Poisonous Legacy: Why George Floyd Could Be Choked While The Whole World Watched.

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LOOK HARD at this image. Think about what it depicts. Ask yourself how one human-being could behave so brutally when so many eye-witnesses – and very soon millions of people online around the world – were there to watch him do it. Then ask yourself why he didn’t care.

In this photograph, lifted from a video taken at the scene, the Minneapolis police officer whose knee is choking the life out of George Floyd, registers the presence of witnesses with a mixture of surprise and annoyance. The fact that he is looking directly into the lens of the cellphone recording his actions – strongly suggests that he is aware of what is happening.

Most people, caught in a similarly compromising position would respond by removing their knee from the suspect’s neck. The man was in handcuffs. He posed no threat to the officer or anybody else. The witnesses present could hear the man protesting that he couldn’t breathe. So, presumably, could the officer. So, why didn’t he remove his knee? Why didn’t he stop?

Part of the answer lies in the culture of American law enforcement. In all but the smallest communities, US police officers are encouraged to view their fellow citizens as the enemy. This is true even of white citizens, who will be shown scant respect unless the socio-political context of their encounter with law enforcement, and/or their possession of all the accessories of high social status, indicate a more deferential demeanour might be in order. In the absence of these warning markers, however, blank indifference to the rights and opinions of their fellow citizens is considered mandatory. Anything less would convey an impression of softness and weakness: displays of which could quickly lead to a potentially fatal loss of police authority.

With African-Americans, the need for maximum rigor on the part of law enforcement has always been a given. On the central question of equal treatment under the law, all of American history conspires against people of colour. Their role in the development of American capitalism – and of capitalism globally – may have been crucial. One cannot picture the cotton mills of Lancashire without also picturing the cotton fields of Mississippi! But, the great tragedy of African-American history is that it is equally difficult to explain the global dominance of American capitalism without acknowledging the racial segmentation of the American working-class. With racial prejudice forever forestalling working-class unity, anti-capitalism has never found any enduring purchase on the soil of the United States.

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As long ago as the 1830s it was apparent to dispassionate observers of the American Republic that “free” white American males (the only people then vested with political power) were bound to the idea of the United States with chains every bit as strong as those which burdened its black slaves. The loyalty of the poorest white farmer and/or factory worker was in large measure guaranteed by his understanding that at least two categories of human-being would always occupy a more degraded position than himself in the socio-economic hierarchy: women and blacks.

Nowhere is this crucial political understanding more clearly spelled out than in the 1857 judgement of the Chief Justice of the United States, Roger Taney, who ruled against the legal attempt by the freed slave, Dred Scott, to secure equality of treatment under the Constitution of the United States.

According to Taney:

“The question is simply this: Can a negro, whose ancestors were imported into this country, and sold as slaves, become a member of the political community formed and brought into existence by the Constitution of the United States, and as such become entitled to all of the rights, and privileges, and immunities, guarantied by that instrument to the citizen?”

The Chief Justice’s answer was an unequivocal “No”.

“We think… that [black people] are not included, and were not intended to be included, under the word “citizens” in the Constitution, and can therefore claim none of the rights and privileges which that instrument provides for and secures to citizens of the United States. On the contrary, they were at that time [of America’s founding] considered as a subordinate and inferior class of beings who had been subjugated by the dominant race, and, whether emancipated or not, yet remained subject to their authority, and had no rights or privileges but such as those who held the power and the Government might choose to grant them.”

Taney’s (along with six more of the nine Supreme Court justices’) judgement stated more honestly than anything written before, or since, White America’s true feelings towards Black America:

“It is difficult at this day to realize the state of public opinion in relation to that unfortunate race, which prevailed in the civilized and enlightened portions of the world at the time of the Declaration of Independence, and when the Constitution of the United States was framed and adopted…. They had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order…; and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.”

It could hardly be stated more plainly: African-Americans have no rights which the white man is bound to respect. In very large measure the American Civil War was fought to nullify Chief Justice Taney’s (himself a slaveowner) crushing judgement. And though, by the victory of the Union armies, the slaves were freed, recognised as citizens of the United States, and guaranteed the equal protection of the laws, their victory was short-lived. Barely a decade after the war’s end, the relentless roll-back of African-American rights had begun. On the ground, where it counted, most white Americans found it more expedient to enshrine the prejudices of Roger Taney than to give heed to Abraham Lincoln’s “better angels”.

It required terror, of course, this denial of African-American rights: terror and the connivance of local law enforcement. Between them, the Ku Klux Klan, the local sheriff and the officials down at the county courthouse reduced those African-Americans still living within the borders of the defeated Confederacy to a new form of servitude. It would be another 100 years before the civil rights won in the Civil War were again afforded the meaningful protection of federal authority.

Perhaps predictably, the spectacle of African-Americans reaching out to reclaim their lost political, social and economic rights struck fear into white Americans. Across the whole of America this time, the prospect of giving up their privileged status – even if its surrender would greatly enhance the ability of all Americans to pursue happiness more successfully – was enough to drive working-class whites into the arms of, first, George Wallace, then Richard Nixon, and ultimately Ronald Reagan.

Is it drawing too long a bow to suggest that in the aftermath of the Civil Rights Struggle (1954-1980) the terroristic role formerly assigned to the Ku Klux Klan was assumed by local law enforcement? The Black Lives Matter movement would not say so. If he had not been silenced forever by a Minneapolis cop, it is likely that George Floyd would not say so. Not when practically every day in the United States police officers pay deadly tribute to Chief Justice Taney’s poisonous legacy.

Demonstrably, it is the opinion of American law enforcement that African-Americans are indeed members of an inferior order. So far inferior, that they have no rights which any white police officer is bound to respect; and that African-Americans might justly and lawfully be put to death – even when the whole world is watching.

