Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted Tuesday on all counts. The trial went on for more than a month. At times, the testimony was complex and technical. But at the center of the case, there was always really just one piece of relevant evidence: the videotape of George Floyd’s death in a Minneapolis street last May.
If you haven’t seen the tape recently, it remains as shocking as the day it was shot. Watch it, and you can see that George Floyd knows on some level he’s going to die, and in the end, he does. It’s crushing. Millions of Americans saw this and they were horrified. Many decided as they watched it that Officer Chauvin must have committed an act of criminal brutality.
So it’s really not surprising that the jury concluded the same thing. The images in that tape seemed to tell the whole story. In fact, even if no one outside the courtroom had ever seen that tape, it’s possible that Derek Chauvin still would have been convicted. The tape is that powerful. That’s totally possible.
Unfortunately, we don’t know that. We can only speculate about it, because in the end that’s not what actually happened. The George Floyd video went around the world. It became the centerpiece of a new political movement. Political actors harnessed the emotion over that video and Floyd’s death to control the country and change it forever. And then, and this is the key, in the last month, some of these same people went further than that.
They worked to change the outcome of Derek Chauvin’s trial. That’s the one thing we can never allow, no matter how we feel about a specific case. Civilized countries have impartial justice systems. That’s their hallmark. It’s what separates the countries you want to live in from places you don’t even want to visit. Civilized countries demand, above all, that every citizen is held to precisely the same standard under the law as every other citizen is — and that applies no matter how popular or unpopular a particular defendant might be. It applies no matter what the alleged crime is. Civilized countries do not tolerate jury intimidation. You see it, you stop it. They don’t allow the threat of violence to influence the outcome of a trial, ever. Not under any circumstances. That would be the opposite of justice. That would be mob rule.
America used to strive hard to be like that. And yet just Tuesday, we saw the President of the United States throw his backing behind Chauvin’s prosecution even as the jury in Minneapolis was still deliberating the case.
We saw one of the most powerful members of Congress tell a group of angry people they should act out in violence if the jury dared to acquit. We watched the city of Minneapolis concede responsibility for the death of George Floyd right in the middle of the trial, before Chauvin’s lawyer could even sum up his case.
Most ominously of all, we watched thugs threaten a defense witness with death — smearing blood on the door of what they thought was his house — and then get away with it. No one in authority seemed especially interested in catching them.
These were terrifying acts. It doesn’t matter whether you think Derek Chauvin was guilty and deserves what he got. It doesn’t matter who you voted for. It doesn’t matter what you think about anything else. Seeing mobs try to influence this trial should shock and horrify you at least as much as the George Floyd video did. This is a country moving backwards at high speed. But the strange thing is, most people didn’t seem shocked or upset by any of this. They seem relieved by the verdict. They’d, of course, seen the boarded-up buildings. They’d watched the troops in the streets. They understood very well what an acquittal would mean. They believed that a conviction, justified or not, would buy the country peace.
Many people thought this, and not just cynical people. Most people, including many Republicans, said as much. If we obeyed Maxine Waters and ignored the pig blood, hopefully the chaos would end. And you could see why they felt that way. After 11 months of mostly unrestrained violence and intimidation from BLM, Americans decided to pay the ransom. They understood Derek Chauvin as a sacrifice for the sins of a nation. On television, they told us this was the case in the clearest terms. America is on trial, they told us. It’s not just Chauvin, one cop from Minneapolis on the stand. It’s all of us — our history, our culture, our system.
We internalized that, and we went along with it. But we were foolish to go along with this. A wise country stands on its principles. It puts down mobs. It doesn’t obey mobs because mobs are never sated. No matter what demands you follow, they demand more. And now they are demanding more, not surprisingly. Here were the two most powerful people in the United States reacting to yesterday’s verdict. Keep in mind that no one has ever shown that race or skin color played any role in the death of George Floyd. If you watched the trial, you know that. These people didn’t watch the trail. They’re not interested in the details. Their plan is to use the trial the way they used George Floyd.
KAMALA HARRIS: A measure of justice isn’t the same as equal justice. This verdict brings us a step closer and the fact is we still have work to do. We still must reform the system.
JOE BIDEN: No one should be above the law. And today’s verdict sends that message. But it’s not enough. We can’t stop here.
“But it’s not enough. We can’t stop here.” “We must reform the system.” They don’t say how, but their intent is obvious. They mean it.
So it turns out that Derek Chauvin’s conviction was not the end of the revolution. It was not the terminus of what we’ve seen for the last year since the death of George Floyd. It was just the beginning of the revolution. The attorney general has announced that the investigation into the death of George Floyd — overseen, presumably, by avowed racist Kristen Clarke of the Civil Rights Division — is “ongoing.” Ongoing? Didn’t we just have a month-long trial that presented all the evidence? Yes we did. But once again, that was just the start.
