of trying to reason to reason with a drug addict. The various gangs, local community leaders, dubious politicians, drug addicts, people with mental and physical health problems and people living in state housing and on welfare, poor education, produce a toxic brew. There are plenty of people who can gain from poor policing- gangs, community leaders, politicians, etc , hence the importance of having high quality police officers and DAs
Height gives authority, hence British Police domed helmets. There is a saying in boxing ” A good big un will beat a godd little un. “The dimensions I have given are basically a light heavy weight which are often the most dangerous size in a street fight as it combines speed, power and ability to take a hit. What is important is to have suppleness, agility, speed and upper body strength, best achieved by press ups, dips pull ups and climbing a rope.
The reality is that some drugs such as Angel Dust can give people speed and strength so Police officer needs fast reflexes, ability to deflect and dodge a blow or a stab. Shooting a firerm should be the last option, not the first.
Conservative /Republicans do not live in these areas, so do not care and Democrats/Labour have too many members who benefit from crime and disorder- lawyers, social workers, local state employees managing welfare, poorly educated teachers, etc . Deprivation is a major employer of the middle classes. As Cicero said Cui Bono- Who benefits?

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
21 days ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Yes, police need to be strong and brave, but I still think they needn’t–and should not be–mega-size warrior types without exception. That could have the net effect of further militarizing the approach of departments who are already too much “at war” with the communities they’re meant to serve*. Perhaps the biggest and toughest blokes should go into the most violent and chaotic situations in most cases though.
Wikipedia-level research shows that Cicero attributed the expression to Lucius Cassius (flourished about 130 BC).
Who benefits when the police police themselves?
*In the USA at least

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
21 days ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

I stand corrected on Cicero. You are correct.
The Dock Police were large and stronger than normal Police because the docks are usually extremely violent.
The Guards and The Royal Marine Commandos have high levels of self control. One assesses a persons military record, is it one of self control and self discipline or violent outbursts?
Using armoured vehicles and SWAT teams at the slightest outbreak of violence is militarisation.
Sending armed people who lack the mindset, experience and skills into violent situations will result in unwanted deaths and injuries because of fear inducing over reaction.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
21 days ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Important qualification about the given man’s military record. Many of our police have entered the force straight from the battlefield or just about: hypervigilant and shellshocked (as they used call it).
And some are too physically fearful–I don’t wanna say “cowardly” because that’s too easy to say from my comfy chair–to be cops at all in America, where there are more guns than people–and a roaring surplus of desperate maniacs.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
17 days ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
A comment which we have forgotten.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
25 days ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Spare a thought for Derek Chauvin who is languishing in jail for a crime that never was having bee railroaded by a left wing establishment and legal system motivated mainly by the urge to stick it to the other side

Lucas
Lucas
25 days ago

And been stabbed in prison

Jeff Hansen
Jeff Hansen
25 days ago

Having watched most of the trial in real time – the “justice” portion of this parable was insightful and disturbing. The facts presented completely at odds with the public narrative and what most people thought at the time and remember now about the death. Police body cam footage of Floyd and his friends being detained was a particularly sad slice of life. In the end the verdict was mob justice meaning no justice. That’s what the “George Floyd” movement should be remembered as, mob justice. Floyd’s family and attorney shared $27M paid by local tax payers. Chauvin 22 years in jail and 25 years prison time on Federal charges. While at federal prison in Tucson Chauvin was stabbed 22 times by an inmate who is a former FBI informant who told people the attack was a symbolic for the Black Lives Matters movement. Don’t forget about the other officers J. Alexander Keung, Tou Thao and Thomas Lane who were convicted and each serving prison time and lives ruined. Their cases arguably even larger miscarriages of justice. It’s good to remember the start of BLM in the Trayvon Martin case and the bogus chares against George Zimmerman. Worth watching I believe free on YouTube “The Trayvon Hoax.”

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
25 days ago

Yes What a travesty that trial was. So depressing to see the US turn into a banana republic right in front of our eyes.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
22 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Those are crocodile tears. You have a deep and longstanding contempt for the United States. Right?

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
25 days ago

Even other cops said Chauvin went overboard and should have been punished. Like it or not, there are bad cops, just like there are bad doctors, bad teachers, bad accountants, bad engineers and so on.

