Douglas Andrews / May 25, 2021

George Floyd: One Year Later

On the anniversary of his death, we’re hard-pressed to find a single good thing that’s come of it.

A year ago, all of us were transfixed by the video footage of the white cop with his knee on the black guy’s neck for that interminable length of time. Then we waited for the riots. We knew they were coming.

They came, all right, and they spread across the country, and they re-erupted throughout the year with nearly every perceived police transgression against a black male. The agenda-driven Leftmedia insisted that the riots were in fact “mostly peaceful protests,” which, of course, was a demonstrable and despicable lie.

Speaking of lies, the ostensible reason behind the riots was to draw attention to and eradicate the scourge of “systemic racism.” But it’s a tall order to eradicate something that lives mostly in the fever dreams of white leftists.

Today, then, after a year-long orgy of burning, looting, and wanton destruction, with race relations having been hijacked and run off the rails by a small band of money-grubbing Marxists; with violent crime and murder having skyrocketed across our nation’s urban centers due to the Left’s war on cops; and with federal police reform legislation still seemingly stuck in the congressional mud, we have to ask: Was it worth it?

It sure seems not.

It certainly wasn’t worth it at ground zero, least of all for the aggrieved, who now live in a city that has defunded its police — or “reimagined” them, as the Left now prefers to put it. There, as Minnesota’s own John Hinderaker observes at Power Line, “The vast majority of Minneapolis’s murders are of blacks, by blacks, and many are gang-related. Yet the City Council natters on about ‘police violence.’”

In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, crime researcher Heather Mac Donald noted that it’s now open season in Minneapolis, and she added some grim statistics to Hinderaker’s observation:

Nineteen children in Minneapolis have been shot this year, an increase of 171% over the same period in 2020. Their relatives wonder where the protesters are. … Minneapolis homicides between Jan. 1 and last week were up 108% compared with the same period in 2020; shootings were up 153%, and carjackings 222%. The crime increase began after Floyd’s death and has never let up. Nor has the assault on law enforcement that began with the arson destruction of the Third Precinct building on May 28, 2020. Officers are routinely punched, kicked, and hit with projectiles.

We’re guessing this carnage won’t come up when George Floyd’s family meets with leading Democrats today. As NBC News reports, “The family will meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Tuesday morning in Washington before their scheduled White House meeting with Biden. Then the family will meet with several senators from both parties, but Crump declined to identify the lawmakers.”

It’s interesting that the family would agree to meet the 81-year-old Pelosi, who couldn’t even remember their son’s name when she discussed House legislation that would be named in his honor; who cluelessly wore the garb of slave traders while kneeling to show “solidarity” with Floyd; and who, in the wake of the murder conviction of Officer Derek Chauvin, couldn’t keep from thanking Floyd for having died. In any case, it’ll be interesting to see whether the topics of escalating violence and black-on-black crime come up during today’s opportunistic events. We’d guess not. After all, none of them said a damned thing about last summer’s Black Lives Matter mayhem until their pollsters told them they had to.

George Floyd, it should be noted, was an unlikely martyr and an unlikely subject of massive murals and nationwide remembrances. He was a career criminal, after all, who once held a gun to a pregnant woman’s belly while his fellow thugs ransacked her house. And on the day of his death, he’d passed a counterfeit bill to a local vendor, he’d put enough fentanyl into his system to kill a man, and he’d repeatedly resisted arrest.

And yet, what good purpose did his martyrdom serve?

A year later, as Hinderaker concludes, our nation’s institutions “are all aligned behind an agenda that is deeply divisive. Not only divisive, but essentially anti-American. Has any country ever survived, let alone prospered, when led by elites that hate their own country? I doubt it. The City of Minneapolis is a pretty good guide to where the Left’s anti-American, anti-civilization policies are taking us.”

Finally, no retrospective on the past year would be complete without remembrance and heartfelt acknowledgment of the law enforcement officers who’ve been killed in the line of duty since Floyd’s death. Accordingly, we maintain a dedicated End of Watch tribute page to them.

(Updated)

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