 

111 COMMENTS

  1. Roland S. martin gives good up to date commentary and news regarding police brutality and white supremacy in the Usa
    “Complete Callous Behavior’: Minneapolis Cop’s Actions Show ‘Intent To Kill’ George Floyd” https://youtu.be/Mj3fHxvaCtY

    Professor Gerald Horne gives the violent history ,,, with the KKK talked about from about 19 minutes ,,, https://youtu.be/gAHHtVUIHtE?t=1192

    The FBI are still on the Job ,,,, “Black Panthers White Lies” https://youtu.be/KPN8LHVeFYA

    Martin Luther king … https://youtu.be/ogfctc3wx-M

    • The intrusion of Europeans into the American continent typically involved getting a foot hold then murdering the natives and driving them off the land.
      Good christian folk they regarded themselves as, but Christians were regarded as being superior to heathens who by many, who regarded them as animals.
      That mindset has become embedded to varying degrees across the USA.

      Institutions gave grown to reinforce the superiority of whites and wealth holders.
      National and local commemorations usually are about “White” history and events.
      Slavery brought to America a new group to be abused as inferiors.
      A 2004 study reported that the majority of people sentenced to prison in the United States are Black, and almost one-third of Black men in their twenties are either on parole, on probation, or in prison. These disproportionate levels of imprisonment have made incarceration a normalized occurrence for African-American communities.
      African-Americans are about eight times more likely to be imprisoned than Whites.
      In 1995, the rate had increased to one in three. In the same year, more than half of young Black men were then under criminal supervision in some states.
      But it doesn’t stop there.
      Native American men are incarcerated at four times the rate of whites.
      For the same crimes their sentences are much longer than for other groups
      In South Dakota, the state with the fourth highest percentage of Native American residents, Native Americans compose 60% of the federal caseload, but only 8.5% of the total population.

      Native Americans are incarcerated at a rate 38% higher than the national average, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
      Native American youths are 30% more likely than whites to be referred to juvenile court than have charges dropped, according to National Council on Crime and Delinquency.
      Native Americans are more likely to be killed by police than any other racial group, according to the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice.
      Native American women are incarcerated at six times the rate of white women, according to a report compiled by the Lakota People’s Law Project.
      Native Americans fall victim to violent crime at more than double the rate of all other US citizens, according to BJS reports. Eighty-eight percent of violent crime committed against Native American women is carried out by non-Native perpetrators.

      In NZ many decades ago the children attending Saturday afternoon movies were regularly exposed to the myth that “Red Indians” were the badies and the cavalry shooting and cutting them to pieces,. men women and families, brought on cheering by the children attending the movies. Imported sadistic racism and dehumanising trauma for children to watch.
      Many Maori communities were treated similarly by British whites stealing land.

      • “The intrusion of Europeans into the American continent typically involved getting a foot hold then murdering the natives and driving them off the land.”

        No. 95% of native Americans died soon after contact with Europeans because of their vulnerability to Eurasian diseases.

      • John W: “Good christian folk they regarded themselves as, but Christians were regarded as being superior to heathens who by many, who regarded them as animals.”

        Indeed. Christianity saw itself as being superior: hence the missionary enterprise, everywhere in the world to which westerners took colonialism.

        I grew up as a Catholic. We were taught to look down on people who weren’t Catholic: even if they were Christian, their brand of it was, we were told, inferior to ours. I’d add that I abandoned the church long years ago, when I was just out of my teens.

        “Slavery brought to America a new group to be abused as inferiors.”

        And non-white, to boot. Slavery has a deep history in human societies, though in fairness skin colour wasn’t necessarily the driving factor. The practice hasn’t yet been totally eliminated, much as most of us deplore it.

        However. The first western settlers in NZ didn’t bring slavery with them. Though they certainly found the practice alive and well here when they arrived.

        Those are interesting crime stats that you’ve adduced here. It’d be good to see a link, if you could provide one.

    • Have a little think about this tongue in cheek blogged statement, and then see if you can make the connection with the land of the free and the brave’s actions in so many country’s.
      Calls for President Xi of China to provide the American rebels with the means to defend themselves against the regime have not yet been answered.

      • G.A.P.: “Calls for President Xi of China to provide the American rebels with the means to defend themselves against the regime have not yet been answered.”

        Haha…yes, very good!

        Unsurprisingly, there have been discussions in this household this morning, regarding the differing reportage by the msm of unrest in Hong Kong, as compared with what we’re now seeing in the US. Not to mention what’s being said about both situations by the úsual suspects among the talking heads.

        • My reply to another blog D’Esterre, but probably a better fit here.
          All so true Afewknowthetruth. You are not going to FKN believe this, but just watching RT (Putin puppet) and the moronic yanks are suggesting that RUSSIA may have started the riots????

          • G.A.P.:”…but just watching RT (Putin puppet) and the moronic yanks are suggesting that RUSSIA may have started the riots????”

            Hahaha…..yeah, I also saw it on RT. Hilarious, no? I remarked to a family member: CNN just can’t help itself, can it?

  2. This interpretation is interesting, but perhaps more important is the historical differentiation in the role of the USA police and the NZ police, when time and again, Maori activists cite American police brutality to demonise NZ cops, in too far-fetched equivalence.

    The recent NY Central Park case, where a white dog walker, Amy Cooper, called the police with a false complaint about a black bird watcher, has generated massive discussion about historical role of the US police. I think it is the Washington Post – which I can’t access- which basically says that American whites see the police as there to protect white interests, so much so that whites deliberately make false complaints, knowing/assuming that the police will support them if the other protagonist is black.

    Elsewhere:
    “Why Amy Cooper Felt the Police Were Her Personal “Protection Agency”
    There is a loaded history behind Amy Cooper’s apology.

    Amy Cooper was not afraid. In the now-infamous Ramble video, we can clearly see her entitlement and rage. We see her losing control because her privilege to exercise unfettered autonomy was challenged by Christian Cooper, a birder who requested that she respect leash-law rules. Christian’s video revealed the falsehood of Amy’s call to the police, in which she assumes a distressed voice and begs them to help her because an “African American” man was “threatening” her.

    Once exposed, Amy apologized via media interview for her behavior and insisted she is “not a racist.” She further noted that she, in retrospect wrongly, regarded the police as a cost-free “protection agency” but that she now understood that “there are so many people in this country that don’t have that luxury.”

    Cooper lost both her job and her dog for this, but the number of cases, where the US police turn up with guns blazing because of false complaints, has resulted in four states considering enacting bills to criminalise
    making a complaint when no infringement of has occurred. I think it was with women’s libbers back in the 70’s, that utilising the police as protectors of women was first initiated, and that from this has emanated using the police as a weapon against African Americans, now such a fail-safe tactic that law makers are being forced to consider it as a separate legal offence – as they should. It is pure evil.

