29 May 2020 #MAGAanalysis How Guilt Spreads - Racism, Mobism, and Understanding the Perpetrators.

It is impossible for a fair-minded soul to fail to see the victim. I believe that George Floyd's death will change America, more than those previous of a similar type.
2) A similar type? A black man is killed by a white police officer. All the protections that policemen, as the owners of the monopoly on legal violence must enjoy, kick into gear. Yet these very legal protections appear to be nothing other than systemic racism to black people.
3) But this case is different. First, although we've had videos of such murders - and let's be clear, there is no question, this was murder, and worse, an execution and not stopped by present fellow white policemen - we've never had one quite like this.
4) For me, as a white man, the phrase "knee on the back of one's neck" will never be the same again. I can see it in battles of the ancient world where the victor is saying, "your liberty or your life?"
5) I first came to contemplate that moment back in the 1990s, when ready Francis Fukuyama's fancifully entitled book, "The End Of History." It's a good book, ridiculous on its face back then, but interesting. In it he introduced me to Hegel, on the Theory of Recognition.
6) I've tried to read Hegel and just can't. I have no idea how Fukuyama found the part about battle, and recognition. He does a great job presenting it though. In a word, the victor will happily kill, and know his superiority thereafter with every living breath. Or...
7) Or, if the fallen warrior pleads for his life and surrenders his liberty, the contract is struck. A life of slavery traded instead of a moment of death. According to Fukuyama, ala Hegel, ala Plato, it was that moment that drove the entire project of civilization itself.
8) Plato? Yeah, Fukuyama explains that Hegel was reading Plato and discovered the following question:

How do you raise up a warrior who will choose death freely, over a life of servitude?