Andrew Vanbarner
Andrew Vanbarner
25 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Chauvin’s police trainer, himself a black man, grew teary when remembering Chauvin as a trainee.
“One of the best rookies I ever had.”
This largely ignored documentary below reverses many of the narratives we’ve been fed.
Of interest is the fact that the original training manual, showing the exact non-lethal pin Chauvin used (on the upper back, Chauvin never kneeled on his neck) was suppressed at the trial, as were photographs and body cams from different angles.

Thefallofminneapolis.com

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
22 days ago

You have not watched the footage. It was into the meat of his neck.

Christopher
Christopher
25 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Considering it was guilty or all hell breaks loose, opinions are easily swayed to protect one’s ass.

David Mayes
David Mayes
24 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Everyone through him under the bus

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
24 days ago
Reply to  David Mayes

Threw?

Jeff Hansen
Jeff Hansen
25 days ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Having watched most of the trial in real time – the “justice” portion of this parable was insightful and disturbing. The facts presented completely at odds with the public narrative and what most people thought at the time and remember now about the death. Police body cam footage of Floyd and his friends being detained was a particularly sad slice of life. In the end the verdict was mob justice meaning no justice. That’s what the “George Floyd” movement should be remembered as, mob justice. Floyd’s family and attorney shared $27M paid by local tax payers. Chauvin 22 years in jail and 25 years prison time on Federal charges. While at federal prison in Tucson Chauvin was stabbed 22 times by an inmate who is a former FBI informant who told people the attack was a symbolic for the Black Lives Matters movement. Don’t forget about the other officers J. Alexander Keung, Tou Thao and Thomas Lane who were convicted and each serving prison time and lives ruined. Their cases arguably even larger miscarriages of justice. It’s good to remember the start of BLM in the Trayvon Martin case and the bogus chares against George Zimmerman. Worth watching I believe free on YouTube “The Trayvon Hoax.”

glyn harries
glyn harries
25 days ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

You are right. It was about the institutional and systemic racism that still pervades much of US society

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
24 days ago
Reply to  glyn harries

No, it was an opportunity for race grifters to enrich themselves like that BLM leader who bought three mansions from corporate donations.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
24 days ago
Reply to  glyn harries

Anti white institutional and systemic racism?

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
25 days ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I was present at one of the largest riots in Portland that summer. I will always a remember a dignified and charismatic black man who stood next to me at one point. I don’t know who he was, but he seemed to be important because earlier he had been speaking from the improvised stage to a large, cheering crowd. He looked around in a kind of bewildered way and muttered, “this ain’t about black lives no more.”

Konstantinos Stavropoulos
Konstantinos Stavropoulos
24 days ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Very sadly the iota of the independent thought is self conveniently and more than often twisted to an “indy” thought. An “alternative” bunch of group ideas that fearfully hate the loneliness of being independent..!