    Why bystanders stand by, is often fear of litigation in a litigation-obsessed society – or gutless wondery. Many years ago, here in NZ, seeing two women beating each other up, I sought help from a passerby, IM, to help stop it. He laughed, and said that he’d go and watch; IM was from a prominent Otago family.

    I knew campus NAACP people in the 70’s, and the focus then was on black rights; from memory I think it was an issue Robert Kennedy embraced, but the notion that US police see the people per se as the enemy, is as bad as it gets – and hopefully isn’t true. Given the predominance of Irish cops in northern states, themselves carrying family histories of brutilisation by the English, it is unfathomable if they are as bad or worse.

    • An interesting read SnowWhite. And yes, Robert Kennedy was strong on civil rights, more impressive than his brother and loved by blacks he stood alongside.

      I kept thinking of ‘To kill a mocking bird’ as I read Chris’ blog. A children’s book that epitomised the struggle in the south. The best history of the US is Howard Zinn’s “A Peoples History of the US” which documents critical struggles starting with the oppression of native Indians, as well as black struggles those of workers and women. You-all should read it.

      • Janio – Emmett Till, the 14 year old schoolboy murdered in 1955, is the tragic Chicago child who crops up in reading again and again, and it is only fairly recently, that the Southern white woman who complained about him, admitted that she lied. As you’ll know, young guys that age are all great, and his experience moves me to tears.

        This is the sort of racial hatred which is unfathomable, but what happened to Emmett Till lead directly to Rosa Parks sitting in a bus where she shouldn’t have, and triggering off a mass movement. All this is being re-documented again now, and it is horrific that such is still ongoing. It’s why I was appalled at Marama Davidson’s anti-white diatribe at the Auckland Muslim vigil, because I saw it as stoking anti-Pakeha prejudice in the country our grandchildren are growing up in, and that she was wrong to do it, and in what she said.

        Nelson’s Amy Brooke’s anti-Maori writings in the Aus Spectator I also think mired in ignorance, and the sort of people she might influence likely don’t read the Spectator – but her continuous animosity towards Sue Bradford for trying to protect children from adult violence, may also be symptomatic of something dark in our own psyche, and again, we may need to learn live with a permanent cautious vigilance, and certainly not rely on politicians to make morally right decisions. I don’t !

        • Snow White: “Nelson’s Amy Brooke’s anti-Maori writings in the Aus Spectator…”

          Brooke has a bee in her bonnet about things Maori: has had since I used to read her in the Press, many years ago.

          It’s sad that she can’t get her stuff published anywhere in NZ (as I’ve said before: free speech and all that) but must resort to the Spectator. Her audience there must be minuscule and doubtless doesn’t include many – or any – NZers.

          Her views on Sue Bradford (a courageous woman if ever there were one) are darkly hilarious. It causes one to wonder what she did to her own children.

          • D’Esterre – It gets worse. In a recent Spectator coronavirus sally, Brooke seemed to criticise PM Ardern for suggesting placing teddy bears in front windows – quite comical, but nevertheless hypothetically depriving children of snippets of pleasure – the bears are fun for some- big and small. Make me smile.

            I knew whanau who said that she strapped her kids – her father, unsuccessful Labour candidate for St Albans in the 1951 election could be explosive, had good Maori friends – but went right-wing under Muldoon. Strapping kids is legal, I think, as long as the intent is correct, and the force is ineffectual – or some-such.

            One or two of Brooke’s criticisms of Maori are none of her business, eg I think for calling each other, “bro”, and ditto re Sue Bradford’s enunciation of English, also comical when Bradford has a Masters in Mandarin, and a PH D in something else.

            I love Sue Bradford for what she tried to achieve for our children, and I am sorry that neither in Parliament, nor in the wider public arena, does there appear to be even one passionate individual with whatever it takes to wage a mighty crusade on behalf of the kids. Not much political mileage there.

            (I refer to my brothers as bros – so I guess that makes me Maori, and I can get a whopping big payout – but just don’t tell Amy Brooke, or Don Brash, or risk raising Roger Kerr now forever clasped to nature’s bosom from the dead.)

            • Snow White: “I knew whanau who said that she strapped her kids……Strapping kids is legal, I think, as long as the intent is correct, and the force is ineffectual – or some-such.

              I had a look at the law (so that you didn’t have to, especially when considering Brooke….), and no, force for the purposes of correction is forbidden. In other words, strapping, belting, giving a hiding/clip around the ear and so on, all forbidden. One can use force – more broadly defined as restraint and the like – in order to prevent a child from being hurt or hurting another child, or if one must stop a child from getting up and walking off in the middle of a nappy change, eg.

              If Brooke used the strap on her kids, she may well have had it used on her. These things follow patterns of that sort.

              “I love Sue Bradford for what she tried to achieve for our children…”

              I admired her for her bravery. Not least because I agreed with her, of course. I also wish we had someone with that sort of guts, and who could get the sort of publicity she got, going into bat for our kids right now.

              I also admired Fran Wilde back then. And I agreed with her as well. It took real courage to do what she did.

              “….calling each other, “bro”, and ditto re Sue Bradford’s enunciation of English….”

              Bradford has a very strong NZ accent: such people attract criticism, possibly from those who think that the British received accent sounds classier, and bespeaks better education. Brooke is no doubt one of them. Certainly another of the bees buzzing around in her bonnet was language usage: she had a normative view of some aspects of grammar. Unfortunately, that’s not how languages work.

              As for the “bro” thing: I worked with Maori from the mid-60s, went to school with them before that. I do not recall that term coming into common use until the late 70s/early 80s, when we moved to Auckland. Back then it was used by Maori and Pacific people; nowadays its use is widespread in NZ. In fact, I’m pretty sure I heard it in that video clip from Minneapolis.

              • D’Esterre “Bro” is global, and has been for quite a while; Obama used it, as do Londoners I know.

                NZ follows overseas trends, and may do so more quickly now – but what social or cultural groups call each other is their business -shouldn’t concern others – so long as it doesn’t harm them.