It's in that battlefield moment that the question, your liberty or your life, has meaning.
9) Go there. Picture it, as if you were the defeated. Would you rather die that become a slave? A slave owner himself, Patrick Henry so famously said give me liberty or give me death, and in spite of his hypocrisy, he meant it.
10) Fukuyama tells us that Hegel took from this his Theory of Recognition. The victor on the battlefield has no need of a slave. None. But the joy of his life, following the death of his enemy, is not as sweet as when his enemy surrenders liberty, RECOGNIZING his mastery.
11) Long way there, I know, but that is how I see Officer Chauvin. You can't make this up. Do you know the term Chauvinism? It has a long history, dating back to a soldier in Napoleon's army. Of its many meanings, it always indicates one group's prejudice against another.
12) I predict that from here on out, the new meaning of Chauvinism will be precisely what those who call out "systemic racism" mean. There will always be Officer Chauvin, kneeling on George Floyd's neck. It gives me chills to write it. I feel Chauvin's knee on my neck.
13) Systemic? Indeed. There were 4 officers fired, not 1. That is a system. I'll tell you the perpetrators I cannot relate to - I know I should try harder - the 3 who allowed Chauvin his evil execution. We'll come back to that.
14) Racism? As a white man watching the video, there's no way for me to imagine Floyd's death having nothing to do with the color of his skin. Chauvin is a racist. Floyd was a black man. He'd still be alive today if he were white. Come on, folks, we must confess racism.
15) Am I wrong? Weren't the other three cops white, also? Now let's be clear. I'm NOT saying the color of a man's skin indicates the color or the character of his soul. I don't see Chauvin as a fellow white man. I cry out, as do all honest Americans, for Chauvin's punishment.
16) Here's the problem. Chauvin knows he's white, and so do his fellow cops, who see him kneeling on a black man's neck while the black man cries out, I can't breathe, and while the bystanders say the same thing. Imagine being one of the bystanders.
17) With no judgement to others, here is what I would hope of myself. I would - I hope - calmly walk up to Chauvin, saying nothing, lean onto him with my bodyweight to get his knee off Floyd's neck. I've never done anything like that, so I can't brag. I may only hope.
18) Another time we'll speak again about an incredibly important movie called Sunshine, starring Ralph Fiennes, in which the story of a Jewish family is told. Coming out of WWII and the Holocaust, there was a lesson learned. 2 men with machine guns can control 50 men without.
19) In the aftermath of the Holocaust, though, the Jews analyzed this and discovered the reason. All 50 are afraid to die, and even if they're executed one at a time, they still shiver in paralyzed fear...unless...unless they have been trained to resist. Trained. Note that.
20) The training must include two primary components. The resistance must be led, a leader and followers must instantly establish this structure. And some must, like Todd Beamer understood on Flight 93 on September 11, 2001, be ready to die.
21) When we say systemic racism, part of the problem is that as a people - having nothing to do with skin color - we are not trained how to resist evil police. Obviously, it is time we learn. I sure don't know that I'd have been ready to sacrifice my life for George Floyd's.
22) But the hardness in my heart tells me I very well might have. There is a cold rage that descends upon me in moments of life and death. I haven't been in many, but I have been in some. It shows up as a strange calmness, along with a mean certainty.
23) And yet, there's Chauvin. I have never crushed another soul's neck, nor killed anyone, physically. But - and I will not confess any details in public - I have crushed the hearts and spirits of souls in my care with my terrible anger and vicious judgement.
24) Again, let me be absolutely clear, if justice were in my hands it would be swift and sure. I'd execute Chauvin. I believe in the death penalty, and I saw enough to know where I stand on guilt vs. innocence. Guilty as hell. Punishment by death. That's what I'd do.
25) But we must all be able - if we're to try to understand this evil moment - feel what Chauvin felt. We have all enjoyed the self-righteous moment of evil power. Most of us may not realize it, but it is a universal human emotion. The joy of evil power.
26) In the worst such moments you know you're doing an evil thing. That's what I believe Chauvin experienced. I think he knew and loved that moment the more for it. Far more normally, we don't know. The joy is there. We're doing the wrong thing, but don't know we are.
27) I hate doing it, I hate it, but I can imagine Chauvin's joy as the life ebbed out of Floyd. Power. It's addictive.
28) What happens next? The video. I hate the rioting and violence. Yet I can easily understand the temptation to riot and loot. We've got to admit it. What have conquering armies throughout history done? Rape and pillage. Given that moment, it's what we do.
29) If you felt that the entire system was stacked against you, and that you deserved a chance to take some of yours, and you see others doing it too, you follow suit and grab a shopping cart. You're not thinking about the future, or the values of society. You're just snagging.
30) Who remembers playing with building blocks in childhood? Who remembers the long care and patient dedication of raising up your wood block skyscraper? And who remembers the joy of knocking it down? It's fun to destroy. Admit it.
31) Rioting is simply that. We destroy an entire Target store. We snag all the stuff we can, then we tear it down and maybe even light it on fire. Who doesn't love fires? That's another crime I can imagine, being an arsonist. The fire is beautiful. Like fireworks.
32) Not sure the Target store went alit, but consider the police department where the police themselves surrendered the building. Now that's serious. And this is the spread of guilt. Chauvin kneels, and Floyd dies. Rioters riot and then, even innocent police evacuate.
33) If I have but one point it is this. We must be able to step into the shoes of each person. Villain, victim, reaction to villainy, facing the system and finding it systemically against you, we must be able to face it all with calm understanding for each soul.
34) If I'm allowed another point, it is this. Taking our understanding of each soul, to the degree we can build it, we must look to the questions of racism and mobism. We're not done with them. If the system is racist, then the black community's response is mobbist. What then?
35) Who remembers Kristallnacht? The night of 9 November 1938 Germany's antisemitism went from silently hidden to grossly enacted. The stores of Jews, and their homes, were looted and destroyed that night. This was both racism and mobism. Who doesn't like silver and gold?
36) Truth is, and this is today's last point. Truth is that this is not America. We wiped out slavery in the 1860s. No, we obviously did not wipe out racism, that's yet to come. But we must face our own evils now and improve. America Herself weeps today.
37) An evil, white racist policeman executes a handcuffed black man by slowly strangling him with his knee. What an image of everything we've gotten wrong in our 400-year history. Today's Chauvinism. And then we riot and loot in response. It's all wrong.
38) I say, let us give America justice for George Floyd. But I also say, let us call out rioting and pillaging for what it is, as well. Violence spreads. Guilt compounds guilt. The Rule of Law is weakened on each side. This is not the America we fight for. We must fight better.
Thread ends at #38.
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