King David
King David
24 days ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I just love it when Caucazoid Neanderthal Cannibals like to suck on the bones of dead Black people after murdering them in cold blood. In Amerikkka a few years ago white Demons used to dress up in there Sunday best with their kids and a big picnic basket to go see Black people being castrated and lynch ,or burned alive and then cut up the body share it out as souvenirs. Reminds me of Caucazoid Neanderthal hordes of Druids Cannibals that engaged in horrific Cannibalism and human sacrifice a few years ago in ENGLAND. Since 2020 there has been dozens of Black men murdered in the same way, so White SUPREMACIST cop lynching has actually increased sinced George Floyd lynching. WHITE Police murder of BLACK People has actually set a record in 2023. Its not politically correct for The White Media to cover it now that Honkkkkee the Probiscus Monkkkee is no longer interested in such things. Now its fashionable for Honkkkkee to lynch George Floyd all over again again cut of parts of his body in celebration and ceremonies of Druidism Cannibalism. The Caucazoid Neanderthal mutant can not change his thin veneer of civility can only be suppressed for a short while. The Neanderthal in him must keep knawing at the bones of homo Sapiens. Beautiful Black bodies must live at the whim and fancy of the Visigoth savage. His Neanderthal body can not compete with Black bodies so it must be destroyed. Jealousy and rage is the bane of the 2 legged Pink Swines existence so reality must be twisted and burnt to conform with Caucazoid Neanderthal insecurities and delusions. In the cheap shot screed the author talks about Wokes
Calling Roads racist to mock the history of White supremacist Amerikkka building highways that cut thru Black neighborhood with no exits to make sure Blacks are cut odd from commerce and business. All the exits are in White neighborhoods so they get all the business from highway traffic. The douchebag Honkkkkee calls it WOKEism run amok when Black people raise the issue. The Honkkkkee ridicule and ask how can roads be racist without mentioning the how these highways was purposely designed with no exits to Black neighborhoods across Amerikkka. White SUPREMACY seems to be getting nastier these days. We as Black People have to get ready for the upcoming race war. We must ban White people from Africa and Caribbean. We must create stronger relationship with China and get more Chinese tourism in the Caribbean. The further we keep away from the Caucazoid Neanderthal mutant demon the better off we will be. We gave scores to settle with you Skkkumbags and we should just interact with you Demons when we are settling these scores. We must leave your country and return to Africa and Caribbean and plan our retribution for your 2000 year crime spree against Black Humanity. Go ahead and laugh. As for Black kids in the Ghetto not knowing the word “Computer” did you see 60 Minutes TV NEWS SHOW LAST WEEK ? 2 BLACK High School kids from St. Mary’s High school in New Orleans just solved a 2 thousand year old mathematical trigonometry problem
Google it fool. Yeah 2 Black kids. Google book “Hidden Figures” and see Movie. Find out secret group of Black engineers at NASA who did rocket mathematical calculation to send you Honkkkkee Monkkkees to the moon.
We just laugh at your cheap shots at Black people. In due course we will make you Skkkumbags mutants eat your words.

Arthur King
Arthur King
22 days ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Same with Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin. Two other criminals who were used to manipulate politics.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
25 days ago

I stopped reading when Rosenfield repeats the lie that officers murdered Floyd. Surely all know, as has been confirmed, that he died of a drug overdose and acute heart disease.

Why do some people do this? No different than the likes of Bill Maher claiming with absolute assurance that police officers were killed at the capitol on January 6th. I get that he’s just an obtuse talk show host pretending to be an intellectual, but Rosenfield is a professional writer who is expected to have greater depth and thinking skills. She loses all credibility.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
25 days ago

Do people have to concur on every single thing? I don’t like Maher and strongly disagree with him on many issues, but at least he’s been red pilled and sees the rot in many of our institutions.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
25 days ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Maher may have seen the rot but he’s still a reliable Blue vote. He just notices the excesses, like the gender madness and how homelessness has gotten worse.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
25 days ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

He’s disavowed the “red-pilled” part but he’s not a lockstep ideologue, rah-rah partisan, or culture-war tribalist. Neither are you.
Sadly, for many here among the (un)herd and elsewhere the honest answer to your opening question is “yes!”.

Simon Templar
Simon Templar
25 days ago

I don’t think it matters what George Floyd actually died of, because the statement “George Floyd was murdered by police” is a lie no matter how he died. His imminent death from drug overdose was certainly hastened by a callous officer who was duly tried and punished by the American judicial system. Floyd wasn’t a victim of systemic racism. He was arrested after a burglary having taken a lethal combination of drugs and alcohol. His death had nothing to do with race.
The point is, the riots and grandstanding by BLM were based on a heinous lie and continue to be leveraged by lies. Look, the living circumstances for young inner-city Blacks are indeed atrocious, festering in crime, gangs, drugs and hopelessness. None of that is the police’s fault.
George Floyd’s death, and thousands of young men like him, are laid at the door of politicians who perpetuate crime by calling normal civil standards “racist”.

David Morley
David Morley
25 days ago
Reply to  Simon Templar

Good, balanced post.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
25 days ago
Reply to  Simon Templar

I also respect the balance and I agree with most of that. But what enables you to treat Floyd’s “imminent death” as an established fact or foregone conclusion? It seems he likely would have survived if the needless knee had been removed about 2 minutes earlier.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
24 days ago
Reply to  Simon Templar

So calling for an ambulance and administering CPR are callous acts. Floyd was pulled out of the squad car to give him the fresh air he needed. The extent to which his neck was (not) compressed would have been shown if the other photos taken had been produced. If that had taken place in Russia then every citizen of the USA would be screaming “POLITICAL SHOW TRIAL!!!” which is what it actually was.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
23 days ago
Reply to  Doug Pingel

You simply can’t have watched all the available video, not with anything like an open mind and pair of eyes. Even most police disagree with you.