So what we can expect next? Hard to know exactly but there are signs. BLM activists, for example, celebrated the Chauvin verdict in New York. George Floyd died 1,200 miles from New York, in an entirely different region. Presumably, they didn’t know Floyd. They probably didn’t watch the trial. But for people like this, justice for George Floyd isn’t the point. Never-ending ethnic conflict is the point.
Protesters yelled “Stay the f— out of New York,” “We don’t want you here,” “We don’t want your f—ing money,” and “We don’t want your f—ing taqerias owned by f—ing White men!” outside a Brooklyn restaurant.
People with the wrong skin color now have the leave New York City. They’re not allowed to own restaurants. That’s what they just said. Everyone pretends not to notice that they said it, but they did. The point is, people didn’t used to talk like this in public and when they did, they were scolded at the very least. You can’t have a multi-ethnic nation hold together if people are going to scream stuff like that on the street without anyone disagreeing with them. So why are they doing it now? They’re doing it for one simple reason: it gets results. Radicalism works. Violence works. That’s the lesson. We have taught the mob that lesson. And at least one BLM activist is willing to say it out loud:
BLM ACTIVIST HAWK NEWSOME: It was a mixture of violent and nonviolent protest that yielded this result. That’s the bottom line. America doesn’t listen to us when we march peacefully. I’m not saying people will be back in the street but America must know that if you continue to allow us to be murdered in the streets without justice, we will raise hell in America.
It’s that simple: violent protests get results. That’s a threat, obviously. But it’s also, unfortunately true. Rioting does work. When you burn cities, you get what you want. You get rich from corporate handouts. You get the jury verdicts you’ve demanded. Rioters know this very well, even if the rest of us won’t admit it. By allowing Wendy’s to be torched and Macy’s to be looted and police stations to be destroyed, the rest of us have relinquished our power as citizens and instead handed it to the most violent, unreasonable, and least productive people in the country. Why would we do something like this? Maybe historians will be able to explain it. In the meantime prepare for the next phase. But, once again, don’t kid yourself. Derek Chauvin’s conviction didn’t settle accounts. It merely increased the debt.
The Democratic Party’s pet academic racial, Henry Rogers — now known as Ibram X. Kendi — let us know that Derek Chauvin was just the beginning. National transformation is on the way.
IBRIM X. KENDI: So now what? Chauvin is headed to jail but is America headed to justice? Is justice convicting a police officer or is justice convicting America? … It’s easy to just blame individual officers like Derek Chauvin but the problem is structural. The problem is historic … Justice has convicted America. Now we must put in the time transforming this nation.
So, we’ve all been convicted of murder. And by the way, you can’t blame Ibram X. Kendi. That guy’s gotten many millions of dollars from our captains of industry. He’s incubated within the academy. You may be paying tuition to support his salary. Why are you doing that? Why are the rest of us doing that as he calls for punishing you for a murder you didn’t commit?
So this transformation Ibram X. Kendi is calling for, what exactly is that going to look like? What’s the shape of this reform to come? Bree Newsome has some ideas. Newsome is one of the most famous BLM activists in the country. Wednesday morning ,she announced that henceforth police officers should not be allowed to break up knife fights.
“Teenagers have been having fights, including fights involving knives, for eons. We do not need police to address these situations by showing up to the scene and using a weapon against one of the teenagers.
Everyone should be frightened that the ruling [W]hite elite have done such a thoroughly successful job of not only disconnecting us from the means of basic self-sufficiency, but also convincing us we need armed [W]hite officers to manage our children and communities,” she said on Twitter.
You may roll your eyes at Ibram X. Kendi, or the president and vice president, or at Bree Newsome and people like her, but be assured that the Biden administration does not. It takes every word very seriously. And that means your neighborhood may soon see reforms like this. What will happen then?
Well, if you live in an affluent neighborhood, you’ll be absolutely fine, because you’ll hire private security. And there will be many American police officers who are eager to become private security guards because it pays better and you don’t have to listen to Ibram X. Kendi. But for everyone else, what next?
Well, here’s some data, and it comes from, of all places, the website Vox, which cites the following study,
“From 2014 to 2019, [a researcher] tracked more than 1,600 BLM protests across the country, largely in bigger cities, with nearly 350,000 protesters.” The result of was that “roughly 300 fewer police homicides in census places that saw BLM protests.”
OK, but here’s the cost of that: “[R]esearch also indicates that these protests correlate with a 10[%] increase in murders in the areas that saw BLM protests. That means from 2014 to 2019, there were somewhere between 1,000 and 6,000 more homicides than would have been expected if places with protests were on the same trend as places that did not have protests.”
Following the math? Thanks to BLM, says this researcher, police shot about 300 fewer suspects. In exchange for that, up to 6,000 new murders took place, many of innocents and children. So that’s the bargain we have made, and we just doubled down.
This article is adapted from Tucker Carlson’s opening commentary on the April 21, 2021 edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight”
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