It’s the day after the Chauvin verdict. Even as we heard that Derek Chauvin is guilty, guilty, guilty, we also were hearing about a black teenage girl in Columbus, Ohio, who had been just killed by police. Details of this new shooting are sketchy. It appears 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant was brandishing a knife, and so she had to be shot? Somehow I think there must be other ways to deal with such situations. That’s what we keep saying after every wasted life.
As many people have pointed out, one verdict hardly erases all the injustice that has gone before and doesn’t mean anything will change. It does represent an opportunity for change, however. I think a lot of white people especially who watched this trial (except on Fox News) may have gained some understanding of what’s wrong with U.S. policing.
Chauvin had a history of doing to other detained people what he did to George Floyd — forcing them to lie face down, and then putting a knee on their necks. He had done this six times before, that we know of. People had complained. The Minneapolis police did nothing. Now the U.S. Justice Department has announced an investigation of “the practices and culture of the Minneapolis Police Department,” it says here. Let’s hope some reforms come from that. But that’s just one municipal police department.
This moment has also laid bare the unvarnished racism harbored by a lot of influential people. I mean, Tucker Carlson? He’s gone from supporting racist “replacement” theory to calling the Chauvin verdict “an attack on civilization.” Now he’s saying the only reason the jury convicted Chauvin is that … they feared for their lives? Or that they thought Black Lives Matter would burn down Minneapolis? It’s not clear. Erik Wemple:
Leave it to Fox News host Tucker Carlson to skip past the evidence in search of some way place an asterisk on this moment of racial justice. “The jury in the Derek Chauvin trial came to a unanimous and unequivocal verdict this afternoon: Please don’t hurt us,” said the host on Tuesday evening.
What did that mean? As best we can surmise, Carlson was suggesting that a motivation behind the verdict was to head off the the protests that would likely have erupted after an acquittal. “The jury spoke for many in this country,” continued Carlson. “Everyone understood perfectly well the consequences of an acquittal in this case. After nearly a year of burning and looting and murder by [the Black Lives Matter movement], that was never in doubt.” (In fact, the overwhelming majority of racial justice protests have been peaceful.)
Tucker interviewed Former NYC Deputy Sherriff Ed Gavin, who had some constructive and reasonable suggestions for reform. Tucker wasn’t having it.
When Gavin started to suggest reforms, Carlson cut him off: “How about enforce the law? Do we need to do that? So hold on, wait a second. So, wait, slow down. Do we enforce the law? Like let’s say, people are going through the windows in Macy’s and the cops are just standing there, do they resign?” As Carlson was concluding the discussion, Gavin tried to get in one more point. “Nope, done,” scolded Carlson.
So that’a another revelation. Not that I’d ever confused Tucker for a lover of civil liberties, but this is just bare-assed racism/authoritarianism. Sieg heil, Tucker.
At this moment, Americans have to decide whether they’re with Black Lives Matter or with Tucker Carlson. No fence sitting allowed. Make up your mind. Justice or injustice? That’s the choice.