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Paul Craig Roberts. Photo supplied

The George Floyd protests

As my readers know, I am a critic of police brutality and regard George Floyd’s murder as being as unacceptable as every other outrage committed by police.

Published: June 2, 2020, 9:33 am

    I am encouraged that this time the officer has been arrested, instead of protected, and that the arrest came early as soon as the investigation was complete. Yet white Antifa members have turned a peaceful black protest into violent multi-city riots that are ongoing despite the arrest of the police officer.

    The officer was arrested because George Floyd’s death was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Excuses for police violence against the general public no longer carry any conviction. The realization that police officers must be held accountable to law like everyone else came home to public authorities. As the white chief of the Atlanta police said, the Minneapolis police officer is a murderer. Previously, black protests were against the absence of accountability, but this time accountability is being enforced, so what are the protests about?

    Little doubt that the accountability came as a surprise after its previous absences. Blacks didn’t expect it, and so they protested. But there was another new element this time—organized violence in place of opportunistic and spontaneous violence. Moreover, it was multi-city violence taking place in cities far distant from Minneapolis, and as videos reveal the protest sites were supplied in advance with deliveries of bricks. Who supplied the bricks that were instruments for making the protest violent and destructive?

    The violence that discredited the peaceful Minneapolis protest is the work of the terrorist organization, Antifa. The violence has been denounced by some black leaders themselves and many of the non-violent protesters say that they feel used. Little doubt they will be accused of being “uncle Toms.”

    Whether we realize it or not, we all have the same interest in drawing the correct lessons from the George Floyd protests. One is that Antifa violence is the logical outcome of Identity Politics.

    Another is that a multicultural racially diverse society cannot exist if all injustice is blamed on racism. Blaming George Floyd’s murder on racism is an agenda-driven misrepresentation. It serves agendas and is endlessly asserted by the presstitutes, white liberals, and Democrats. But there are more important causes of police use of excessive force than racism. To realize that this is true, ask yourself: Is it racism when police murder and brutalize white people? If not, why is it racist when police commit violence against black people?

    Police use of excessive force is not limited to black Americans. According to official data, police brutalize and kill more white Americans than black Americans. Most people don’t know this, because whites do not protest and riot when police use excessive force against white people. There are two reasons for the lack of white protest. One is that white people give the police the benefit of the doubt, and the other is that there is concern that coming down hard on police will make it harder for police to deter crime and protect life and property. We are seeing the truth of this concern in the current destruction of property permitted by public authorities afraid of being labeled “racist” if they use force against the violence.

    We only hear from the media about police violence against blacks. Consequently, blacks see police violence as racist, even when the police, the police chief, and the mayor themselves are black, and blacks are encouraged in this view by presstitutes and white liberals. Currently the presstitute media is glorifying violence as the solution to racism.

    There is a great deal of evidence that police violence has more important causes than racism. First of all, policing attracts people who enjoy power over others. It was the kids we grew up with who were bullies who tended to become policemen. A police badge conveys a certain amount of immunity to being held accountable, and this has been supported by court rulings that give the edge to the police officer’s right to protect himself over his responsibility to protect the suspect or the public. Black leaders could insist on testing police force applicants in order to reject bullies and psychopaths. They could insist on police training that refocuses the police on the protection of the public and the suspect, who is innocent until proven guilty, and not on the protection of the police officer who is supposed to accept the risk of the occupation.

    Another cause of police brutality is the training many American police forces have received from Israelis. In Israel, police are used to suppress Palestinians in occupied territories and in Gaza. It is well known that the Israeli government has little regard for the lives of Palestinians. Israeli police training stresses the importance of the life of the officer. This attitude has now been transferred to American police. We see it continually in their exaggerated response to anything that can be interpreted or misinterpreted as a threat to them. A billfold becomes a gun and so on. Many murders committed by police can be attributed directly to this attitude that has been ingrained by their training.

    Another cause is the militarization of the police by the George W. Bush and Obama administrations. Militarization was done because of an alleged Muslim terrorist threat which has proved to be unfounded, and it creates a macho attitude among police who see the public as enemy.

    The charge of “racism” serves to hide and to leave unaddressed these causes of police brutality. What serious and well-intentioned black leadership could do for our country would be to investigate and stop the Israeli training of US police and the militarization of the police. Black leaders could also investigate the funding for Antifa, a terrorist organization that has somehow escaped the watchful eye applied to foreign terrorist organizations.

    White people who attempt these investigations are dismissed as racists, white supremacists, and anti-semites. These investigations can only be done by black Americans.

    Black leaders could also look into the serious problem of prosecutorial misconduct. Every race suffers from this misconduct. The success indicator for prosecutors is today a high rate and number of convictions, not justice. A high conviction rate is achieved by plea bargains, which can be arranged in hours compared to the days and weeks of a court trial. A plea bargain is achieved by dropping charges that are more serious for admission of guilt to less serious charges. (See Roberts and Stratton, The Tyranny of Good Intentions).

    All attorneys know that a defendant, who insists on a trial, faces more serious charges, incurs the wrath of both prosecutor and judge whose time and energy the defense uses up in court, and is at the mercy of jurors who trust the integrity of police and prosecutor more than they trust advocates for defendants whose arrest implies guilt. Consequently, according to official data, 97 percent of felony cases are settled with plea bargains. This means that police evidence is subject to being tested in only 3 percent of felony cases. Obviously, the absence of testing of their evidence makes police very careless in investigating crimes. It has proven easier to frame the innocent than to convict the guilty.

    As racism is not an important cause of police violence, the national, indeed international, preoccupation with racism does not adequately address the problem of police violence. Unfortunately, the racism explanation serves influential agendas, and this will make it difficult to dislodge the misleading racist explanation of police violence. Those who insist that racism is the cause of police violence should ask themselves this question: Is it racism when police murder and brutalize white people?

    If black leaders were determined, they could achieve reforms in police training and performance. An effort to address the true causes of police violence would create enormous good will, and success would defuse racial tensions and produce a more united people.

    It sounds like a good cause to me.

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