                Only met and talked with Sue Bradford once, in semi-private context, and thought her gentle and softly-spoken compared to her public persona – and I do find that some media women jar harshly on my sensitive wee ears – but don’t listen to them, so that’s that.

                Opposition to government attempts to legislatively protect children may require middle-class Pakeha to accept that their violent own parents did them wrong, and that is simply too big an emotional ask for many – classic unspoken conspiracy between the abuser and the abused.

  3. Disgusting. The US (and China) are not countries to emulate in terms of their justice and social policies.

    But our governments seem to be obsessed with following and Kowtowing to them in NZ.

  4. It’s Professor Stanley Milgram 101
    What 90% of us fail to comprehend is that 10% of us are better equipped, by virtue of specific educations, to enable those 10% to fuck us on the deal. Any deal you can name..? They’re able to fuck us on it. Including looking the other way while a yank cop murders a guy who happens to be black.
    But wait? There’s more !? We may never know we’ve been manipulated. And while we wander about, bewildered by certain events which seemed like a good idea at the time, those events were almost certainly designed for a single purpose and almost entirely to the benefit of the educationally well armed 10%.
    ( I was told, some time ago by a black guy that the only reason he had a quality university education was because his father was in the military. The same could have been said if his father was a cop. Otherwise, he’d a had no chance he reckoned.)
    It strikes me as darkly hilarious, that those who live in absurdly expensive houses trying to pay eye goggling mortgages and sundry rorting costs think they’re free. Could it be that they think they’re free because they’re told to think they’re free?
    Re AO/NZ and the cops? Are they on our side or ‘Their’ side? Are we 5 million on richer lands, I’d argue, than Finland. Are we in sound wealth and in good mental and physical health, with everyone in a good house? Fuck nope, I’d say. But why not? Our AO/NZ’s right there in front of us and yet we can’t see it for what it represents to us?
    Foreign banksters are taking 6 billion dollars of OUR money out of OUR country in net profits annually as homeless AO/NZ people doss down in the streets while other people with mortgages are doomed to a life time of hard graft while being free to be as enslaved as they have no idea they are.
    Challenge the authority which enables that thievery and you too can have a cops knee on your neck as the last thing you see as you die is the gutter.

    ‘Obedience to Authority’
    https://books.google.co.nz/books?hl=en&lr=&id=jth4AgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=Obedience+to+Authority:+An+Experimental+View&ots=nVvDE4D713&sig=Pr1gyIphNgfvItni5VRfM_WmrQI#v=onepage&q=Obedience%20to%20Authority%3A%20An%20Experimental%20View&f=false

    • She’ll probably say that the cop has every right to feel demonised for his ethnicity.

      This brutal killing is sickening and the cop should be charged with killing George Floyd. If he is charged then good. There is too much of this going on in the USA. There was the recent example of the African-American being shot dead at point blank range by two white guys, father and son, with the father being an ex cop just because the African-American was going for a run through the neighbourhood. Apart from the horrific killing itself, the dreadful thing about that case was that the local law enforcement did nothing about the killing and the FBI stepped in when the video of the killing went on line. Now the two white guys have been charged with murder – and rightly so.

      • That was another horrific case but given Trumps history, the father and son are likely to be pardoned.
        I am just so very, very grateful to have a compassionate leader of our country, yes we have issues with this government, however Ardern does compassion better than any other.

    • I can’t tell you what Judith Collins thinks but I can tell you that white people have lost the moral aurthority to rule.

      • I am not so sure that as a general rule they have lost their moral authority to rule – but I agree with you if they have also lost their moral coding which many of them at that level have.

      • @ Sam, What ethnicity has the moral authority to rule, then Sam?

        Is Bernie Sanders a ‘bad’ person because he is also US and ‘white’…. like wise Jeremy Corbyn….

        People are a mixed bag, you can’t judge a person by their ‘identity’ or their gender, sexuality, age or their disabilities….

        There are good and bad leaders and citizens of every ethnicity.

        That is why I’m keen to know what ‘colour’ of skin supposedly has the moral rights to rule?

        Discrimination in the age of neoliberalism is not race based, it is mostly money related and power based…

        • its still early days but as far as America is concerned the moral authority to rule is in the hands of rioters tearing up parts of Minneapolis not the cops, not the mayor, not the governor, not community leaders, not even the President of the United States of America has the balls to stop the rioters because they all know that they do not have that authority. The rioters think they can win because the cops are in full retreat.

        • SaveNZ: “@ Sam, What ethnicity has the moral authority to rule, then Sam?”

          I advise taking with a grain of salt Sam’s declarations of this sort. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve seen stuff like this from him/her.

          Skin colour is an extrinsic characteristic only: it cannot be the marker of in-principle difference that some people – Sam included – evidently want it to be.

          Claiming that “white people have lost the moral authority…” is as egregiously silly as are proclamations that “black people are inferior”.

          “Discrimination in the age of neoliberalism is not race based, it is mostly money related and power based…”

          Exactly. This is the issue, not that tired and overused term “racism”.

          • Your intentions are pure, Dester, but the reality is evil. As an old woman you do not have the power to change what the crown does to brown people turning them upside down and inside out. There language is almost extinct and you are trolling me with your sideway cheers for what the enlightened European settler has done for the noble savage they found in New Zealand. You do not get to tell me what Māori history is, Europeans are entitled guests in Aotearoa. We didn’t want to murder settlers we signed a treaty with them to live in peace but the crown are con artists. Pakeha New Zealanders of European descent have no intention what so ever of paying fair compensation for conducting business and commerce in New Zealand to Māori.

            To then turn around and then go “not that tired and overused term racism” is you fearing that Māori will do to you and your settler ideology what the settlers have done to you because you have a sick mind that can’t handle giving Māori fair compensation for there sacrifices.

            You should be bloody ashamed. There is an active revolution in progress and in every other revolution in all of history the entire aristocracy was put to death and that makes these protesters and rioters amazingly restrained. And here’s you Dester with your head cannon and diseased mind giving yourself sideways congratulations and patting yourself on the back.

      • They lost it when they and their mates in Europe invaded and colonised so much of the rest of the world, because they could!

      • What? This cop deserves everything he gets but what I stupid statement.

        How would you react if I said that history shows us that any Hutu has lost they’re moral authority to rule?