Angus Douglas
Angus Douglas
25 days ago

Floyd was not murdered, he died of a drug overdose while being apprehended by the police.

Andrew Roman
Andrew Roman
25 days ago

Protesting something — anything— isn’t the means to an end. It is the end in itself. All you have to do is to join The Protest of the Month Club and you can always join like minded company.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
25 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Roman

There are elections coming up and this is exactly the tactics of would-be political candidates. All changes if they get elected. Maybe remember that when voting…

Thomas K.
Thomas K.
25 days ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

There’s a song by the Canadian folk-band Great Big Sea (they’re a national treasure, by the way) about this very tendency called ‘Someday Soon’. I’d suggest people give it a listen, it’s hauntingly catchy tune has some very poignant lyrics.

“They kept talking
Of all the things they’d do
If only we’d vote them in!
Just one more dollar
And all the bickering
And suffering would end!”

alan bennett
alan bennett
25 days ago

George Floyd died of a massive overdoses of various drugs in the first autopsy.
He was then murdered in the second one in the media.

Eryl Balazs
Eryl Balazs
25 days ago
Reply to  alan bennett

The full autopsy report concludes Floyd died from “cardiopulmonary arrest,” not an overdose and that it was a homicide due to “cardiopulmonary arrest” from “law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.”

Andrew Vanbarner
Andrew Vanbarner
25 days ago
Reply to  Eryl Balazs

He was also a lifelong drug addict, recently recovered from COVID, had meth, opioids, and alcohol in his system, and was nearly 50 years old.
He was also trying to buy cigarettes with counterfeit bills.
It’s almost as of a life of complete irresponsibility and violence (his profession was throwing drunks out of bars, along with drug dealing) tends to be a short one.

El Uro
El Uro
25 days ago
Reply to  Eryl Balazs

Second (paid) report… The first one was “cardiopulmonary arrest”
.
Accuracy can be useful

alan bennett
alan bennett
21 days ago
Reply to  El Uro

Caused by drugs, thrre were no compression injuries in the autopsy details in the articles i read.

Rob N
Rob N
25 days ago

And all this manufactured brouhaha over a repeat offender with too many drugs in his body and serious health issues for whom the police actions were, at most, a tiny contributor to his death.

John Riordan
John Riordan
25 days ago
Reply to  Rob N

Derek Chauvin is serving a life sentence for a crime he did not commit. He is guilty of contributing to George Floyd’s death and should be punished for that, yes, but not for murder.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
25 days ago
Reply to  John Riordan

GF died from “wooden chest” caused by ingesting too much fentanyl. Chauvin gave him mouth-to-mouth and pumped his chest but it was a losing cause from the start. Had the jury seen the evidence and the training the officers received, there would almost surely have been no convictions.

AC Harper
AC Harper
25 days ago

George Floyd may have been a deeply flawed ‘martyr’, and BLM a deeply flawed response to his martyrdom – but at least the event generated a whole host of progressive jobs that were difficult to challenge. There is that.
/sarcasm

LindaMB
LindaMB
25 days ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Yes, all those useless degrees issued by universities that have become businesses rather than institutions of higher learning & critical thinking, are now worth `something’

El Uro
El Uro
25 days ago

George Floyd was murdered by police in Minneapolis
.
He was not murdered. He died from overdose. The judge refused to include the police officer’s body-cam recordings into the case.
This trial was a lynching of two policemen staged for the amusement of the crowd.
Dear Kat, I’m very disappointed.

Sisyphus Jones
Sisyphus Jones
25 days ago

A police officer is 18½ times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.

Ian_S
Ian_S
25 days ago
Reply to  Sisyphus Jones

A statistic like that seems like a good reason to have compulsory training in every workplace on the scourge of blackness.

Sisyphus Jones
Sisyphus Jones
24 days ago
Reply to  Ian_S

The scourge is 60 years of the fed government paying people to be poor and families to be fatherless.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
25 days ago

It wasn’t murder. The cop was railroaded. No wonder the left and its opinion organs in the big blue cities are uncomfortable with the subject and wish it would go away.

william langdale
william langdale
25 days ago

When the dust finally settles on identity politics,and it will,the liars,frauds and grifters who peddled it should not be let off the hook.

