Justice. Multiple words are offered in definition of these seven letters but those I choose are taken from my old Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary, a gift from Hatchards, courtesy of my parents, with an inscription dated 1979: ‘the awarding of what is due’.
This week, Derek Chauvin, the policeman who held George Floyd to the ground with his knee on his neck for almost nine minutes, was found guilty of his murder. In the words of Candace Owens, ‘He has been turned into the devil that he is.’ Yet to be sentenced, there is little doubt that he will spend the rest of his life in prison. That, to me, is ‘the awarding of what is due’.
What, then, of George Floyd, a name, now, synonymous with racism; the demand for justice? The name which opened the flood gates, worldwide, to the Black Lives Matter movement. In reality, the name which provided a vehicle for grievance and anger, full stop! What does Justice for George look like?
The George Floyd Memorial Foundation …
I have it open on my laptop as I write and, quite honestly, I can hardly bear to read the words in front of me, nor look at the photograph of the man, himself. Of course, that would be construed as a racist comment but that would be untrue. Instead, I find the, now familiar, photograph scary; menacing. Yes, menacing is the word. His eyes, his demeanour. The words? On the Home page are the following: Justice & Action. ‘… Be a part of our grassroots efforts as we make an impact advocating justice issues for African-Americans.’ A non-profit organisation established by his sister, Bridgett Floyd, and other family members in his memory.
Click on George Floyd’s Story if one believes in fairytales!
‘Like all of us, he had some ups and downs in his life, but in adulthood, Floyd became committed to his Christian faith, becoming an active church volunteer and a mentor to troubled youth in his community.’
Is that before, after or while he was high on drugs?! I love the use of the term ‘in adulthood’, considering he spent most of his behind bars! Read on, though, for the description of what happened to upstanding, law-abiding George on 25th May, 2020:
‘On May 25, 2020, George Perry Floyd went to buy a pack of cigarettes and was murdered in broad daylight by the Minneapolis Police Department.
Simple as that. No mention of the fact that, once again, he was high on drugs – both Fentanyl and Methamphetamine were declared in the autopsy reports – nor that he was attempting to buy the cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill! Moreover, the shop assistant only called 911 because he/she was fearful, noting that George was behaving strangely. Handcuffed by the police and put up against a wall, he dropped a white bag containing an illegal substance. In short, this wasn’t just a casual stroll to the corner shop for some cigarettes. Not only in possession of fake money, he was in possession of drugs, something which did not suit the media narrative. Regardless, nobody can – or is disputing the horror of his death. That was not justice.
What of honour, then? Once more, I refer to my trusted dictionary of forty-two years … ‘that which rightfully attracts esteem’ or ‘a fine and scrupulous sense of what is due’. Oh, my goodness, even the language smacks of elegance and gentility! So much we have lost. To the point! George Floyd most definitely should not be honoured! Over to Candace …
‘George Floyd was a criminal. He was a criminal. Just because he was a criminal doesn’t mean he deserved to die at the knee of a police officer but it does mean that I am not going to play a part of the broken black culture that always wants to martyr criminals.’
Let’s rewind to George’s ‘adulthood’. 1998 marked his first custodial sentence: aged 25, he was sentenced to 10 months for theft with fire arms. He returned to a cell in 2002 for a further 8 months, this time for a cocaine offence; then, in 2004, another 10 months – again, cocaine – before a further 10 months in 2005! Reformed? Never. The. worst was yet to come! In 2007, he was sentenced to 5 years. This time (again, in 2005), he was a major force in the armed robbery of a pregnant woman during which he – upstanding George – held a gun to her stomach! Ransacking her home for drugs and cash, he and 5 others found nothing, leaving, only, with her wallet and phone. Thanks, however, to the vigilance of a neighbour, they were arrested and gentle George – the driver of the vehicle – was sentenced to 5 years behind bars!
I ask, again, whether George Floyd deserves to be honoured?!
Candace Owens cites Shelby Steele – an American conservative author specialising in the study of race relations – as stating that the black community is unique in that it is the only one which caters to the bottom denominator of ‘our society’.
‘You. would be hard-pressed to find a Jewish person who has spent five stints in prison, who commits a crime and dies while committing a crime, and that the Jewish people champion and demand justice for’.
Candace, we hear you!
‘For whatever reason, it has become fashionable, over the last five or six years, for us to turn criminals into heroes overnight.’
George Floyd was not an amazing person. He is deserving of no honour. Portrayed by the media as just getting his life back on track following his latest release from prison in 2014, he had suddenly morphed into an exemplary character – who just happened to be high on drugs, in possession of drugs and attempting to use a counterfeit note to purchase cigarettes! Regardless, he was the spark that lit the flame, which lit a fire around the world – Black Lives Matter.
‘Daddy changed the world.’ The rehearsed words of Gianna, George Floyd’s six-year-old daughter. May she stay forever young … The thing is, ironically, George Floyd has changed the world. His death unleashed the genie from the bottle and, now, God help us all!
‘It is not just a black America problem, or a people of colour problem. It is a problem for every American. Our job, now, is to honour it and to honour him.’
Kamala Harris, 21 April 2021.
‘It’s so easy to be a victim. It’s so easy to ask white people to bow down and apologise and do all these things for us … It’s a lie. It’s a farce. Our biggest problem is us! It’s why we don’t talk about it when black on black crimes happen … because that would mean that we had to be, personally, accountable; that would mean personal responsibility. We don’t do personal responsibility in our community. We don’t do it. We blame white people.’
Listening to Candace Owens offers hope, at the same time shining a light on the seedy side of life. Candace is intelligent, courageous – and black! A voice on the inside, she has no bias. She is, however, flowing against the tide …
Black Lives Matter. Statues have been pulled down and defaced. Buildings have been re-named. School curricula have been altered. Models, now, are pre-dominantly black. Television presenters? There is an obvious quota to be fulfilled. The BAFTAs, the Oscars? No longer awarded on merit; rather, a box-ticking exercise requiring a set number of black and ethnic minorities. Even Jane Austen is not exempt! In fact, let’s face it, in honour of Gentle George, the militant activists demand that history be re-written … Where will it end?
I am embarrassed. Still in possession of my faculties, it is increasingly difficult to bear witness to such biased rhetoric – and alarming that so many are prepared to accept. The world is an angry place but integrity remains paramount. George Floyd was no hero. He deserves no honour. Justice? The ‘awarding of what is due’? That is an answer, perhaps, more readily gleaned from above …
‘I’m a big believer that, no matter what colour you are, you do stupid things; you win stupid prizes.’
The words of intelligent life, seemingly all but lost on planet earth.
This is Trish, signing off.