        • Not being able to live up to the moral character standards that I set for my self is a foreign concept to me. Everyday it fills me with joy to be able to feed people that I care about deeply delicious food. I don’t do that for admiration or accolades, I do it because I want my family and community as strong as. That my boy, is how you rule.

      • Sam – They never had the authority “to rule.” The authority is vested in the people they represent. Due to a design fault, the almighty clock-maker gave them two ears, and too often, what goes in one ear, goes straight out the other one. Ditto two eyes swivelling in different directions – but one-eyed is even worse.

        • Perhaps, but Americans do have unparalleled blessings. Perhaps as federal politics in America declines there will be less red tape for the American billionaire to go on and make something else of America. I mean if America try’s to keep pace with Chinese expansionism while America is carrying use 30 trillion in government debt and another use 700 trillion or so in private debt while China owns half that debt, then the American billionaire will be able to operate unhindered by a government that can not service its debt, can’t service its police or its military industrial complex.

        • I have no doubts in my mind that if 2Pac, Biggie Smalls, Martin Luther and Robert Kennedy had not have been assassinated America would be vastly more desirable.

      • Sam: “….white people have lost the moral aurthority to rule.”

        Hahaha! And you believe this? Bloody nonsense.

        You’ve fallen into the trap of judging the whole by the part. Exactly the thing you and others whine about with the NZ police and justice system.

        • The demands of the rioters including Jamie Fox is very simple. Prosecute all cops for constitutional violations or this happens again. I couldn’t have asked for a more simple directive.

        • D’Esterre – And you may have fallen into the trap of judging others using emotive words like, “whine” – not everyone who differs whines.

          Some preach, some opine, some waffle, some rave, some crouch meanly in the shadows like Walter de la Mare’s cats waiting to pounce, but the bottom line is that this is still a country where we are still able to express opinions even when we are gloriously wrong. That’s pretty healthy.

          • Applewood: “And you may have fallen into the trap of judging others using emotive words like, “whine” – not everyone who differs whines.”

            Ha! If it walks like a duck and all that…. I name it for what it is: whining. That’s what Sam and others do.

            • D’Esterre – Prince Harry whines. It’s a hell of an insult to suggest that any NZ bloke – especially one who derives pleasure from providing sustenance for his family – is on a par with Meghan Markle’s dimwit husband.

              There’s a Health and Safety Officer for a lucrative SOE who devoted an inordinate proportion of his whole working life to whining away about smokers, but NZ males generally have whining stamped out of them by about age 8; middle-aged females of a particular ethnic group – not Maori – are notorious for their sickly whining – as is the odd semi-demented cat owner, but that’s about it.

              • Applewood: “….any NZ bloke – especially one who derives pleasure from providing sustenance for his family….”

                Always assuming that Sam is in fact a bloke, of course. Where commenters here are concerned, I’ve learned never to make assumptions as to gender.

                In any event, Sam whines. Along with others commenting on this site. Somebody further down the thread talks about “designated victim groups”. This is how it comes across: people who see themselves as victims doing the “O me miserum!” thing (as the Romans would’ve said…).

                  • Sam – Maybe because Catholic Theologian – and brilliant US academic – Mary Daly opines that in every social context, women unconsciously defer to men, and you sound sort of like a man, so out of deference, D’Esterre whines about you, but not to you.

                    This saves you having to engage directly with D’Esterre freeing you to make quiche. Real men make quiche, did you know ?

                    I have never made quiche ergo I am not a man – real or otherwise. And on principle I long ago decided never to make Pavlova, and that precludes me from being a good Kiwi woman.

                    (I do a brilliant curry.)

                • @Applewood:

                  I don’t know about that, I’m very experienced in the whole life cycle and whole ecosystem of different cuisines but I’d have to say that I don’t have any problems spilling a bit of sauce on the rim of the plate where my Grandmother would be instinctively against that.

                  So if I was to foolishly compete with my Grandmother in a head to head cooking comp it would be strategy and tactics that would win me the day and not technique.

                  If I had to put my quiche up against hers I guess I’d have to cheat.

                  • Sam -I’m on your Grandmother’s side. These are the women whose thrift and ingenuity puts modern women/men to shame – and I don’t underestimate the intrinsic nobility of often harsh lives lived as an aesthetic feast for others – and not necessarily without guile. Baxter wrote well of them – and I’m not currently in mood to read him either – but not teaching one’s grandmother to suck eggs is a fairly universal sort of adage.

                    I doubt mine knew what a quiche was, but her jams and chutneys were heavenly, and her patience angelic, as she sat in the winter sun knitting dolls’ clothes for a small taciturn child she took the time to talk with.

  5. Never ever assume any or most white US police officers consider what happened in Minnesota or elsewhere acceptable or normal. Rogues exist, after all we’re talking human beings here.

    Just like you should never tar US citizens with the brush of their more loathsome politicians and their ideals. US citizens I have met are good people who deserve far better, just like Kiwis. All shapes and sizes.

      • That’s what’s know as being a Karen. What ever we think racism should be is irrelevant to what will happen to police practices globally. And what will happen based on America’s ability to service its debts while carrying more than 20% unemployment is a decline in its very expensive militarization of police.

    • X-Ray the behaviour of the other 3 officers protecting the scene from the possible interference from passers by who might have sought to interfere with the murder in progress, coupled with their complete indifference to and failure to intervene in any way themselves makes it quite obvious that the incident was not exceptional but accepted standard behaviour for the Minneapolis police force.
      That’s why the country is reacting.
      D J S

      • Because the criminal action was videoed the world has access to the powerful visual spectacle.
        There must be many dark alleys where Police shoot “suspects” without witnesses. Stick a gun in a dead mans hand and claim self defense.

      • David Stone: “….makes it quite obvious that the incident was not exceptional but accepted standard behaviour for the Minneapolis police force.”

        I completely agree. I doubt that anyone could plausibly put a more positive spin on the incident.

        However. It doesn’t at all follow that every US police officer would think what that officer did was unexceptionable. Nor does it follow that many other US citizens aren’t horrified by what’s happened. It looks to me to be the point that Xray was making. And I agree with that as well.