Paul Blowers
Paul Blowers
25 days ago

When will white progressive ideologues come to the realization that they are the “Nazis” in the room?

Susan Grabston
Susan Grabston
25 days ago

Nah, just Big Lavish Mansions.

Jae
Jae
24 days ago

George Floyd wasn’t “Murdered” that implies intention. There was never any intention that he should die. To keep repeating this as is done in this article is in itself a rewriting of history.

Pip G
Pip G
24 days ago

Two of the most fearsome words: “progressive activism”.
It is endemic in various British institutions, but what would happen if public bodies were guided & coerced towards dropping DEI? Why is this not possible? Why do we give power to the minority neo-social liberals?

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
23 days ago

A main reason England and Wales fought The Armada was to prevent The Inquisition . Bloody Mary had 283 Protestants killed mostly by urning, in three years. Britain opposed a standing army post 1660 to prevent tyranny. As Orwell said on cannot have naval tyranny only a military one. The setting up of a Police force was opposed by Tories in case they were used by a tyrant.
Ever since the Inquisition, The French Revolution, Russian, Nazis and now Cancel culture there are inadequate people who wish to use the States power to impose their will on others.
Those who have charismos, who been tempered by adversity, stood up to the test can defend their independence,  have no desire to impose their will on others.
All men I have known who endured years of combat, some who were tortured by the SS for weeks, were cheerful, grateful for life, enjoyed freedom and respected the freedom of others. Many exercised the power of life and death during WW2 and after it were happy to relinquish this responsibility once peace arrived.
Since 1945 , the numbers entering political life and desirous to shape public opinion have been resentful, embittered self-pitying inadequates whose vain conceit, their desire to control others and inflict pain on whom those who oppose their will, is vast.

Martin Johnson
Martin Johnson
22 days ago

The post-George Floyd moment was engineered and funded by people who hate liberal democratic society and especially hate yeh people who live in it; there is no other way to explain what happened. For a few days in late May 2020 they focused on creating a race war over the “Central Park Karen” incident, until they realized George Floyd’s death was a more useful instrument for their purpose, and they switched focus on the proverbial dime.
You can quip that the only lasting effect was to empower some young female HR people who enforce DEI, but the damage is far deeper and far more lasting. In the US, our med schools are turning out a generation of incompetent physicians, our Law Schools are producing radical activists with no respect for the law, much of the entertainment industry was ruined for a decade if not a generation, the education edifice that was already under pressure collapsed at all levels, and we now spend billions of dollars each year on projects and programs that are not merely useless, but actively destructive. The people behind this coup institutionalized some of the worst ideas and empowered some of the worst people in the world, many of whom are now responsible for hiring in their companies and government departments. It will be generations before we recover, if ever.
The people who engineered all this took an immense dump on all the sane people of the Western world and have never come close to conceding maybe they went a teensy bit overboard. The only fitting way to remember what they did to us and, more important, our children, is to (figuratively) shove their noses in their dung pile at every opportunity.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
22 days ago

“when George Floyd was murdered by police in Minneapolis”
Even this is not a certain fact. Floyd may simply have died from the stress of the drugs he was taking, albeit exacerbated by the encounter with the police. The mood of the country was such that no one was prepared to look too closely at the actual evidence. Of course, that encounter occurred because Floyd was breaking the law.
The social amnesia around the Floyd protests are just as marked when it comes to Covid. The more evidence accumulates around the harms caused by the mandated experimental vaxxines, particularly to younger age groups, the more those who, only a few years ago screamed and shouted about the whole thing, just want to forget it ever happened.
I sometimes engage them in conversation, and they seem genuinely shocked when I remind them of the teenagers in the part in Brussels who were trampled by police horses for the crime of picnicing in a park during Covid. The seem shocked when I remind them that children as young as six were forced to sit in a classroom all day with a facemask on, for months at a time. They simply don’t remember these things.

