One of the more bizarre moments came yesterday when Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said this after the guilty verdict in the murder of George Floyd:
“Thank you, George Floyd, for sacrificing your life for justice. For being there to call out to your mom—how heartbreaking was that—call out for your mom, ‘I can’t breathe,’” Pelosi (D-Calif.) said during a news conference with members of the Congressional Black Caucus.
The Speaker in particular thanked the late Mr. Floyd for the particularly painful details of his death.
As is often the case with Ms. Pelosi’s public statements, the logic is circular: if you had not died, George, nobody would have been convicted of murdering you. Huh? Betcha Floyd would prefer to be alive.
Does Pelosi remember that George Floyd’s “sacrifice” also produced riots?
What kind of person even thinks such things? Even liberals on Twitter were aghast at the Speaker’s bizarre remarks. One critic described Pelosi as “real [W]hite person wearing kente cloth,” a reference to the time Pelosi and other Democrats decked themselves out in Ghanaian clothes and knelt in memory of George Floyd. Taken with Pelosi’s stunning thank-you, the kente episode almost makes you think that some politicians are not above capitalizing on Mr. Floyd’s death, no?
More significant (but not nearly as colorful) than Pelosi was the President of the United States—by virtue of his office. PJ Media described the President’s performance:
Biden stepped to the podium in the White House with the guilty verdict he sought, and which the jury delivered. It could have been a moment to praise the criminal justice system. It could have been the moment of unification this nation so badly needs.
He described an America that does not exist outside his imagination, the fevered dreams of his fellow extremists on the left, and America’s most violent cities — all of which are run top to bottom by Democrats.
Move ahead to about the 8-minute mark in the video, to hear Biden say “We can and we must do more to ensure that tragedies like this never happen again.” If he had stopped there, he would have had the whole country on board. But he didn’t stop there.
“To ensure that black and brown people, or anyone, so they don’t fear their interactions with law enforcement. That they don’t have to wake up knowing that they can lose their very life in the course of just living their life. They don’t have to worry about whether their sons or their daughters will come home after a grocery store run. Or just walking down the street or driving their car or playing in the park. Or just sleeping at home.
“And this takes acknowledging and confronting, head-on, systemic racism.”
Was the fatal interaction on May 25 really the result of “systemic racism”? The confrontation between Chauvin and the other officers and Floyd stemmed first from the drugs Floyd had chosen to ingest and his decision to resist arrest following his attempt to pass counterfeit money. Did he deserve to have his neck held down, did he deserve to die, for that? Certainly not. But he had agency in the situation, too. He made choices that led to that day. To fail to acknowledge this is to fail to acknowledge Floyd’s humanity. Chauvin and his fellow officers had agency. So did Floyd.
Chauvin was convicted. I’d rather that the guilty had been reached without the looming threat of mob violence. But it came, and it was a win. Why can’t the President take “yes” for an answer and resist the temptation to accuse us of racism?
The New York Post urged in an editorial that after the Chauvin verdict “politicians must turn down the temperature.” How likely is this?
With House Democrats holding the line against a censure of Rep. Maxine Waters, whose incendiary injunction to the street sounded an awful lot like incitement to riot, and with the remarks of the Speaker and the President, the answer looks like: fat chance.
When the Speaker of the House thanks a man for dying to reveal what racist bums we are, the country is in trouble.