        With regard to bystanders intervening, in my view that would be unlikely, given that it was a police incident. Setting aside the fact that he was black, as no doubt were at least some of the bystanders, even citizens who aren’t black are rightly cautious about stepping into anything involving the police. Bystanders aren’t always privy to the facts, and getting involved risks making a bad situation worse.

        Were (god forbid) such a thing to happen here, I’m pretty certain that bystanders would hesitate to intervene. I can attest to the fact that the Springbok tour protests taught my generation at least to be wary of the police.

        Interestingly, yesterday my Google news feed sent an RT clip from Ruptly, showing somebody being arrested at a US protest, possibly the one in Minneapolis. You’ll be aware of how Ruptly does this sort of thing: video footage, no commentary. We the viewers are free to make up our own minds about what we’re being shown.

        The clip in question showed two police officers with a guy on the ground between them. They were handcuffing him. One officer had his knee on the guy’s neck: the other officer reached over and lifted the first officer’s knee from the arrested guy’s neck. And the officer who did this had his back to the camera. In truth, I doubt that either of them realised that they were being filmed.

  6. Acquaintances of mine, a married couple, both NZ police have spent years in the force chasing crims . She was brought up in a left leaning family with fairly empathetic attitudes but has changed over time by years of dealing with bad people. She feels that everyone is a potential criminal, is suspicious of anyone she doesn’t know well and has been hardened by dealing as she puts it with ‘the dregs of society. She believes she has to go hard and go early to avoid being hurt.( and she has been injured on some occasions).Her husband has similar views. Incidentally they are now avowed ACT supporters. I could see them becoming indifferent to the rights and feelings of everyday citizens, especially those of colour like the American police in the Floyd case.
    I don’t think their attitude is widespread among our police force. I hope not.

    • After what happened to George Floyd policing everywhere will never be the same. Police in America are actively being pushed out of black communities and Washington lacks the intellegience to even comprehend the reality of the situation. Yknow even if they had one Robert Kennedy amongst them blessed with generous amounts of the gift of the gab then maybe, but they don’t. That kind of authenticity can’t be manufactured on a campaign trail but it can be assassinated out of existence.

      • How many previous deaths at US police hands have you read about Sam? This doesn’t change a thing of itself, How many other necks do you imagine that cop had kneeled on? Surely you don’t think this was the first one? By the expression on the faces of both the killer cop and his protector at the scene , I suspect that Floyd would have survived if the event had not been being filmed. Both cops were intent on demonstrating to whoever that they could do whatever they liked. If no one was watching they probably would have let up when Floyd went unconscious.
        If anything changes , which it might toward civil war, it will be because of the accumulated incidences of this kind of police behaviour , not that this is an exceptional incident.
        D J S

        • DJS, there is a line in the sand that you need to figure out really fast which side you’re on. You are either for Justice for Floyd or against justice for Floyd because these niggers ain’t playing.

          • If you have been looking at coverage Sam you will have noticed that most of the protesters marching for justice for Floyd are white. It is not just a racial divide. People don’t want to be represented by that kind of repression. The escalating violence between the cops and black people cuts both ways . I don’t have to be on either side thank you very much , and you’r a fool to choose a side if you do.
            D J S

            • No there are hundreds of millions of guns in America and only 300,000 cops at best. 3 million if you want to include the military. Even with the most sophisticated military on earth the pentagon does not have the resources to quill and armed American public. Luckily the protestors have not taken up arms because they’re trying to be peaceful and the cops keep responding to peaceful protest with violence creating mini riots. It’s only a matter of time now. That is what is happening in the real world, DJS.

              • I don’t disagree with any of that last Sam. They will likely take up arms sometime. In one city anonymous
                gunmen opened fire at protesters, in another someone grabbed a police rifle from a burning police car. immediately an armed man turned up and took it off him. Undoubtably a plain clothed policeman; armed and anonymous. I wonder what he had been planning to do if he hadn’t felt the need to out himself to secure the rifle.
                D J S

    • Lack of ability to have empathy can be coupled with fear.
      The police have a hard task but I have met many who are still able to empathise and relate well to others with problems.
      Some police should not have a badge.

    • Just to add; when we were the victim of a minor robbery the woman acquaintance of ours dealt with it, apprehended the offender but was surprisingly indifferent and unsympathetic to our plight. Hardened I’d say.

    • Rodel: “….has been hardened by dealing as she puts it with ‘the dregs of society.”

      Yes: I’ve seen and heard this before. It’s completely understandable. Persisting in seeing the best in people, when one must constantly deal with the worst, would be the triumph of hope over experience (as Oscar Wilde said – about second marriage).

  7. Chris gives an excellent account of race relations in the US, and much of what he says I can concur with.

    However in this particular case, we do not have the facts yet. As with the shooting a couple of weeks ago, trials should not be conducted by media and the officer concerned deserves a fair hearing.

    It seems nowadays if one simply does not belong to a designated victim group, you are automatically deemed to be in the wrong when coming up against someone who is.

    • Marc – Dunno about that really… the thing is that many victims of violence in this country are children getting beaten by somebody bigger than them – and in or out of sight doesn’t matter too much when 88% of respondents to the ‘anti-smacking’ referendum, think that’s all okay provided it’s for purposes of correction – or some other wishy-washy nebulous sort of crap.

      I suppose our lucky kids are the ones killed outright, rather than growing up to be damaged individuals inflicting more damage, or quietly signing out of a life which is simply not good enough for them.

      Perhaps the real ogres are they who would force unwanted infants to be born to unwelcoming parents – humans smaller than my keyboard, launched into life totally vulnerable, dependent, and often wholly unprotected by or from those to whom nature’s callous lottery has allocated them.

      The thing about the death of unresistant George Floyd, is that he was not beaten, he was coldly executed; I watched him die on You Tube. It took nine minutes. Quite – and tragically- quick for a dying, but the male officer kneeling on Mr Floyd’s throat, left hand deep in his pocket, was not a small man – unlike the cold little Asian creep watching nearby (statement of fact).

      This was not a provoked, or angry out-of-control cop; the officer appeared detached, and clinical – almost nonchalant.

      How society produces persons like this, I don’t know, but sure as hell everyone needs protecting from them.