William Knorpp
William Knorpp
17 days ago

The madness that erupted in 2020 had been building for nearly a decade. I can’t help but think–or at least hope–that it will subside. But I’ve wondered the whole time: what will happen then? Will anyone be held to account? Not legally, but morally and, perhaps even more important, epistemologically… Surely some will. Innumerable people on the left have basically lost their minds. Should we somehow force them to admit this at least to themselves? Obviously we don’t want Maoist confessions…we are not like them. But when shrieking mobs are insisting that women have penises, that children must be brainwashed and sexually mutilated, that all whites are racist, that we must eliminate the police…and that we must all tearfully and publicly agree or else… I don’t think that merely forgiving and forgetting is exactly the right thing in such a case.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
25 days ago

I will not forget and I will not forgive. Simple as that.

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
25 days ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

And nobody cares. Simple as that.

Dr E C
Dr E C
25 days ago

Lots of downvotes & no likes would suggest you’re wrong. Simple as that.

Martin M
Martin M
25 days ago
Reply to  Dr E C

I don’t think “lots of downvotes on UnHerd” is the same thing as “lots of downvotes from the population generally”.

Dr E C
Dr E C
21 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

I never said it was. CS claimed ‘nobody cares’ & got 46 downvotes meaning at least 46 people do. There’s a difference (of 46) between 0 & 46.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
22 days ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

I feel the same anger at those who so quickly jumped on the moral high horse. Unfortunately, many of thise who did, were and are colleagues whom I (otherwise) like and respect.
However, yes. My regard for many of my bosses is tempered by how quickly they jumped on these trends which were nothing to do with them.

J Bryant
J Bryant
25 days ago

But, as Bowles pointed out in a recent interview, this refusal to remember doesn’t change what was: “It happened. I was there. People did argue to abolish the police, that toddlers know their true gender and that 15 years old is fine to begin cross-sex hormones, that accelerated math is racist.
The overt madness of the BLM moment might have passed, but I would argue the initiatives described in the foregoing paragraph are still very much with us, though they now creep around in the shadows of the classroom and city council meetings.

Zeph Smith
Zeph Smith
23 days ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I’m not sure it has peaked yet, despite the setbacks.
There is a dynamic where, for example, even STEM oriented professional society feel they have to have a DEI position, which will be developed by DEI employees and perhaps a few motivated volunteers. Those people are still in power, and may be in power for decades.
University hiring committees have been stacking the faculty with ideological compatriots for literally decades. The old guard are retiring or dying off, while the new guard still vets new hires. At this point, to root out Critical Social Justice from faculties would need to involve firing the cumulative hires from several decades – a large portion – to regain some balance, and they can’t afford to lose that many and still operate. With tenure, many will be around long after I’ve left the planet, pushing in subtle or overt ways for their agenda.
Heavy handed mandates from conservative legislatures are problematic in their own right – again dictating what people can express.
Does anybody know of historical precedents where the educational, cultural, media and economic elites have been infected with a new religion for which they use their disproportional power to impose their agenda on the democratic majority? The Roman empire as Christianity became the state religion, or was the also a popular movement?

Ian_S
Ian_S
25 days ago

Keffiyehs are where it’s at now, soul sister. But will become even more awkward than George Floyd’s beatification for shrill neurotic progressive women, when, some years hence, the flashbacks happen that their campus insurrections and shouty downtown rallies were predicated on celebrating mass rape as a weapon of war.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
25 days ago
Reply to  Ian_S

No misogyny here! Please explain why it is always liberal white women that get the blame for what is wrong in tbe world. From where I am sitting, it is middle aged white men who are the problem. Governments and companies in the West are full of them bringing their desire of fiefdom to the fore at the severe detriment of all minorities. And the women who are stuck in HR departments are given direct orders to “manage the minorities” but with no direction in how to do it, except from their peers. Scapegoating is never a good look!

Chipoko
Chipoko
25 days ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

No misandry here either!

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
25 days ago
Reply to  Ian_S

.. or the Alphabet Soup for Palestine, baffled, that one day they’ll observe how their fellow “Muslim victims” are throwing their comrades in arms off the roofs.

Geoff Cooper
Geoff Cooper
25 days ago
Reply to  Ian_S

Yes, I’ve heard them called a ‘hipster swastika’ and they’re the must have accessory this season for the wokerati.

Paul T
Paul T
25 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Cooper

Hipstika.

Ex Nihilo
Ex Nihilo
24 days ago
Reply to  Ian_S

The keffiyehs. Just tried to watch the Dune sequel but couldn’t because all the keffiyeh-clad characters made me feel like I was watching a campus protest. Had to turn it off just 15 minutes in.

David McKee
David McKee
25 days ago

So BLM just petered out, did it? I rather think it morphed into what we see today: raging antisemitism.

Mark Carpenter
Mark Carpenter
25 days ago
Reply to  David McKee

Well, who’s fault is that. White people got shit on during 2020 and the NYT covered it up and all the east coast institutions went right along with it and so did the Biden administration with Rachel Levine pushing the GAC lies. Then all of a sudden October 7 and now Jews are not protected oppressed minorities, they are White oppressors and they use their oligarchical power to get University presidents fired. Where the f**k were they when BLM and Antifa were attacking White people for being White. Bowles is telling us why, because the flagship Of Jewish journalism decided that White people were due a comeuppance. f*****g racist. And that goddamned stupid 1619 project. Why shouldn’t we be angry at the elites who behaved so incompetently and arrogantly? Because it is antisemitic to criticize Jewish no matter what. So we need Jews to start being honest about their power and the abuse of it. I really appreciate hearing from Bowles about the behind the scenes corruption of NYT journalism. It is important what happened at that newspaper. They wrecked the democrats when they abandoned moderation for SJW and DEI.

General Store
General Store
25 days ago
Reply to  Mark Carpenter

It IS antisemitic to attack Jews because Jews. Attack the NYT…Why are you attacking Jews?

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
25 days ago
Reply to  Mark Carpenter

Much of “liberal Jewish Journalism” is in a twisted way now anti-semitic. Liberals like Bill Maher or David Mamet are baffled and don’t know where they belong anymore and apparently moved to the Right of the political spectrum. Or like Maher recently said : I am still in the same position, but everybody else moved to the extreme Left.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
25 days ago

But they were all onboard when the target was whitey

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
22 days ago

No, they weren’t. For example: Have you been watching Maher over the years?

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
19 days ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

I have seen enough to know he was onboard with BLM

El Uro
El Uro
25 days ago

I explained everything here below. They are not Jews. They are NYT. They will be reminded later that they are Jews. Bari Weiss’s already been reminded.
.
I’m an Israeli, just a little more cynical than it should be and, maybe due to my age, not having a very high opinion of human beings

T Redd
T Redd
25 days ago
Reply to  Mark Carpenter

But 1619 is by the NYT and they know all…Sure, 1619…genius money chasing NYT slime

El Uro
El Uro
25 days ago
Reply to  Mark Carpenter

Dear Mark, I doubt your antisemitism. Let me try to express your thoughts more correctly.
As I have said many times here, an educated crowd is the worst kind of crowd. Jews are disproportionately represented in the educated strata (we won’t look for reasons). One way or another, many if not most of them yapped along with everyone else as long as the conversation was about whites in general or about hillbilly. But now, when the Jews have become the most terrible whites, they feel their asses are burned, and they are divided into two groups. One group decided to blend in with the crowd in the hope that they would not be harmed. Another, more prudent, recalled a video in which a black shop owner shouted to the rioters, “I’m with you, I’m with you.” All he achieved was that his shop was destroyed with special zeal. Naivety is punishable.
.
PS. In my opinion, the kneeling during the Floyd-related events is one of the most shameful moments in modern American history.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
25 days ago
Reply to  Mark Carpenter

really weird

John Riordan
John Riordan
25 days ago
Reply to  David McKee

Very good point. Modern progressive activism looks increasingly like little more than a project designed to find “acceptable” forms of expression for bigotry, prejudice and hatred.

David L
David L
25 days ago
Reply to  John Riordan

There’s nothing progressives like more than being able to bully and persecute someone, while claiming to be virtuous while they do it.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
25 days ago
Reply to  David L

Just like their Puritan ancestors ?

LindaMB
LindaMB
25 days ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

God forgives, the new Puritans/woke do not

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
25 days ago
Reply to  David McKee

The Anti Discriminatory/Equality mania is alive and kicking. It is not a political phenomenon. It us a pyschological derangment or mania embedded in all of us via near coercive BBC and State propaganda to greater or lesser degrees. It is enforced by groupthink and the tentacles of Social Media and our primal fear of social ostracism. Under our own State Law there is now a formal hierarchy of special victims – BLM, Palestinians, non whites – and of evil privileged white oppressors. Jews are successful rich Whites and hence attract extra venom from the deranged armies of the progressive ‘social justice’ Left and their limp unprincipled cowardly allies in our debased law and media and Blob.