      One recent bad cop case in NZ was sorted when a colleague reported him – heartening that Kiwi blokes/blokesses do this – but current self-examination in the States shows lines blurred between good and bad, and blacks rightly identifying themselves as victims of police behaving badly and unlawfully.

      It’s too big an issue for flippancy, but if we feel solidarity with victims, and grieve for Mr Floyd, it may help us hang onto our own scrap of humanity.

  8. As usual the left runs with the ball without having ascertained all the facts

    Did he choke to death? I propose we wait for the coroner’s report before we decide. However, it is unlikely he choked to death because his head was sideways on the pavement leaving the trachea unaffected. He was able to claim he was being choked, and we know that is a standard gambit for criminals being arrested. In general if you can say you’re being choked, you’re not. There are far more likely reasons for death – an OD for example.

    My experience working in the US showed that American cops are well trained and show great professionalism. What needs to be borne in mind is that there are about three quarters of a million cops in the USA (no exaggeration) and one incident like this does not represent US policing.

      • Yes Andrew … especially when compared to storm troopers

        “Compilation Of Maniac Cops Assaulting Women & Peaceful Protestors On Camera!”
        https://youtu.be/N7rOSiYiRNQ

        Its perfectly natural for some citizens to die when having police restrict the ability to breath ,,, while they use totally disproportionate force against handcuffed and restrained levels of resistance.

        For instance ,,,I I imagine it would be quite natural for over 50% of 80 year olds to die if subjected to the same police treatment ,,,

        Natural causes ,,, Cop death ,,, https://youtu.be/tp8ISideoDE

    • WTF? Andrew, you are a callous bastard. I hope some thug stomps on your head one day and see how it might feel. I can’t even believe anyone could write such shit. You’re a textbook example of a right wing prat – NO empathy whatsoever.

        • Here is a fact for you Andrew. George Floyd’s unnecessary death was the result of his airway being compromised by the callous, brutal actions of a police officer! An action which denied his brain of oxygen for nine minutes, leading to unconciousness, then eventual death!

        • The cop has been arrested and charged with murder, oh and his wife has filed for divorce, facts.
          Your right wing ideology of America and N.Z. is lost on no one, fact.

        • Indeed, but this guy Andrew is revealing in so many ways of the racist right wing. The very nature of his comment implies the totally unquestioning acceptance of the status quo in the US. And for that matter, no doubt the status quo here in enzed as well. The violence now erupting over America is the expression of decades upon decades, no, centuries, of institutionalised racism at the very core of capitalist America, since the very constitution that gave freedom to all men, as long as they were men and they were white. Even the civil war and the emancipation of slaves did not solve the problem. A system of apartheid came into being that effectively enslaved the black population into economic disadvantage and poverty. The 1960’s civil rights movement and the legislation changes made in law still did not address these issues, as entire black housing estates were deemed ghettos or bulldozed out of the way for state highway developments, and blacks continued to be lynched by racist cops and vigilantes. The cops in America embody the Klu Klux Klan mentality that has never truly gone away, even when a black police chief is appointed or there is a black president! These apparent advances in racial equality have shown they tend to exacerbate the racists even more. And now we hear the predictable calls to stop the violence, that it is caused by small groups of agitators etc etc…the idiot Trump has even said the protesters are tarnishing the memory of George Floyd. And this when America was founded on violence, genocide, forced displacement and slavery. Violence doesn’t work, they say. Oh really? How many US leaders are followers of the principles of Mahatma Ghandi? And racists like our Disneyland visitor Andrew can never admit that, let alone see it. Just like most privileged white people in the US. I just hope that the protesters this time don’t stop. I want to see them burn down the White House that was built by slaves and lynch the lunatic who occupies it. That would be a nice legacy for George Floyd.

    • Andrew there are many police forces in the USA and rogues do appear and intimidate and kill innocent people. If there are no witnesses then under existing laws how does justice rule.
      Any cop who kills or maims someone must face an automatic strong deterrent as they are in a position of power.

    • Andrew: “However, it is unlikely he choked to death because his head was sideways on the pavement leaving the trachea unaffected.”

      Looks to me like pressure on the carotid artery. That’s a known cause of pretty quick death.

    • Oh so very wrong again Andrew. You did say wait for coroners report then jumped to your own right wing medical opinion.
      Official autopsy report…”he died of asphyxiation due to neck and back compressions cutting off blood to Floyd’s brain”.

      Just the facts Andrew!

  9. Quote:

    “The preliminary results of the county’s autopsy instead concluded Floyd, 46, died from a combination of heart disease and ‘potential intoxicants in his system’ that were exacerbated by the restraint placed on him by police“

    So nothing much to do with ‘choking’. In fact the choking thing is a standard gambit of criminals being arrested: If you can say that you’re being choked, you’re not, because a choked person cannot speak.

    • Andrew “So nothing much to do with ‘choking’. ” Wrong.

      Try and get a grown-up to explain this to you.

      Try and rethink the obscenity of using this gentleman’s death to score cheap political points.

      There is a real world out here where you are nothing, and you certainly never will be if you continue on your current trajectory. Fact.

      • David Stone: “I would have thought it was a clear cut coronavirus death.”

        Hahaha….very good!

        That’s the second belly laugh I’ve had, reading this comment thread.

    • Andrew, handcuffed, held to the ground by a heavyweight cop, jammed up against car tyres and then with a knee carrying enough weight to distort the neck,,,,,,ah yes an accident while restrained by four cops.
      Are you saying that is OK.
      Just try it mate.

      • G.A.P.: “….i hear the autopsy is being done by the the same coroner who did Geoffrey Epstein?”

        Hahaha….stop making me laugh!

  10. Too protect and serve seems too only apply too one part of the US population.
    Nothing seems too have been learned since the fiasco of Rodney King in 1991 where the worlds attention was focused on American law enforcement and their brutal tactics in dealing with a suspected felon.
    I think that African Americans are their own worst enemy when it comes too expressing their anger at these legalised killings.
    Rioting and looting does nothing too assist their plight and gives them even less credibility in trying too enact a change in attitude.
    If they are going too bring pressure too bear on the system then they have too organise and think seriously about who they vote for every mid term and presidential election.
    Martin Luther King showed that they could organise and lead a movement that had too be reckoned with even though change has been painfully slow.
    The current corporate parties are not the answer when it comes too advancing any meaningful change.

    • Mosa, ‘too’ is the adverb, meaning ‘to a greater extent’, as in ‘too big’.
      ‘To’ is the preposition, introducing a noun or an indirect object of a verb. ‘To’ is what you should have used in all of the above.

        • It think your logic is extremely sound. I totally adhere to the logic of planing, organising, strategising and mobilising over accepting the Devils deal. I am equally 100% certain that that there are police officers and politicians plotting and scheming and strategising on how they’re going to fuck over our well thought out ideas for dealing with justice for George. The police, no matter how angry the public get will never accept reform.

      • Paul Judge: “To’ is what you should have used in all of the above.”

        Save your breath: Mosa always does that. Just concentrate on the comments, which are perfectly understandable, once the reader accepts that “too” is used in every instance where one might expect “to”. It isn’t the most eccentric use of language you’ll see on this site.

        • I’m an English teacher, have to help people when I can to improve their writing, its what it’s all about

            • I’m sure if we put just as much precision into teaching Te Reo in schools then people will understand what you mean there.

              • I’m just whining. Whine here – whine there – I think it’s (note the apostrophe) catching.

                Queue at the doctor or I’d try for an anti-whine shot.

                There’ll be a herb there somewhere for my whine – guess I could ask the garden shop if they can stop me whining –

    • “The current corporate parties are not the answer when it comes too advancing any meaningful change.”
      Demonstrations will not change deep rooted systemic political issues.”

      Riots usually are not planned but erupt out of the unfair treatment over years or generations and triggered by the tactics taken to suppress demonstrations.

      Auckland

      https://nzhistory.govt.nz/queen-st-riot-auckland
      https://depressionriotsnz.weebly.com/auckland.html

      The USA will not substantially change without widespread mahem and forced displacement of the ruling structure.
      Hawaii may even be freed from US annexation against the Hawaiian people’s wishes.

  11. My advice to arrestees is as follows:

    1. Don’t commit crime and you won’t get arrested. Pretty obvious but clearly it needs restating.

    2. If you want to be treated nicely when being arrested, don’t fight with the police (Floyd had a rap sheet full of ‘ag assault’ charges)

    3. Don’t do drugs because not only will it lead to arrests, it compromises your health and you could have a heart attack in a stressful situation.

    NOTE: Nobody protested in Minneapolis when black police officer Muhammed Noor shot and killed white woman Justine Damond.

    Have a nice day! 🙂

  12. …oh and one other thing.

    These riots in the USA play straight into Donald J Trump’s hands. These are Democrat voters, in a Democrat city with a Democrat Mayor in a state with a Democrat governor. Voters are taking note.

    The general revulsion at the wanton violence and looting will push people away from the Democrats just like the 1968 Chicago Riots helped elect Nixon.

    • Andrew: “The general revulsion at the wanton violence and looting will push people away from the Democrats just like the 1968 Chicago Riots helped elect Nixon.”

      Yup. I remember those riots, along with the political shift they brought about. I doubt that any of the contemporary protesters are thinking too clearly about the risk of the unintended consequences of their actions. But they’d be wise to do so.

      • Andrew and D’Esterre, when a black cop shoots and kills a white person it is an extremely rare occurance. Yet a person of colour is killed by US cops on a near daily basis, every 48 hours I heard it said.
        Also, your advice to people being arrested in the US just confirms all of my comments above. You are an ignorant racist with zero understanding of the deeply rooted, historical issues at the heart of American society. Please don’t comment any further on The Daily Blog. I mean, I love free speech, but you’re attitude just makes me want to punch the keyboard, the screen and the furniture. You’re a NOB!

        • Paul – Try not to judge them – we really don’t know why there are always some who maintain an aloof detachment in the face of terrible tragedy, but alas, there are.

          Try this :

          Musee des Beaux Arts
          W. H. Auden

          About suffering they were never wrong,
          The old Masters: how well they understood
          Its human position: how it takes place
          While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
          How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
          For the miraculous birth, there always must be
          Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
          On a pond at the edge of the wood:
          They never forgot
          That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
          Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
          Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer’s horse
          Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.

          In Breughel’s Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
          Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
          Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
          But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
          As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
          Water, and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
          Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
          Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

          • Great poem from W H Auden. Makes me think of the song, The Clothesline Saga by Bob Dylan. Change vice-president for president and you have the perfect contemporary statement on the indifference of some people to political corruption on a grand scale;

            After a while we took in the clothes
            Nobody said very much
            Just some old wild shirts and a couple pairs of pants
            Which nobody wanted to touch
            Mama come in and picked up a book
            An’ papa asked her what it was
            Someone else asked, what do you care?
            Papa said well, just because
            Then they started to take back their clothes
            Hang ’em on the line
            It was January the thirtieth
            And everybody was feelin’ fine
            The next day, everybody got up
            Seein’ if the clothes were dry
            The dogs were barking, a neighbour passed
            Mama, of course, she said, hi
            Have you heard the news? he said with a grin
            The vice president’s gone mad
            Where? Downtown. When? Last night
            Hmm, say, that’s too bad
            Well, there’s nothing we can do about it, said the neighbour
            It’s just something we’re gonna have to forget
            Yes, I guess so said ma
            Then she asked me if the clothes was still wet
            I reached up, touched my shirt
            And the neighbour said, are those clothes yours?
            I said, some of them, not all of them
            He said, ya always help out around here with the chores?
            I said, sometimes, not all of the time
            Then my neighbour blew his nose
            Just as papa yelled outside
            Mama wants you to come back in the house and bring them clothes
            Well, I just do what I’m told so I did it, of course
            I went back in the house and mama met me
            And then I shut all the doors

      • D’Esterre “I doubt that any of the contemporary protesters are thinking too clearly about the risk of the unintended consequences of their actions. But they’d be wise to do so.”

        You have no idea what is going through the heads of any protester. You assume too much.

        Sometimes people do embark upon a course of action aware that the consequences may be not what they would want, nor the best outcome highly likely, but because there are times when right action it is necessary, even if it is to one’s own detriment.
        And it is much more than just being a decent human being, or our moral obligation to ourselves – and I am sorry if you’ve never known or known of such persons.

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