General Store
General Store
25 days ago
Reply to  David McKee

Yes….not wrong. You should experience Canadian /American campuses right now. Deeply unpleasant. Two Jewish members of staff spoke to me last week and have stopped going into work….everything online….too upsetting and potentially violent

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
25 days ago

George who …… ?

T Bone
T Bone
25 days ago

The issue is never the issue. The issue is the Revolution. When sympathy for one thing wanes, they move on to the next. It’s a nonstop pursuit of gaining the moral high ground through performative politics. Relentlessly trying portray oneself on “The Right side of History” is nothing but a narcissistic ego trip.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
25 days ago
Reply to  T Bone

…. and a never-ending supply of grifting products for the grifters.

Zeph Smith
Zeph Smith
23 days ago
Reply to  T Bone

I take your point, but I think it’s more than that – it’s a quest for power over others, using the payoff of asserted moral superiority to feed the easily manipulated rank and file.
As you say, the issue is the revolution (which is a lot bigger project than just feeding some egos).

Steve Hamlett
Steve Hamlett
25 days ago

What’s a ‘manager-caller’?

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
25 days ago
Reply to  Steve Hamlett

She’s talking about the ‘Karen’ who ‘would like to speak to your manager’ stereotype.

John Riordan
John Riordan
25 days ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

Took me a second to work that out, I have to admit.

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
25 days ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

I guess the downvoters would like to speak to my manager.

Russell Hamilton
Russell Hamilton
25 days ago

“The arc of the social justice universe is long, but it bends toward free massages and macaroni art.”

Can UnHerd get Kat Rosenfield nominated for a Pulitzer? Always fresh, always a pleasure to read.

R Wright
R Wright
25 days ago

That line had me howling.

Steve Houseman
Steve Houseman
25 days ago

haha…Me To. Loved that line immediately.

David Morley
David Morley
25 days ago
Reply to  Steve Houseman

Commented separately before I read this comment. Brilliant line.

peter lucey
peter lucey
25 days ago

An excellent piece, and I will look out for Ms Bowles” book. I am reminded of Shiva Naipaul’s classic “Black and White’ (Journey to Nowhere” in the US). The best analysis of Jonestown (he was one of the journalists who visited after the suicides).
His account of how Jim Jones built the People’s Temple on the dregs of 60s leftist radicalism is unsurpassed. Chilling and informative – and if seems nothing has changed.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
25 days ago

From now on I could never associate this affair with anything other than Steve Bannon’s words that if the Democrats and RINOs had not shopped all the factory jobs off to China then George Floyd would not have been riding around high on Fentanyl looking for the next petty scam…

Anders Wallin
Anders Wallin
25 days ago

The word, I think is “difficult”.
This is not a sexy word for young people born in fortunate families, sheltered by mothers that “want the best for their children”. Kids raised to “follow dreams” and find “meaning of life”. For those kids, things like a revolution – or starting an enterprise if right wing – is what mother has raised them to do. Clear shiny Goals in life.
While life’s a b***h. Uncertain. Difficult. To talk “racism” and “murder” in this areas is the sign of a spoiled brat. Just as much as hail the minimal state. If stuff like the George Floyd case, the racial situation in the USA, and well, stuff like Israel/Palestine and Trump being good or bad and why he is a candidate for Presidency after all, is anything, they are deeply complex and intricate questions.
Its easy for Greta Thunberg to say “treat the climate change as the Covid pandemy”. Like No. You cannot derive an ought from an is, especially when the IS is very complex. If you have the maturity to see the problems as problems in the world.
And BLM is facing real life problems. People that live those problems, all credit to them, and their fights for a race that certainly should be fair. But young posh people with an urge to find whatever to to fulfuil life’s meaning, do something that you understand. Become scientists, politicians, MD’s or engineers.

General Store
General Store
25 days ago

Shriver also points to a strange amnesia after each episode of insane moral panic. ‘Supported chopping the dicks of small boys? Not me!’

Mangle Tangle